Two projects, “Desert Embroidery” and “Desert Weaving” work in the Bedouin settlement of Lakiya near Be’er-Sheva.
The ministry of tourism has recently acknowledged the unique projects, made by the Bedouin women in the settlement, as tourist sites. The projects were erected as part of a business initiative developed especially for Bedouin women, and at the moment, over 250 women are employed by these projects.
The “Desert Embroidery” project enables Bedouin women to create traditional embroidery at home, with traditional motifs and decorations that have been passed in the Bedouin tribes through their history. The women also hold Bedouin embroidery workshops, and the place can hold events according to Bedouin tradition. The site is currently a tourist attraction for tourists that wish to know the Bedouin tradition and the unique work of the women within the tribe more closely.
The “Desert Weaving” project is unique worldwide. The women that work in it weave rugs, performing all the stages on site, including spinning and dying the threads, interweaving, weaving in ground looms and the finish. Weaving skills are passed on from mother to daughter. The place holds fun days, lectures and workshops for groups and individuals.
During the last few years, there has been a steady increase in tourist activities in Bedouin settlements in the Negev desert. In addition to the Bedouin women’s projects, Be’er-Sheva, Rahat and Kuseyfe hold a Bedouin market, Rahat has the “Peace Tent”, and the picturesque village of Drajat has the olive press.
The article and the photos courtesy of the Israel Tour Guides Association http://www.tour-guides.co.il/itg/