The wicker (known as Al-Khoos) products crafting in Wadi Al-Dawasir Governorate represents an important traditional weaving technique historically practiced by women as is the case in other regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where palm cultivation abounds, making this profession one of the important traditional industries.
The wicker products crafting is still popular and in high demand by girls of the province as the industry is characterized by the tangible passion for its makers and owners, who use it for many of their daily needs, especially since their lives are linked to their environment, in which palm cultivation is the main source of wicker products crafting.
During the Saudi Press Agency’s tour at the dates festival in the governorate, Noura Obaid Al-Dossari, a craftswoman in her seventies, said that she and her children bring wicker from their farm, soak it in water to make it softer to twist into what is known as “Safaif” shaped like braids. She added that her daughters and herself then intertwine Safaif with each other, producing different kinds of wicker such as baskets and mats.
For her part, 30-year-old Ghazeel bint Nasser Al-Dossari, said that, by practicing the profession, she has been able to help her family financially. She also said that production of wicker enjoys great demand among the governorate residents as well as in other areas of the Kingdom, adding that demand for some kinds of the product is seasonally adjusted.
A female teacher who happened to be visiting the festival to buy some of products said that she wanted to acquire some of these crafts for daily use at home, and some for decoration, adding that she and her family prepare their food to have a heritage theme, whether in the type of food or utensils, including the ones made of wicker. Festival Supervisor Saleh bin Jari Al-Sulais explained that inviting these craftswomen to participate in the festival emanates from their desire to preserve the heritage of the governorate, encourage families who practice these industries and restore some of the heritage crafts which many people still use in daily life. Moreover, the festival is designed introduce current generations to how their ancestors used to make use of their agricultural environment to serve their daily lives, Al-Sulais concluded.