Ground Loom Weaving Among Negev Bedouin Women

A. Allan Degen, Shaher El-Meccawi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It was common to see black tents dotting the Negev landscape in 1948, the year the State of Israel was created. Bedouin women used ground looms to weave tents and carpets from goat hair and sheep/camel wool. However, the tents were replaced by tin shacks when non-sanctioned Bedouin villages sprung up in the Negev in the 1950s–1970s. With urbanization, ground loom weaving continued in the 1980s, but instead of natural goat hair and sheep wool, the women used colourful acrylic yarn to weave carpets and other items. Weaving basically ceased by 2015, and today, it is rare to find a ground loom. Bedouin simply purchase machine-made acrylic carpets for their homes and other purposes. However, in 1991, two Bedouin sisters established a women’s cooperative, ‘Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving’, to preserve traditional weaving and provide employment for Bedouin women. Today, there are 30 to 60 Bedouin women employed at the cooperative, most of them working from their homes. A similar pattern of ground loom weaving and its discontinuation among Bedouin women has been described in a number of surrounding countries in the Middle East. Cooperatives were also established in these countries to preserve traditional weaving methods and provide earnings for Bedouin women.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContributions to Management Science
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameContributions to Management Science
ISSN (Print)1431-1941
ISSN (Electronic)2197-716X


  • Artisans
  • Bedouin
  • Camel wool
  • Cooperative
  • Ground loom weaving
  • Israel
  • Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving
  • Negev
  • Traditional weaving
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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