Al-Kaabneh Products:

Shown here are hand-made local products made in and around Al-Kaabneh
and Hebron, Palestine; for possible inclusion in a global
Greenstar ecommerce website.



Wool tapestries, rugs and small items of clothing are hand-made on a small loom in the village of Al-Kaabneh. The people use the black wool of their goats, and the white wool of their sheep, weave elaborate traditional patterns and dye the wool with natural colors from the local market. The tapestry below is from a very large piece about 4 ft. wide and 16 ft. long, used as a place for groups of people to sit for a meal. It took a village woman almost three months to weave.


A wide variety of high-quality brassware is made in the Hebron area, near Al-Kaabneh. The designs are very old, in many cases dating to Biblical times; new brassware being made today bears a striking resemblance to items found in archeological sites from 2500 years ago.

Pictured below are a long-handled brass coffee server and a silver teapot; a brass-and-copper teapot; an array of brass coffee servers in traditional Arab style; and several kinds of small coffee grinders, intended for kitchen and personal use by hand.



In Hebron is an extraordinary ceramics and glass workshop, on one of the main thoroughfares leading into this largely Palestinian town. A vast selection of beautiful ceramics is formed by hand on site, individually hand-painted, and fired in a clay oven. The designs are virtually as old as civilization, typical of Bedouin crafts that trace their lineage to Phoenician and Biblical times over 3000 years ago.

Show below are several types of serving trays and dinner plates, a complete ceramic tea set with small cups, small bowls and coffee cups.



Also made in the Hebron ceramics shop are modern versions of two of the oldest objects found in archeological sites around the Middle East: a small oil lamp, and a small vase. A close comparison of the patterns, clay materials and shapes of these items, to similar items dates to 3500 BC and earlier in Palestine and Babylonia, shows virtually no change over the millennia.



Shown here is a sequence of photographs from the Hebron glassmaking shop. They start with raw sand from the nearby desert, south toward Al-Kaabneh; melt it, blow and form it, roll it and apply colors and glaze. A single glass or vase, like those shown below, takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete by hand on the two small glass forges.



The variety of glassware from the Hebron shop is phenomenal; all designs are based on shapes and forms that have been well-known in Palestine for millennia. There are bud vases and large flower vases, water glasses, cups, goblets and wine glasses, many of them with the distinctive spiral on the exterior.



Two simple musical instruments, with a long and significant lineage, are made by hand in Al-Kaabneh. Show below, left, is the rebaba, a single-stringed instrument that dates back to classical Egypt; it is made of sheep's hide and goat sinew, with a bow of camel hair. The rebaba has no frets, so it has a free-form scale and an open, reedy voice; it is the historical antecedent of both the guitar and the violin. The musician is Ahmad Abu-Sabha, an engineer for the Palestinian Energy Authority who grew up about 30 km. from Al-Kaabneh.

Below, right, is a bamboo flute, with a double barrel, each shaft tuned slightly differently with adjustable plugs so that it produces a haunting, polyphonic sound. These flutes are hand-made from Egyptian bamboo, and played by the herders of sheep and goats in the rocky high desert near the village. The musician below is Audi Najjadeh, head of the Al-Kaabneh Village Council.