The Museum of Bedouin Culture


The bedouin tribes, scattered throughout the Negev and sinai deserts, have undergone radical changes tn recent years as they move from a nomadic to a modern lifestyle. These changes are expressed tn the material culture, such as sources of income, types of housing style of dress, and more.
As a result, many traditional bedouin ways of life are disappearing, creating the urgent need to collect, preserve and document this unique culture before it vanishes.
The present collection was amassed simultaneously in two separated places: Kibbutz Lahav, and bedouin museum in southern Sinai,set up by Orna and Avner Goren. After the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai in 1979, the two collections were united, creating the museum for bedouin Culture at Joe alon center.
Staff members of the museum - collected, and continue to collect, much ethnographic material, photographing and documenting bedouin ways of life in different parts of the Negev and Sinai, and displaying in the museum a rich collection of bedouin artifacts, which recaptured an almost-extinct way of life.

This collection is on permanent display in an impressive building designed by architect Tzvi Lissar of Tel Aviv. The exhibit was designed by David Gal, of the Israel Museum. Orna Goren, an archeologist, anthropologist, and museologist, served as the first curator.

The exhibit displays the following

THE NEGEV BEDOUIN the traditional tent, the man as host, the woman in the family context.
MAN'S GEAR weapons, personal objects, smoking items.
WOMAN'S POSSESSIONS jewellery, items for daily use by young and adult women.
THE FLOCK AND ITS PRODUCE various dairy products and their way of production; wool processing, spinning and weaving; rugs for decorating and furnishing the tent.
TRADITIONAL FARMING wooden plows, harvesting tools,equipment for threshing and transporting.
MIGRATION AND THE SEARCH FOR WATER the roads to the oases and to water, the palm tree with its wide variety of products.
THE CAMEL various riding and packing saddles, decorations for the camel and riding equipment. One of the attractions of the exhibition is an exact replica of fully decorated wedding camel.
FISHING AND HUNTING Rare finds which represent the functions of fishing and hunting, fishermen's nets, a raft, fishing gear, authentic hunting weapons.
OBJECTS FROM SINAI a rare collection of items made of wood leather, palm fronds, clay, and metal used in daily bedouin life.
THE SINAI MOUNTAINS a small tribute to the high mountains of southern Sinai near Santa Catherina; a display of the special culture of the Jabaliya tribe including the work of the l local jeweler and children's toys.
SHEIK'S TOMB an exact replica model and photograph of the "maq'ad," the gathering place next to the sheik's tomb.
TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS slides and photographs of traditional customs un the Negev and Sinai.
BEDOUIN ART sculpture drawing woodwork, and embroidery by bedouin artists.
MULTI MEDIA a scaled model (diorama) of a bedouin settlement; screening areas for films and slides on aspects of bedouin life.

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