Jafnah is a round, deep wooden bowl, usually made of log wood from the trunks of local trees in the desert. The wood is carved and used to produce the jafnah by skilled craftsmen. Some jafnah are also made of clay. It usually comes in different sizes depending on its purpose, including preparing and serving food on regular days for family members. The larger jafnah-s would be used in preparing and serving food at feasts, weddings and celebrations, or to serve food in the month of Ramadan, when a lot of guests would usually be invited. When serving food at these events, the jafnah could have a diameter of up to 50 cm with a depth of about 20 cm. Each home would have many jafnah-s in different sizes to meet the needs of all occasions.
Jafnah is also known as “yafnah” in the local Emirati dialect. It is a large, flat serving dish usually made of wood that is used for serving food at large gatherings, especially the daily Ramadan iftar tables. This dish is also known as jadah meaning “qadah” (jug) by Bedouins. It also came in smaller sizes that were used for drinking water or other liquids. In this case, they were used as cups, not plates.
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