On Day-1, we also visited the ‘Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre’. As I liked the artistic display over there and had clicked a lot of pictures, I decided to have a separate write up on this place.
If you want, you can see this write up also: https://dosaikal.com/2020/01/14/exploring-culture-of-bahrain-pottery-demonstration-at-al-jasra-handicrafts-centre/
As I entered the handicrafts centre, I saw that the place had a wonderful display of, different aspects of traditional Bahraini culture.
The Centre had exclusive sections for each craft. Each artisan had a room like a studio for himself. I thought that this was a good idea, as each craft or skill will have separate space for being showcased.
The Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre is located in the coastal Al Jasra village of Bahrain and was established in the year 1990. These are the objectives which the centre wants to achieve: “1. Maintaining traditional crafts and industries from extinction, in light of the steady growth in the world of automated industries. 2. Educating Bahraini youth, and giving them the opportunity to explore industries and crafts that were practiced by their ancestors. 3. Highlighting the traditional industries and handicrafts as an interface of the country, where foreigners/visitors can learn more about Bahrain’s great past. 4. Encouraging the craftsman and artisans, urging them to continue working in this distinctive field which requires major effort, and precise skills, by providing support to ensure the development of this industry while maintaining the original characteristics of the Bahraini products.” http://www.btea.bh/aljasra-handcrafts
These are the workshops at the centre:
- Boat Building
- Engraving on Gypsum
- Traditional Chests
- Pottery Making
- Metal Works
These are the good pictures that I clicked at each workshop:
These boats are made from wood. Boats are used for fishing, pearl hunting/diving and also for transporting goods or people from one place to the other.
a.) Basket Weaving
These baskets have been woven with palm leaves. The Karbabad Village, situated in the northern part of Bahrain, is known for this.
b.) Fabric Weaving
For Fabric Weaving, craftsmen use cotton threads, Zari embroidery and pigment colours to make several textiles for women and men. Bani Jamrah village in Bahrain is renowned for the textile industry. Weavers use both their hands and legs for weaving. This reminded me of the way Kanchipuram Saris (Tamil Nadu-India) and Pochampally Saris (Telangana-India) are made as the weavers there, also use their hands and legs for weaving.
Engraving on Gypsum
This craft needs a lot of patience. These artefacts are made by preparing gypsum moulds, then designs are drawn on them and then once they dry, they are painted. The craftsman, Mr Jaffar Abdulhusain patiently demonstrated how he makes these artefacts.
step by step:
These chests are made with wood and are then decorated with ornaments, made with copper pins. These chests also have carvings.
For making pottery, the potter uses the potter’s wheel. The artisan uses his legs to press the foot pedal, so that the wheel operates continuously, then he uses his hands to make the clay block into proper shape and size. Afterwards, he uses his tools to make designs on the newly made clay pot. We were able to see a live demonstration given by the potter. The A’ali town in Bahrain is famous for traditional handcrafted pottery.
Some information was taken from: http://www.handicrafts.bh/
There is also a Gift or Souvenir Shop in the Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre. We bought the Traditional Door made out of gypsum.
In my next post, I will tell you about the places we visited in the following days…