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Glimpses into the customs and traditions of the southern desert
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Clothing reflects the social, religious and moral rules that regulate the system of roles in a socie...
Issue 41
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The influence of Kuwait’s desert on the traditional craft of Sadu
Issue 41

By Dr. Ali Salih Al Najadah


One of the most important traditional handicrafts in the desert region of Kuwait, Sadu weaving is associated with architecture and interior design. Traditional Bedouin tents are made from and furnished with Sadu textiles.


This paper raises three important questions related to the past, present and future of the craft of Sadu and its products:


  1. What is the relationship between the environment of Kuwait’s desert and the traditional Sadu craft and products?
  2. What role does Kuwait’s desert play in the traditional Sadu craft and products?
  3. What is the present and future for Sadu and its products, given that people are moving from the desert to the cities and suburbs?


It could be said that there is a pressing need to determine what role Kuwait's desert plays in influencing the traditional craft and products of Sadu if we are to understand the decline in this important heritage craft and to strive to preserve and develop it.


The aims of this study are:


  • To define the term Sadu
  • To identify those who work with Sadu and make products from it
  • To identify reasons that the Sadu craft and its products were used in the desert of Kuwait
  • To provide a study of the topographic and climate-related characteristics of the environment in Kuwait’s desert
  • To determine what role Kuwait's desert plays in influencing the traditional craft and products of Sadu
  • To identify the current reality and the possible future of the traditional craft and products of Sadu in Kuwait


Applying the inductive method, the study concludes that Bedouin life in the Kuwaiti desert played a significant and influential role in both the craft and the products of Sadu. However, Bedouins have been moving to the city, and this has caused an unprecedented decline in this traditional craft. The need for the products of Sadu has diminished as they have been replaced by modern furniture in the city and its suburbs. Sadu weaving looms and products have also changed as a result.