Other villages became famous for some of the crafts
practiced in the agricultural environment, such as the textile industry
in Bani Jamrah village, basket weaving in Karbabad village, pottery
in Ali village and AlSaffah in Jassrah village, while Manama and
Muharraq cities are famous for vessel industry and related tools.
The legacy left by these industries is testimony to the skill
and precision of the Bahraini artisan in the production of substances
which meet the basic needs of the community and which bestows on
the artisan a prominent social status. This has prompted the artisans
to pass on their craft to their sons and to teach them the craft
fundamentals and secrets. Thus, these crafts passed on through the
successive generations of the families and became a source of pride
to us to the extent that the family names became linked to the craft
that the family is engaged in such as the Haddad, Al-Hayky, Al-Gallaf,
Al-Jassas and other family names.
However, in the light of the momentous changes which
affected the society’s lifestyles and the fast spread of the foreign
consumption pattern and its social penetration of the various social
groups, the traditional industries have seen visible retreat because
the sons now shy away from engaging in them. The remaining
artisans are now on the verge of departing our world which threatens
these industries with extinction.
Hence the attention that the Government of the Kingdom
of Bahrain, represented by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions
Authority, is paying to the promotion of these industries by means of
suitable policies that seek to provide the necessary mechanisms in
the light of existing circumstances and also seeks on the other hand
to pool the resources and efforts and channel them in a manner
consistent with the objectives.
Within this framework, an artisan centre has been
established that is concerned with reviving the traditional crafts which
are looked at as part of the country’s legacy and heritage. The Centre
was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al
Khalifa, the Prime Minister in the year 1991 in Al-Jasrah village.
Under the roof of this Centre, the Bahraini artisan
practices his profession, using the tools and implements he
inherited. The carpenter is still using his chisel and saw for producing
beautiful pieces of furniture, engraved boxes and wooden vessels.
The weaver is working with his manual implement to produce
intricately designed fabrics. The potter is still using his hands and
legs to run his wheel to turn incense burners, jars and glazed utensils.
All of this is combined with a contemporary spirit which is reflected
in the modern designs produced with state of the art computer
software which the artisan uses to advance his craft for consistency
with the spirit and demands of this age.
Al Jasra Centre for Handicrafts is considered to be one
of the most important official agencies which tasked themselves
with the development of the handicrafts industries and the
artisans involved in them in the Kingdom in general. The center
management has paid great attention to the components of training
and marketing. The Centre organizes summer courses for school
students as well as for any person who wishes to enroll as a fist step
to engaging in the various handicrafts and industries, as part of the
project “Preservation of the manual craft and industries”. The more
important phase is the establishment of a specialized craft training
academic center, which is the first of its kind in the region. It will serve
the sons of Bahrain and the area. The center has actually been built
on the land adjacent to Al Jasra Centre.
As for the marketing element, the Centre has adopted
state of the art marketing techniques, the most salient of which
is e-marketing and opening of sales points at the most important
tourist attraction areas in the Kingdom in addition to participation in
specialized exhibitions and meetings of handicrafts, locally, regionally
Bahrain Tourism& ExhibitionS Authority
Handicraft Festival 2016 - Brochure artwork 17 items.indd 3
7/14/16 10:29 AM