Al Khayma

The tent « Al-Khayma » is considered as the first social entity in the Sahrawi culture. It is not only a spatial place for living but it refers also to the relationships linking the members of the same family.
 Therefore, the tent represents all concrete relationships within the family. The name refers to the accommodation traditionally built by Sahrawis with camels fair and sheep wool.

Al khayma is built by using manes and caprine skins. They are woven into strips with various lengths according to Al khayma surface. The thickness of a strip, called Fliga, can reach 50cm but does not exceed 60cm.

Strip weaving is carried out by Sahrawi women according to an ancient process transmitted from generation to generation and which includes: Itfer, Lghzil and Lbrim, Almaht, Tassdi, Inziz and finnaly Lkhiyat.

The tent is spread by means of two opposed posts called « Rkaiz » linked to each other by a string « al hamar » and attached to the floor with pins « « Akhwalef ». They are encircled by a cloth « al kafya ». Afterwards, the tent is divided into two rooms, one for men and the other for women. According to traditions, the door should open towards the south « al-Gabla ».

In addition to its geographic dimension, « al-Gabla » concept has economic, political, cultural, social and civilizational significations. It refers to a region bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Senegal River and to the east by eastern Aftout.

However, it is difficult to define its northern borders due to desertification phenomenon and the influence of natural factors.


    
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