Crafts of Farafra

Unlike Siwa, with its jewelry, and Dakhla and Kharga with their ceramics, there is no great craft tradition celebrated in Farafra apart from the spinning of wool- both from camels and sheep. Unusually,both for Egypt and the world in general, spinning is considered a male occupation. Heavy fellows can be seen strolling the main street twirling a spindle and bobbin as they chat with friends and drink a glass of mint tea. Knitting, too, as amongst sailors, is an occupation practiced by men as well as a few liberated women in Farafra.

Farafra has its own institutionsbut they are people rather than places. There is the ubiquitous ‘Mr Socks’ a relative of the Bedouin Badawi clan who bombs around on his moped with a wooden

crate full of hand knitted socks and other useful Bedouin type apparel. The socks are great for the desert at night and good for padding around oasis hotels when you do not want a stray mosquito going for your ankles. 


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