Oberlin College and Conservatory

Sadu: A Nation's Textile and Tale

Friday, March 15 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Hallock Auditorium, Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Hallock Auditorium
122 Elm Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Please join Hawraa Sana, our Fulbright Teaching Assistant from Kuwait, as she presents a talk about Sadu:  the rich history of this textile and the ways in which this textile is viewed today.  

Sadu describes an embroidery form in geometrical shapes that is hand-woven.    Throughout Kuwait and the region, sadu weaving is a symbol of both traditional and contemporary culture. This rich textile has been a part of the traditionally nomadic Bedouin culture of the Middle East, and is front and center in fast moving Kuwait.  The slow process of weaving and the value of the handmade is at odds with the consumer driven, technology-valuing culture that many of us live in today.  

Within the deserts of Kuwait, the nomadic Bedouin have been creating sadu woven cloth for centuries.  Woven geometric and figurative patterns and symbols reflect the traditional tribal lifestyle, the desert environment and the weavers’ creative self-expression. The original function of sadu cloth was as tents, utilitarian objects such as camel bags, pillows, tent dividers, and many other types of family furnishings woven to support the nomadic life of the Bedouin.  This woven cloth went beyond mere function. It was highly valued and weavers were very respected, memorizing their methods of weaving in order to pass these down from generation to generation. 

A growing awareness of the cultural significance and the visual beauty of these traditional arts during the last forty years has helped to revive the craft and strengthen the interest in its repertoire of patterns and designs.  While traditional weavers continue to practice their craft, the bold colors, symbolism, and narrative quality of sadu have attracted the growing interest of many artists in Kuwait and the Gulf.

Refreshments will be served.

Event Type

Info Sessions/Presentations


Academic, Arabic


Free and Open to the Public

Contact Person

Joan Kaatz

Contact Phone Number


Contact E-mail Address


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