Samira: the Woman with Ceramic Skill

Noah Roulat

Professor Miriam Horne

Jordan’s Cultural Mosaic

26 April 2017

Samira: the Woman with Ceramic Skill

            The woman pictured above appears to be a ceramic artisan. For the purpose of shortening that introduction, we shall refer to her as Samira (a common Jordanian name) from here on out.

My first glaring question was if this was a hobby of Samira’s or if it was her profession. After a class discussion on the Jordanian economy, it became more likely that she was producing these ceramics for the market. Jordan has a large under the table economy and many people produce items like this to be sold at open-air markets. These often untaxed markets are hugely important to many of the newer residents and refugees as they are likely to have a trade and it is nearly impossible for new residents to get jobs.

Furthermore, In support of the argument that Samira is a ceramics vendor one can see the multitude of pieces she has on the shelves behind her. She either has a huge amount of time on her hands, or it is a source of income for the middle-aged woman.

Finally, the most telling piece of evidence that supports the hypothesis that this is her profession is the mug all the way to the left on the top right shelf. It has a hand with a glove on it, the hand is holding a falcon which is a sign of the Bedouin. In class, we learned that Bedouin are very often artisans that capitalize on these markets. Furthermore, falconry was one of the methods for Bedouin people to get the most out of their incredibly harsh arid environment.

All things considered, my instinct is that this woman belongs to the lower middle class/lower class. She capitalizes on her ancient heritage and knowledge to make Bedouin ceramic pieces that she then sells in the market either to support herself or her family.

One thought on “Samira: the Woman with Ceramic Skill

  1. Alexus Van Helmond

    For my class Irish Women and Drama we focused on the difficulties women had to endure during the 1900’s. Similarly to Bedouin, the women dealt with difficulties of the Magdalene laundries, the Easter rising and other incredible events that took place. What’s interesting is our class looked at it from the lenses of plays and theater whereas yours did it in a different form of art known as ceramics. From reading your brief summary I got the jist of what you all learned in class which seems really fascinating as well. From the perspective of our class I would say we didn’t focus mostly on just the lower middle class or the lower class except for the plays Juno and the paycock or eclipsed. But we focused more on the strength and roles women had during this time especially during things like the Easter Rising. But to compare to the lower class when you look at Juno and the paycock it was about a family that wasn’t well off and came into money but after they found out that they weren’t getting the money they lost everything. But losing everything only made Juno the mother and her daughter stronger. They ended up moving and starting their own lives and got out of all the bad relationships with Juno’s husband. For the Easter rising the women were the ones who transported guns and hid the men and made calls to warn others when people where coming. It’s interesting to me how all over the world there’s different roles women play in society. In the Bedouin they are more of the bread and butter makers and using there free time to make sure they have a living.


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