By Dr. Ali Salih Al Najadah
Textiles and their raw materials and artistic elements and designs can offer us insights into the textile-makers’ knowledge, expertise, and skills.
Textiles of various types and purposes can also be considered indicators of the level of development and urbanisation in different societies and civilisations; they may even serve as evidence of a society’s levels of artistic and technical development.
‘Sadu’ is a type of traditional hand-woven textile produced by nomadic Bedouin women in Kuwait and in other tribes and countries. It is important to study the factors that led to the emergence and survival of this craft, which has been around for centuries.
This study poses several important questions about the craft and products of Sadu:
- Why did Bedouin tribes in Kuwait develop Sadu, and why is it still used?
- How is Bedouin culture related to the craft and products of Sadu in Kuwait?
- Did the culture of the city affect the craft and its products? If so, how?
- In the coming years, which culture is expected to have the greatest impact on the craft and products of Sadu? And why?
- Can we create a harmony between Bedouin culture and city culture in order to support and develop the craft and products of Sadu?
This study aims to:
- Define culture and the factors that influence it
- Compare the culture of the desert to that of the city
- Study the effects of both Bedouin and city culture in Kuwait on the craft and its products
In this study, we used the inductive method to collect the required information. The researcher served as a consultant to the Al Sadu Weaving Cooperative Society in Kuwait from 1998 until the end of 2015; his experience helped him inform people about the role and current status of Sadu.
The results indicate that both Bedouin culture and the culture of the city had obvious effects on the craft and its products. These effects were evident in the patterns, designs and raw materials used, and in the development of the loom. The Bedouins’ migration to various cities and suburbs in Kuwait has led to an obvious decline in the craft of Sadu, and in the quantity and quality of Sadu products.
Like many other traditional handicrafts in Kuwait, Sadu will die out unless officials and the community intensify their efforts to protect and preserve this traditional handicraft.