Al Sadu House

Parimita Barooah Bora
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Al Sadu weaving is an embroidery form in geometrical shapes hand woven by Bedouin people. This traditional art form was developed by the nomadic Bedouins over centuries and was facing extinction because of modernization. To protect this traditional art form of hand weaving with dyed, spun and colored wool, the Al-Sadu Society was formed in 1979. In addition to reviving the ethnic art of hand weaving, they also contributed a lot to protect the Bedouin community. As a result of the society's efforts, the Al Sadu House came up in 1980. Towards 1984 end, the Al Sadu House had registered 300 Bedouin women and they are producing about seventy different items every week.

The Al Sadu House which protects the interests of the Bedouins and their ethnic handicrafts is a unique tourist attraction of Kuwait and is located close to the National Museum of Kuwait.

My visit to Al Sadu House, the home of traditional weaving of the desert, has reinforced my feeling that the world is a small place. “Al Sadu” is a term used by the Bedouins to mean their weaving process, the woven objects and the ground loom. Bedouins are the nomadic inhabitants of the desert generally referring to the nomads of Arabia (Saudi Arabia), Negev (Israel) and Sinai (Egypt). They are recognized by their nomadic lifestyle, specific dialect, social structure, culture and their weaving. The nomadic Bedouins live in tents that are woven by their women folk. These tents are special in the sense that it has to weather the harsh desert winds of summer and winter with extreme temperature conditions that raise dust storms from time to time. Hence they use a variety of materials for weaving which include sheep’s wool, goat and camel hair, cotton and manmade fibers. These animals are part of their existence in the harsh desert environment. Wool weaving is one of the oldest crafts practiced by the Bedouins. They mainly use wool from their herds to produce many utilitarian items that suit the Bedu migratory lifestyle. Most important items are their black tent or “Bayt al Shaar”, dividers inside the tent, storage bags, clothes, camel seats, rugs, cushions, decorative piece, animal trappings etc. The goat yarn which is the most difficult to spin is used for weaving tents, because of its oily texture. Their crafts require a high degree of dexterity and skill. Their weaving skill is appreciated within the community and competitions among women are organized to find the best weaver who is given the title “Urfa” meaning victorious.

In Al Sadu House, experts work with weavers to better and preserve the craft. The house is beautifully decorated with handicrafts, potteries and weaving looms. The crafts of knitting wool, weaving and tent making by the Bedouins are displayed in this museum.There’s also provision to show a short movie to visitors about Bedouin’s craft. One can also purchase Bedouin textiles or wall hangings from Al Sadu House.

But what struck me when I saw the craft is its similarity with Naga handicrafts of India. Both the communities use similar patterns and geometrical designs. The Bedouins also uses patterns like camel insignia, desert utensils etc, that reflect the life of the desert. Wool is also extensively used in their weaving to protect them from the biting desert cold of the winter season. Again like the Nagas they also use the combination of red, black, white wool and cotton threads. Isn’t it strange that one community living in the Arabian Deserts and another in remote North Eastern hills of India have similar weaving techniques and patterns? The globalized nature of their work is also reflected by the resemblance of their work with Rajasthani handicrafts. The Bedouin makes extensive use of beads in their weavings which is similar to the handicrafts from Rajasthan. The ‘bisht (men’s cloak) embroidery’ of the Bedouins is similar to the ‘zardoji crafts’ of Uttar Pradesh. Just like the ‘karigars’ of zardoji weave gold, silver or base metal threads as silk threads, the ‘al mejaben’ hand embroideries threads of gold, silver or threads coated with gold in bisht’s neckline, front opening, sleeve seams and cuffs. The colored silk thread called ‘brisim’ is also used in the design or as a contrast to the zari. Once completed, the embroidery is hammered with a large iron punch to smooth any rough edges in the metal thread. If properly cared for, its glitter and shimmer will last for a long time.

Thus I felt a sense of identity with the Bedouin crafts as I moved around the Al Sadu House.
Entry to the Al Sadu House is free.
Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday
8am to 1pm and again from 4pm to 8pm
Contact Number: 22432395

Parimita Barooah Bora is a onetime lecturer and currently she is a stay-at-home mom. Having done her post graduation in English, Education and Travel n Tourism, she taught for few years until her relocation to Kuwait. She likes to share the experiences of her life as a freelance contributor to various newspapers, magazines and websites. Now, as a freelance writer and teaching children in the evenings at home keeps her busy. Member of IWIK Team.
View Profile

Express your comment on this article

Arun Sharma
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nice reading!

rite aid photo processing read rite aid coupons online
top coupon sites free coupon code

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

enlightening article.

renova 0.05% site xifaxan
renova 0.05% click xifaxan

Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank you.

cvs for sale cvs print coupons cvs pharmacy deals
verapamil 40 mg verapamil dosis

sameer patil
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

good article...very informative.

cheat on your wife link why do husband cheat
neurontin betamethasone
renova 0.05% xifaxan

Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

very true.

top coupon sites couponing sites free coupon code
cvs for sale cvs pharmacy deals
verapamil 40 mg verapamil dosis

Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ya itz feasible if you buy small items, i mean a small purse or mobile case. Other items i found little costly.

rite aid photo processing go rite aid coupons online

farheen noorani
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yes, indeed the crafts are similar worldwide, thanks for your generous guide, how about shopping in this place for some handiwork as you have a brush with this place, is it feasible?


rite aid photo processing read rite aid coupons online
verapamil 40 mg verapamil horton verapamil dosis

Posted on Sunday, August 8, 2010

I really appreciate your efforts to guide fellow Indians in relishing the good tourist places in Kuwait!

Many Thanks for your good work!

One small suggestion! If you could add driving directions or a location map or Google map link for each of the tourist attraction it will be much more help to newbies here in Kuwait!

cvs for sale cvs print coupons cvs pharmacy deals

Submit your comments...
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.

Anybody Got a Spine???

Fourteen Prime Ministers have taken charge of our country, and between themselves they have had Sev


Indian Rupee (INR) -3 Questions

The Indian Rupee (INR) is surprisingly strong proving many analysts wrong. In a world where emergin


“What have you done for me?”

Suruchi was twelve years old, when she had blurted out the above words, and her words had sharp


Linking India to Kuwait through Music: The One and Only Veena Guru in Kuwait.

Veena is one of the most ancient south Indian instruments. However, amongst the multitude of string


GST: One Nation, One Tax

When parliament of India passed constitutional amendment bill in 2016, it paved the way for GST. An


Earth Day – Celebrating Earth Day is more important than ever

These days, I have seen people, including children being aware of the consequence of environmental


An Indian Voice for Football

An Indian football commentator who revolutionized regional language commentary with a unique record


Confidence, Discipline and Health, the Karate Way

In the present world we talk a lot about self-dependency and the courage to face the world. Self-co


Creating History in Quality Construction, Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane

Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane, a Registered Senior Consultant (RSC) with The Chartered Quality Institute


We chose happiness and compassion; we chose life

It is a widely accepted fact that the ultimate aim of anyone in this world is to attain the state o


Mughal Mahal Exotica - An aromatic and exotic twist to Indian food

When it comes to Indian food in Kuwait, no doubt ‘Mughal Mahal’ set an example among the residents


Experience Indian Corner Tandoori Nights at Al Manshar Rotana Hotel

Al Manshar Rotana Hotel at Fahaheel, Kuwait launched an authentic Tandoori Night with an Indian cor


Biryani & Kebabi restaurant opened at Arabia Mall in Egila

Biryani & Kebabi is the newest addition to Al Sabah & Kohli food and beverage brands. Al Sabah & Ko


Indulge in the luxury of Indian dinner every Tuesday at Jumeirah’s Garden Café

We all love luxury. We have many occasions to celebrate life luxuriously. Be it our anniversary, bi


Summer Cricket coaching camp by Cricket Coaching Academy

22 Yards Cricket Coaching Academy would like to invite cricketers of all age group to attend the Su


Kumble withdraws as India head coach

Legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble has decided against continuing as the head coach of the Indian c


Kuwait Cricket congratulates all the winners and runners

KC Desert T20 Finals, KC T20 Premier League, KC U16 Juniors Championship and KC 50 Overs Champions


Team Shifa Al-Jazeera Soccer Kerala Wins Kefak Grandhyper Soccer League

KEFAK Soccer League Season 5 ended with Team Shifa Al-Jazeera Soccer Kerala defending t


Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli Bats For Charity at Fundraising Gala Dinner in London

The Virat Kohli Charity Ball to be held on Monday, 5th June 2017 at the HAC Ground The Virat Koh