Bedouin Jewelry and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia became a nation in 1932, when Ibn Saud united dissimilar tribes into one nation and named himself king. Oil was discovered 10 years after becoming a nation but remained isolated until the 1970’s. By looking at Bedouin jewelry we are allowed to see the values and beliefs of the Saudi culture. Through the years the Bedouins of Saudi Arabia made the dessert their home, their way of life is sophisticated. They displayed a kind of arrogance for having made it through the deserts.
The word Bedouin comes from the Arabic word badawi, which means desert dweller. The Bedouins live in extended family groups, when they needed a new pasture or water they would move. There were only a limited amount of animals that could survive and live comfortably; they used goats for milk supply and their hair for tents. Sheep gave wool for blankets and they also provided meat. Camels also provided milk, meet, hair, dung for fuel, urine for shiny hair and transportation. The Bedouins had to move often because the desert provided little food for their livestock. The Bedouins loyalty belonged to their tribe and not to the government. They paid little attention to the borders. The Bedouin’s were known for their generosity. They would go out of their way to make a guest or even a raider feel welcomed. They would feed them and house them for up to three days. In the Bedouin culture, a “home” is not a place that you stay or live, but the family who surrounds you. The Bedouin’s culture had a reason for the tight knit family; ideally the young girls are to marry their first male cousin of their choosing. The reason behind this concept was that women could not be mistreated with their fathers, brothers, uncles close by and the girls would also still be allowed to be close to their mothers. This unique culture is even more interesting when it comes to their...
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