11-Bishari Archive # 609a

Bishari #609a

Bishari Bedouin Series – Starting Part 9 of a 10 part video-clip Interview – May 2016

Bishari, as one branch of the Beja, are well known for their camels. Even before I knew
anything of the Bedouin of the Eastern Desert, while living and working in Cairo, I somehow
knew that Beja camels were the best. It was just an understood piece of knowledge.

In this section of Part 9 we learn about camels and the talents of tracking of the traditional

  • 0:11 Traditionally the shepherding of camels is the occupation of the Bishari.
  • 0:21 And they are also known for their camel training.
  • 0:32 They were well known for their abilities of not only tracking camels, and of tracking
    people as well. They could tell by a camel’s foot print what type of camel it is, how old, if she is
    pregnant and which month, if a camel is thirsty,
  • 2:06 Unfortunately this knowledge is with older people and not known by the younger.
  • 2:18 They believe in curing by burning.
  • 2:41 They know their sheep by branding the marks of different owners.
  • 3:02 Confirming that camel trade is still their main profession.
  • 3:12 Some cultural laws concerning camels.
  • 3:30 As if by cue, all attention is turned towards a Bishari man riding a camel, accompanied
    by three men walking.

Interview location; outdoors on the sand dunes on Aswan’s west bank, with some young,
University educated Men of the Beja/Bishari tribe, plus one professional musician. Interview
and Video by Sahra C Kent. Translator present Wael Mohamed Ali.

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