Palm basket (jifeer) made of palm fiber typically used to store food.
19th century
Object Name: Palm baskets (jifeer)
Period: 19th century
Date: 1800-1999
Provenance: Arabia {Asia}
Dimensions: H:205-W:385-D:395 Mm
Medium: palm,fiber
Registration Number: QNM.2014.93
This is a round handmade basket that is used for carrying goods and is known as jufeer. To create the basket, palm fronds are first cleaned and placed in water to make them softer and easier to bend and weave. Then the plaiting starts from the base of the basket towards the top half. This was traditionally done by women and men.
The Qatar Peninsula is surrounded by sea except in the south where it connects with its neighbours from the Arabian Peninsula. For hundreds of years people have shared the land, resources and knowledge inherited from their environment. With no fixed lifestyle in terms of time and place, people moved easily and freely between land and sea for trade, livestock, pearl diving, fishing, and hunting at various times throughout the year. This symbiotic relationship between the people and their environment was represented in the unity of their societies, including the exchange of knowledge, stories and the trading of available goods.
The presence of British, French and Dutch trading companies in the Gulf from the early 1600s brought uncertainty to the region, with unstable alliances and intense competition over trade routes. As trade flourished, however, the strength of the Arab tribes increased. Many Arab tribes moved from the interior of the Arabian Peninsula to Qatar, and by the 18th and 19th centuries, most of the major towns of the Gulf were founded. Several towns flourished on the Qatari coast, including Huwailah, Khor Hassan, Fuwairat, Ruwaida, Freiha, Al Bidda and Doha. The most notable was Al Zubara which became a hub for the Gulf pearl trade.