A very important part of life in the Nubian villages of Aswan, the magnificent date palm from Egypt’s Nile Valley has been around since antiquity; you can spot it in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
It’s not only a part of the environment, it’s also become the center around which family and community relationships are formed. The planting of the palm trees, the collecting and dividing of the dates, and the subsequent use of these dates became the nexus around which many family relationships were forged.
Although Nubian women lead a rather conservative life they are known to be strong women who have often had to take over many of the household tasks traditionally reserved for men. Most Nubian men have to work far from home either in Cairo or some of the Arab Gulf countries, so the women have had to assume responsibility for the household by generating income, farming and caring for children. These responsibilities have strengthened Nubian women and have provided them with a renewed sense of empowerment.
Today, female artisans from Aswan use traditional basket weaving techniques to create contemporary products for everyday use. The women work on crafts-making inside their own homes and so the versatile date palm once again plays a central role within the community.
Markaz and its valued artisan partners promote and ensure the cultural and environmental legacy of palm weavers, creating sustainable beauty through an array of hand-woven products, you can view their products here. (LINK to Markaz Shop)