The video and images shows and describes the portable cradle, which was used and made by people who lived in the deserts and mountains of Oman. The cradles were created in the same way by the people inhabiting the deserts and those inhabiting the mountains, but they used different types of wood to make them.
The cradles have three legs and a wooden frame to prevent the baby from falling out. At the base of the cradle there is a net made from strings to support the baby. Before the people living in the mountains and deserts had string they would make rope from dried leaves of the Mazari Palm. On top of the frame is a cover, which used to be made from leather.
The cradle, with the baby inside, was carried on the woman’s head and her things would be put on top of the cradle too. She would also sometimes be carrying water in her hands and walking with her goats to reach her family.
The design of the base of the cradle
To read a full transcript of the video, please see the attached file.
Yemeni society had a creative tradition and is known for its craftsmanship. In particular, it is famous for its traditional Jewish silver jewellery. There used to be a large Jewish community in the country, but after Israel was founded in 1948, many left, taking their skills with them. Some did pass on their skills to Yemenis, but there has been a further decline in the making of silver jewellery in recent years. Gold has over taken it in popularity, and traditional jewellery is now only really worn on special occasions, such as weddings and religious festivals. However, there are some silversmiths still keeping this craft alive in Yemen and, before the recent troubles in the country some started, making items for the tourist market. The image of the silver dagger broach is an example of an item made for the tourist market in the 1990s.
A belt, bracelet and a pendent used for holding the Koran. All are made from Jewish Silver.
A dagger broach made for the tourist trade in the 1990s.