ABSTRACT: The Bedouin of southern Israel have long used healing beads of stone or coral to treat various physical ailments (such as wounds and infections). These beads, which constitute a sociocultural linchpin in Bedouin society, are now being replaced by a more modern variety: glass or plastic beads, mostly blue in color and used primarily to counter the evil eye. This article deals with the recent change in the function and appearance of Bedouin healing beads from handmade, rare and unique beads to cheap, mass-produced items. This material change conforms with a more extensive shift in traditional Bedouin healing practices from treating physical ailments to addressing spiritual hardship.
- material culture
- traditional healing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Religious studies