Henna Mat of Bling for Wedding Ceremony [Siwa Oasis]
- Unique, 1 of a kind, piece
- Handcrafted by women in Siwa Oasis
- Plaited handle to easily hang on your wall
- Materials- palm fronds, wool pom-poms, sequins, buttons and joy
- Diameter- 120cm
- Weight- 3 kgs
Siwa Oasis was one of the most isolated places in Egypt until the arrival of the first vehicle access road in the 1980's. Before then the only access to other townships was via camel track. Located on the border of Libya and The Great Sand Sea, the oasis survived on agriculture, primarily trading dates, olives and handcrafts. The Amazighs of the Oasis have their own distinct culture and language which had been protected due to their isolation. It's this isolation which has developed a rich and unique culture based on Berber symbols and customs. Symbols are always meaningful and are meant to promote good health, fertility and to protect from misfortune amongst other good things.
In Siwa Oasis today, while there is a feeling of optimism for the future, at the same time there is nostalgia for the past. Some fear that the Oasis's unique Berber culture is being lost. One benefit of the arrival of tourists has been a huge demand for Siwan crafts. Women and girls are now able to provide the tourist market with arts and crafts, especially embroidered dresses, shawls, woven rugs, baskets, tapestries and more recently, silver jewelry. Special training programs have been introduced to revive the skills of needlework and metal working. Thus, demand from outside has stimulated a revival of traditional handicrafts and is restoring a link with the past.
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