The classical Arabic term badawī came to French as bédouin, which in turn derived in our language into Bedouin. The concept is used to name an Arab man who is nomadic (that is, he does not reside in a fixed place, but moves through different regions, usually while shepherding or hunting).
The Bedouins, originally from Arabia, live in the deserts of Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia. They are also found in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Egypt, and Libya. They are usually organized into tribes, where a dialect is spoken.
The first Bedouins were settled in the Arabian peninsula and maintained a blood bond with each other, beyond the division into families. Different tribes used to have conflicts in the time of the Prophet Muhammad, although they valued courage in battle, hospitality, and an attachment to poetry.
Before Muhammad, the Bedouins were polytheists and worshiped trees, stones, and other items. With the prophet’s teachings, they became Muslims. In fact, the Bedouins were key players in the spread of Islam.
It is estimated that there are still more than nine million Bedouins, the majority of whom live in Saudi Arabia. They can also carry out commercial activities. The Bedouins usually eat bread, dairy products and various fruits that they get in the oases that exist in desert areas.
Dressed in robes and other light clothing to withstand the high temperatures of the desert, the Bedouins sleep in tents that can be closed hermetically.
Other data of interest about the Bedouins are the following that we expose:
-It is considered that the Arab conquests that occurred during the 7th century brought with them a rapid and great expansion of the aforementioned nomads. Specifically, where they developed the most was in the north of the African continent.
-One of the main reasons that leads the Bedouin to move continuously from one place to another is the search for water. However, they also do the same in order to find land where livestock can graze.
-Most Bedouin speak Badawi.
-One of the literary works, if not the only one, that has managed to collect the history of the Bedouin tribes is known as the “Epic of Al-Sirah al-Hilaliyyah.” It must be stated that it is already part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
-The tents where the Bedouin live are divided into two clearly delimited parts that respond to the name of cats. One is for men and guests and serves as a home. The other is for women and children while also functioning as a pantry. Specifically, minor males are in that part with their mothers until they are approximately seven years old.
-Dates and a butter called ghee are other of the most important foods that Bedouins eat.
-When it comes to dressing, you have to know that the robes used by men respond to the name of thawb, which are usually accompanied by a kind of jacket that is called kibrs.