Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices

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Inscribed in 2019 (14.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The date palm has been connected to the regional population of the submitting States for centuries, serving both as the source of numerous associated crafts, professions and social and cultural traditions, customs and practices, and as a key form of nutrition. The date palm is an evergreen plant typically associated with dry climates, where the roots of the plant penetrate deeply into the earth in search of humidity. Bearers and practitioners include date palm farm owners, farmers who plant, nurture and irrigate the date palm offshoots, craftspeople who produce traditional products using various parts of the palm tree, date traders, creative individuals and performers of associated folkloric tales and poems. The Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices have played a pivotal role in strengthening the connection between people and the land in the Arab region, helping them face the challenges of the harsh desert environment. This historic relationship in the region and the element has produced a rich cultural heritage of related practices between people in the region, knowledge and skills maintained to this day. The cultural relevance and proliferation of the element over the centuries prove how committed the local communities are to sustaining it; this is achieved through collective participation in multiple date-palm related activities and numerous festive rituals, traditions and customs.

United Arab Emirates - An Emirati craftswomen practices palm tree leaves weaving (a craft known as Safafa). Some of the palm tree products in this photo are: Al Mahfa (a hand fan), Al Sarood, Al Quiffah, Al Mikhrafa - samples of colored wicker weave
United Arab Emirates - Areesh House is a traditional type of house that is built using palm tree products in the UAE. Some of the materials used to build it are: palm tree trunks, Al Daoon (pillars), ropes, wood and Shirbak (the wall). The photo here depicts the summer Areesh house.
Bahrain - Palm tree germination (insemination) is a key skill that the farmer must have. In the process, a collection of male parts (stamen) are joined with female parts (pistil) to create the best type of dates.
Egypt - Young people make different forms to sell on the market on the occasion of religious holidays
Egypt - Models for a mat rmade of palm leaves and expressive drawings of some events
Iraq - A craftsman in the field of traditional crafts for making home furniture out of the palm fronds accompanied by his two sons
Jordan - A palm farm showing agriculture in the Jordan valley
Kuwait - Palm trees fibers weaved into ropes that are used, among other things, to weave onto boxes, to use as construction ties (stronger than modern materials) and ship building
Mauritania -It is a wadi of palm grove between two hills of steep slope. We see buildings, and at the feet of the wadi, palms are mixed with other trees.
Morocco - Techniques for storing soft dates (séchage et préparation des dattes à emmagasiner)
Oman - Various products made from palm tree fronds in Oman shows the importance of the palm tree in making a variety of household tools of various colors and shapes.
Palestine - A farmer from Palestine checks the palm tree fruit to make sure it is disease-free (this is one of the key skills the farmer must master to properly care for the palm tree)
Palestine - The photo shows a palm tree farm in Palestine where the ripe dates are transported to storage areas using traditional carriages. Also, judging by their height, these palm trees are old.
Saudi Arabia - A famous dates market in Saudi Arabia located in Baridah area which clearly shows the abundance of dates in the country and the huge quantities on display there. In the market, people hold daily auctions during the harvest period immediately after Fajer prayer which lasts all day.
Saudi Arabia - making mats from palms tree products in Saudi Arabia such as palm tree fronds and ropes which are made from palm fibers. This craft requires some hand skills.
Sudan - Palm leaf knitting
Tunisia - Creativity in plastic art on palm wood (créativité en arts plastiques sur bois de palmier)
Yemen - Trimming the palm trees is one of the key processes that farmers implement. This process includes removing dry branches and provide nutrition and water for the other branches. In this photo, the worker is shown climbing the palm tree using a rope belt (Al Habool).
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