Weaving goat hair and nylon fabric on a vertical loom: an ethno-technological approach in Kousba, Koura District, North Lebanon (1982 and 2022)
Anthropology professor and researcher, former Director of Research at the Institute of Social Sciences at Lebanese University
This study examines the evolution of the goat hair spinning and weaving industry in Kousba (Koura District, North Lebanon) in light of the arrival of nylon fabric, the threads of which have competed with goat hair since the 1970s. The paper draws on research from two distinct field studies conducted over a 40-year span (1982–2022).
The paper's aim is to provide a well-illustrated ethno-technical documentation file. Its goal is to document a tradition of handicraft in which knowledge and skills are still largely disseminated orally and via accumulated experience within the group under study.
Unless its processes are carefully observed and recorded and its productive and social roles are thoroughly understood, a culture is doomed to extinction. This is particularly true in a nation like Lebanon, where heritage is not yet protected, recorded, or preserved properly and effectively.
Lebanon has not experienced the benefits of a legacy that has yet to transform old crafts into new ones. This implies that, in order to survive, traditional crafts need to be revitalised through the creation of new functions that are in accordance with the needs of modern society and taught formally alongside the practical knowledge and competence they already provide.