The practice of men swapping daughters for wives or nieces as daughters-in-law is evident among the Bedouin. Although this pattern has its roots in ancient Arab culture and is a unique exception to theories of exchange marriage (EM), there is little reference to the circumstances of its occurrence in the anthropological literature. This article reviews the background of and suggests explanations for this practice. EM is shown to be a strategy that largely serves the desire for upward mobility of small and hence lowly graded groups of agnates. The article demonstrates how EM operates in an olden 'urfi setting, dominated by patrilineages, while shar'i courts tend to oppose it. We argue that, although it entails structural implications, this behavioural pattern does not have a structural end.
'Urf, Shar'ia and State Law
Gideon M. Kressel and Khalil Abu-Rabi'a
Aref Abu-Rabia, Salman Elbedour, and Sandra Scham
The continuing practice of polygynous marriage on the part of the Bedouin of the Negev in Israel is generally seen as resistance to modernity for the sake of maintaining semi-nomadic ways of life. By this logic, the numerous anthropological studies that have shown that polygyny is more widespread among older generations (particularly among men of means) can be explained. In Israel, however, there is an added factor of modernity as enforced by the state and its alien Western values. Recent studies of the Bedouin in Israel have found that polygyny is on the increase among all age groups, regardless of their socio-economic status. This article addresses this seemingly surprising finding, discussing some of the main social and political motivations that underlie the growing prevalence of polygyny as exhibited by the Bedouin in Israel.
This paper examines shifting modalities of government over Bedouins of the Negev. During the first two decades of statehood, Israeli officials approached Bedouins as a relatively quiescent population, based on their understanding that the Bedouins' tribal loyalties guaranteed their aloofness from Palestinian national politics. From the 1970s on, however, Bedouin resistance to Israeli land and settlement policies began to mark the Bedouin increasingly as a 'dangerous population'. As a result, the interest in preserving the Bedouins' cultural specificity gave way to a new emphasis on the need to modernize the Bedouins. The shift in governmental discourse was accompanied by a pluralization in the techniques of government, from an informal 'government of experts' to one in which bureaucratic and impersonal modes of authority competed with expert rule.
Death and Grief Rituals
Aref Abu-Rabia and Nibal Khalil
This article presents various mourning rituals and death rites as they are practised in Palestine. It focuses on differences in the mourning experience among fellahin and Bedouin Arabs but also shows certain parallels in their mourning and grieving customs. The article provides information on the prescribed set of rituals that Palestinians perform, beginning with how the body is treated and the way that it is prepared for burial. Combinations of mourning practices, which vary from rending one's garments to throwing earth on one's head, provide socially sanctioned expressions of grief and sorrow. Mourning practices differ between women and men: the former lament loudly and scratch their faces, while among the latter tears are neither encouraged nor welcomed. Parallels can be seen in these rituals with mourning for Palestine.
Gideon M. Kressel, Sasson Bar-Zvi, and Aref Abu-Rabia
Human beliefs in resurrection and life after death, based on lasting exchanges between earth and heaven that prevail in human societies ubiquitously, are presented here and analysed with regard to the customs and rituals of the Negev Bedouin. The article looks at patterns of the mourning process and the different social functions and outcomes of that process. The influence of mystics and the Bedouin's views on death are discussed. Pre-Islamic burial practices and grave visits that reflect both legend and tradition are shown to be on the verge of change as they collide with proper Islam and modernity.
A Cross-Cultural Study
The main purpose of this article is to describe traditional breastfeeding practices among the pastoral tribes in the Middle East. It also examines beliefs and attitudes towards breastfeeding and related issues, including pregnancy, infections of the breast nipple, sources of milk, 'bad milk' syndrome and breastfeeding as a contraceptive method. The most significant findings are that mothers relate breastfeeding to their physical and psychological state. There are also symbolic and emotional relationships between human babies and the colostrum of animals. A survey of medicinal cures for problems related to breastfeeding reveals that these cures are based on substances found in the desert pastoral environment.
Impoverished Bedouin Mothers Who Become Entrepreneurs
Nuzha Allassad Alhuzail
The changes among Bedouin in the Negev since the establishment of the State of Israel have had far-reaching implications for Bedouin women and their families. Bedouin women are marginalized, excluded from public life and the labor market. This exacerbates the economic inequality between Arabs and Jews, institutionalized, inter alia, in the 'Arab enclave', which lacks industrialization and is allocated fewer resources. This is a qualitative study among 20 Bedouin women raising large families and living in poverty who participated in SAWA, a microfinance program established by the Koret Foundation in Israel. It examines the process undergone by these women who succeeded in creating employment for themselves and for family members, thus raising their status within the family. Their contribution to the family income also improved their relationship with their husbands and other members of their family.
Huub de Jonge, Tomasz Płonka, Reginald Byron, Longina Jakubowska, Cindy Horst, Han ten Brummelhuis, and Jeremy Boissevain
Albert Schrauwers, Colonial ‘reformation’ in the highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1892–1995
Chris Gosden, Anthropology and archaeology: a changing relationship
Jane Nadel-Klein, Fishing for heritage: modernity and loss along the Scottish coast
’Aref Abu-Rabi’a, Bedouin century: education and development among the Negev Bedouin in the twentieth century
Marc Sommers, Fear in Bongoland: Burundi refugees in urban Tanzania
Richard Parker, Beneath the Equator: cultures of desire, male homosexuality, and emerging gay communities in Brazil
Klaus Eder and Maria Kousis (eds.), Environmental politics in Southern Europe: actors, institutions and discourses in a Europeanizing society
Yagoub Yousif Al-Kandari
The rate of consanguineous marriage in Kuwait is considered to be high. Several research studies have shown that marriage among relatives is one of the major factors leading to health problems because it increases homozygosis. This article deals with both cultural and physical aspects by examining the health consequences of consanguineous marriages in Kuwait. Variables such as reproductive wastage, health problems in the offspring and infant mortality are included and measured in relation to other socio-cultural variables. Cultural variables such as the respondents' roots (Bedouin and non-Bedouin) and beliefs (Muslim Sunni and Muslim Shi'a) are also examined. The results show that there is no significant association between consanguineous and non-consanguineous marriages in the rate of abortion or the mortality of infants and children up to five years old. Finally, the data reveal significant differences between the genetic and genetic-environmental diseases in consanguineous couples' offspring and those of non-consanguineous couples. Since some of these findings contradict those of other studies, more research is needed.
Naomi Chazan, Morad Elsana, Ian S. Lustick, Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Gideon Rahat, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Daphne Inbar, and Oren Barak
and Africa: A Genealogy of Moral Geography . London : Routledge . 10.4324/9781315697475 Alexandre Kedar, Ahmad Amara, and Oren Yiftachel , Emptied Lands: A Legal Geography of Bedouin Rights in the Negev (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press