Skills associated with traditional handicraft



Baydar: A farmer or planter, derived from the word baidar, which is the place where wheat, barley or other grains are stacked after harvesting. 

In the references, the baydar is a farmer who is familiar with all types of agriculture, and often does not own land, but works in other people’s gardens, and has knowledge of suitable agricultural seasons and taking care of crops. 

There are references that view the baydar as a person who is alert and attentive, who takes over the work of the land with care and attention, in return for a wage that is agreed upon between the baydar and the owner of the land. This wage is either money, or a percentage of the crops of the land in which he works, including dates, fruits, or vegetables. The baydar must have a set of moral qualities in order to be able to gain the trust of the owner of the land. The first of these qualities is to be trustworthy, since the livelihood of the landowner is in his hands, and he is in charge of preserving and maintaining it. Among the other qualities that he must have is perseverance, diligence and patience. Of course, agricultural know-how and experience are among the main characteristics that a baydar must possess. 

The narrator adds, the baydar in the oasis is the one appointed by the hanjari, or the land owner (also referenced as the money owner, in this context, money meaning green money, i.e. palm trees), to take care of the palms with regards to sprouting and watering. His wages were in the form of a petiole from each palm tree, which they would call the baydar’s petiole. He would place a mark on each of his petioles, so that it was known that they were his property, and were not to be reaped except by him. For the people of the oasis, the baydar would not take up the duties of making zafn, nor would he plant the palm trees or reap the harvest for the landowner (the hanjari). Rather, the guard in charge of guarding the palm trees would perform these duties. For the people of Al Ain Oasis, the profession of the baydar was limited to growing, watering and caring for the palm trees. In this regard, a wise man once said: ‘Oh man of wisdom, do not plant cotton in the land of others. 

The baydar must possess certain qualities including being agile in order to ascend to great heights with the least amount of effort, in addition to being courageous, because any palm tree can be shaken by the winds, and the baydar must be steadfast, in order for him not to feel fear, lose control or fall from the top of the palm tree. The most important tools that a baydar would use in his work include the haboul, which attaches him to the palm tree, the mekhrafa in which he places the fruits of the palm, in addition to the rope, and the das (a knife used to cut off the fruits of the palm trees). 



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