The Desert Embroidery Project and Lakiya Negev Weaving Project programs have become declared tourist sites, turning small trade craft into a full-blown heritage site.
Given the disparity of opportunity for women as breadwinners in the Bedouin society, the project are both an oasis of equality improving Bedouin women’s economic standing by expanding sources of educational enrichment, empowerment, expand horizons, and livelihood.
Lakiya Negev Weaving Project
The Lakiya Negev Weaving Project was founded in 1991, its aim is to empower Negev Bedouin women by applying their traditional weaving skills to the manufacture and sale of woven products. It is based completely on the unique Bedouin heritage passed on from mother to daughter.
Approximately 130 Bedouin women are involved in this project in all the stages of the production from initial wool treatment, weaving the rugs, cushion covers and pouches, and selling. These women were provided guidance, professional consulting and hands-on assistance in the fields of marketing, branding, sales, the business’s organizational structure and business plan, fundraising and networking. The project’s aim was to make it a successful, profitable and financially independent cooperative business.
Watch the entire weaving process, presented by traditional Bedouin women. Through this tour you will get first-hand information about this ancient art, learn about the Bedouin way of life and have an open dialogue with local women to learn about their lives, dreams and motivation. This tour is open for groups who wish to have an up-close cultural exchange, as well as for families and individuals. The Tour includes Bedouin tea or coffee.
Lakiya Bedouin Weaving – Sidreh
PO Box 1588, Omer, Israel
Tel: (+972) 08-651-9883
Fax: (+972) 08-651-3038
Desert Embroidery Project
Another tourist site is the Desert Embroidery Project. Some 20 women completed their professional entrepreneurial and business training and guidance and initiated a project based on the design and production of the traditional Bedouin costume jewelry. They are producing this embroidery at home with traditional Bedouin motifs and decorations. The women also hold Bedouin embroidery workshops and events based on the Bedouin tradition. The embroidery produces everything from purses to clothing to wall hangings. Their workshop is also a visitors’ center and it is a tourist attraction in the area.
The desert weaving on display is a large scale craft. Producing clothing, rugs, carpets, and cushions, the desert weaving facility is a rural industry.
Desert Embroidery offers tours of their facilities, live demonstrations of their skills, Bedouin embroidery stories, talks, tea and coffee or traditional meals. Embroidered items available at the store on site.
- The Association for the Improvement of Women’s Status, Lakia https://desert-embroidery.org/
Lakiya – לָקִיָּה – اللغة is a Bedouin town in the Southern District of Israel. In 2019 it had a population of 14,075.
Lakiya was founded in 1985 as part of a government project to settle Bedouins in permanent settlements. It is one of the seven original government-planned Bedouin townships in the Negev desert. The town was ranks very low in socio-economic standing.