Monday, March 3, 2014

BOOKS ABOUT OMAN: The Craft Heritage of Oman, Volumes 1 & 2

I highly recommend a look at Neil Richardson & Marcia Dorr's "The Craft Heritage of Oman"--- either volume. The books document the craft heritage of Oman in the most gorgeous colour photographs, with illustrations on "how-to" many an Omani art form.
 I was particularly interested in the basketry, embroidery, areesh {palm frond} building, women's textiles, and bedouin carpet weaving, however the books look at carpentry, pottery, silver smithing, leather tanning and craft ect....  I found the book particularly useful, since I needed to know how to make historic paints, and how building materials would have been prepared by Omani craftsmen before more modern means took over. The book was beyond useful for me as a practioner of certain Omani crafts... but for the curious, the beautiful photos and clear descriptions bear out the history of the way life in Oman was carried out in the different regions. Well worth an investment for your library or as a stunning set of coffee table books.
 Above, basket weaving techniques and patterns, below, Suri embroidery technique:
 While I have a SIL who still practices tilli weaving to teach me, if I didn't, I'd have the guide found in the book, as pictured below:
And while I learnt how to embroider kumas from my neice, and the women at Muscat Festival, the illustration below and the accomanying description gives a pretty clear idea of how to begin learning the craft:
The pages were filled with ideas and information. For example, not only was pictured how traditional dyes are made, what they are made from, where to collect the materials required, but also the fermetation, extraction, and dyeing and setting processes for different colours---- in different regions!
 I really enjoyed these books.


Anonymous said...

I have a copy too - and I agree with your assessment of the fantastic quality - however, sadly, they are not available any longer. There are said to be some unsold copies but the owners are hanging on to them for some reason so they don't appear on the market and I can't see a reprint happening anytime soon. Maybe someone could turn the content into a website?

Muna said...

It's a great resource to teach people about the authentic Omani handicrafts. I heard there is an Arabic version of this book coming out, but not sure of the dates. If you want copies I think they may be available at the Seven Seas Group, (the owner of the company sponsored the book) you can try this number. 24510138.

Anonymous said...

I'm very interested in this "talli weaving". Do you know if there are other publications about this craft ? Even if the text is in Arabic, clear diagrams could help. I've got a very small piece of this braid, but it appears almost impossible to undo without destroying it.