Saudi Ara­bia cel­e­brates as Al Qatt Al Asin makes list

Gulf News - - Today -

Saudi Ara­bia was among those cel­e­brat­ing its in­clu­sion in Unesco’s cov­eted list of “in­tan­gi­ble her­itage,” claim­ing the tag for Al Qatt Al Asin - elab­o­rate in­te­rior wall paint­ings tra­di­tion­ally done by women. The art, which pro­motes sol­i­dar­ity among women, is handed down through ob­ser­va­tion and con­sid­ered a key el­e­ment of the iden­tity of the re­gion of Asir.

It is a spon­ta­neous art tech­nique car­ried out largely by women to­day in the community that in­volves dec­o­rat­ing the in­te­rior walls of their houses, specif­i­cally rooms for vis­it­ing guests. Women in­vite fe­male rel­a­tives of var­i­ous age groups to help them in their homes, thereby trans­mit­ting this knowl­edge from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. The base is usu­ally white gyp­sum and the pat­terns con­sist of icons of geo­met­ric shapes and symbols.

All prac­tice it

In the past, only women prac­ticed the el­e­ment, but nowa­days male and fe­male artists, de­sign­ers, in­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects prac­tice it, in­clud­ing on other sur­faces. The art en­hances so­cial bond­ing and sol­i­dar­ity among the community and has a ther­a­peu­tic ef­fect on its prac­ti­tion­ers.

The ap­pli­ca­tion of the art in most house­holds ensures its vi­a­bil­ity within the community, and local in­di­vid­u­als have cre­ated gal­leries within their houses in or­der to safe­guard it. Ob­ser­va­tion and prac­tice are the key meth­ods for trans­mit­ting the prac­tice from one gen­er­a­tion to the next, and so­ci­eties, NGOs and in­di­vid­u­als all play a key role in safe­guard­ing, pro­mot­ing and trans­mit­ting the re­lated knowl­edge and skills.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.