199 b/w photos, 118 drawings, 2 maps
Text language: French
The present volume gives an overview of arts and crafts in the oases of the West Egyptien desert. As a result of ethnological research over a long period (1979–1996) not only traditional forms of material culture are presented, but also recent developments under the influence of factors such as tourism or the project Nouvelle Vallée. This led to important economic and social changes and was reflected in the form and function of the work of craftsmen. Convergent tendencies appear here – such as the loss of religious or cultural meaning of ornaments in favour of an enhancement in their decorative and esthetic value. Completely different reactions to modernisation and increasing diffusion of industrial products are also recorded here.
The first part of the book describes the socio-economic and historical-cultural conditions of the oases Siwa, Farafra, Bahriya, Dakhla and Kharga. The second part consists of an overview of the characteristics of traditional crafts. An ethnographic description of the different trades and techniques is given in part three; chapter 8 of this part contains a contribution from Marlis Weissenberger about the jewellery of the oases. The volume includes 199 photos from the author and 118 drawings which provide a visual impression of the described techniques and forms.