today and in 1900

Today :


This map is reproduced from "The tribes of Jordan at the beginning of the twenty first century" written by Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal and published by TURAB Press in Amman in 1999. I have been trying to get in touch with Prince Ghazi to ask permission to use his map, but nobody seems to be replying to me, so I have put in online anyway. If the Palace in Jordan sees it, perhaps they will be kind enough to answer?

This is a most interesting book, but which gives little place to the tribes of the south with which I am most concerned here. The Bani Sakher who were/are the northern neighbours of the Howeitat have gradually moved towards the north.

I have also found another map of the Bedouin tribes of Jordan dating from 1900! It is included in the book by Father Antonin Jaussen "Les coutumes des Arabs au Pays de Moab" ["Arab customs in the Land of Moab") published in Paris in 1908.

Again, the tribes of South Jordan are generally included in the allover label of Howeitat whose lands are shown stretching to Wadi Hasa, to the north of Kerak, with the Bani Sakher (spelt here "Saher") to the east as well as the north of them. One can understand the continual fighting between the two.

The Hejaz Railway is shown here as well and will give you a reference point.

The tribes' names are given in more detail around Kerak and Madaba since this is the area that concerned the author. If you want to see more clearly, click on the map for a larger image, it would have taken up too much room to give this one on the normal page. If you really need a very large scale edition of this map, click on this link - I have heard from some people who are using my research for this!!

It is not easy to find a copy of this book, but among other things it gives a "complete" list of the tribes of south Jordan at the time of writing, together with the names of their sheikhs, the approximate number of their "riders" or "tents" and usually their exact locations - or that of the water points that they claimed.

This can also be a useful map in which to follow the travels of "Lawrence of Arabia" in his dealings with the different Bedouin tribes. See the web page about T. E. Lawrence in this site.

This map was of course drawn up before the establishment of the state of Israel, which with its stated policy towards the Bedouin, has enormously changed their territories. The Tarabin, a very strong and influential tribe in 1900, are all but wiped out, being confined to a comparatively small region of the Sinai. It is even difficult to find "real Bedouin" in many parts of their territory north of the town of Nuweiba. The Bedouin at Dahab come from the Muzeina tribe, one of the poorest in Sinai. When one looks at the land that they control one can understand why.

The Howeitat had sufficient territory that they remain important in spite of the fact that their grazing lands in Wadi Araba have largely been turned to other purposes. They still claim their lands in northern Egypt.


home - back to "Meet the people" - "Bedouin of Wadi Rum"

Some Bedouin customs and traditions

Links to Wadi Rum and Bedouin references and information in this site :

Introduction - Sleeping in Wadi Rum - Getting there and away again - What to see there - prices and tours (including horses and camels) - some longer trips in 4x4 - Reliable contacts and guides - "ripping off" - Nature Reserve - Trekking, hiking and climbing : short notes- - Trekking in Jordan - Riding around Wadi Rum - Tours of Wadi Rum - Wadi Rum climbing information - Climbing "El Habla"

Tourist Map of Wadi Rum - Satellite map of Wadi Rum - RSCN Map of Wadi Rum - Out of doors in Jordan : detailed maps of Wadi Rum

There are also several pages of photos of Wadi Rum in the Photo Gallery and a number of stories about the Bedouin who live there in the section "Meet the people of Jordan"

November 2004