Wood work is one of the most traditional widespread activities in the Sahara. This is mainly due to the importance of wooden articles in the Sahara nomadic life.
Wood work include many activities such as Amechqeb, Errahla, tents’ beams, wooden boxes in addition to most of kitchen tools (Al kadha, Al Gasâa…). Wood work also includes jewellery and fantasy jewels and leather clothes embellishment.
The most appropriate wood used for these type of works is Jeddari because of its qualities which resist to the harshness of the Sahara’s climate.
This is an important tool in the Sahrawis daily life. Al gadha shows the dexterity and know-how of the Sahrawi craftsman in working wood. Al gadha is a 80 cm diameter wooden bowl used for dairy products. Generally, it is made of a wood called Yeta which is characterized by its resistance to the hot climate of the Sahara.
Al gadha is conceived with great meticulousness so as to stand on sand. It can be used inside the tent (Al Khayma) but also during travel period (nomads) where Al gadha is covered by a leather cover called Tassoufra.
It is the canopy placed on the camel’s back for women to sit on when they move from one place to another. Amechqeb is made of resistant wood and decorated by leather and cloth. The wood use to make Amechqeb is called Jeddari and is abundantly found in the region of Azik.
Amechqeb is made up of four strong stakes called Aoutad held together by wooden framework decorated by leather strips called Essiour in addition to leather embroidered mattresses. Amechqeb can last for many years.
Like Amechqeb, Errahla is the canopy for men. It is made to hold just one person and is manufactured by two parts. The first part is made of resistant wood covered by goats’ leather embroidered by professional craftsmen. The second part is called Labda and is generally made of two leather pieces. It is stuck in the lower part of Errahla to ease the weight of wood on the camel’s back. In spite of the fact that men are most of the time proud of their Errahla, its beauty and making, they are sometimes obliged to travel directly on the camel’s back (M’latti).