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Historical Photos of Bedouins in 1898

The Bedouin are a grouping of Arab ethnic groups, nomadic peoples of the Middle Eastern deserts, especially of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for modern urban lifestyle, they retain traditional Bedouin culture with concepts of belonging to ʿašāʾir, traditional music, poetry, dances (like Saas), and many other cultural practices. Urbanised Bedouins also organise cultural festivals, usually held several times a year, in which they gather with other Bedouins to partake in, and learn about, various Bedouin traditions—from poetry recitation and traditional sword dances, to classes teaching traditional tent knitting and playing traditional Bedouin musical instruments. Traditions like camel riding and camping in the deserts are also popular leisure activities for urbanised Bedouins who live within close proximity to deserts or other wilderness areas.

The following photos were taken at the end of 19th century. They show the Bedouins during the change. When modern governments took control of the original desert, many Bedouins were forced to abandon their purely lifestyle and adopt a semicircular or seated, urban way of life. Check them out.

1. A woman weaves fabric as her family looks on.

Bedouins in 1898 A woman weaves fabric as her family looks on

2. Two women work at a millstone.

3. Men perform a sword dance at a wedding.

4. A Bedouin man poses on horseback.

5. Mounted warriors.

6. Men with trained falcons used for hunting.

7. Men play a leapfrog-like game during wedding celebrations.

8. Women carry bundles of papyrus.

9. A young man plays an instrument.

10. A family dries cheeses on the roof of their tent.

11. Men participate in a shooting competition.

12. Women milk their herd of goats.

13. Men dance during wedding celebrations.

14. A man with a hunting falcon.

15. Bedouins at the Tomb of Lazarus near Jerusalem.

16. Bedouins rest near the pyramids of Giza.

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Geralt Nowak

There will be something about me. I'm too lazy now.

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