Vol. 62 No. 2 (2014)
Research Article

Female Camel Nomenclature among Arabia’s Bedouins

Published 2014-06-01



The camel’s cultural importance among the nomads of Arabia can be attributed to its critical role over the centuries in ensuring the people’s survival. Its status explains the herders’ detailed knowledge of the animal and their breeding expertise. As a result, an extensive classification system of camel naming prevails among Bedouin Arabs. The category names assigned, in particular to the females, serve as “information packages” that transmit traditional knowledge from one generation to the next. Apparent name-loss among a younger and more urbanized generation thus reflects an erosion of this once vital knowledge. It is hoped that recording a wide range of female camel names here, and documenting their classification, will help towards the preservation of such an important knowledge system.


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