In pics: Bamboo-making: Story of craft on brink of disappearing in Egypt

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Wed, 17 Mar 2021 - 03:29 GMT

CAIRO – 17 March 2021: Bamboo craft-making is one of the oldest crafts that is believed to be on the brink of disappearing in Egypt’s governorate of Port Said, at the northern end of the Suez Canal, on the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Many of the governorate’s craftsmen who have been making money from bamboo furniture making, have now moved away to another crafts.

 

However, some artists and craftspeople specialized in basket weaving are preserving this legacy, including Yehia Nasr, who opened up to Egypt Today about the history of the craft in Port Said and how he became one of its masters.

 

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History of the craft in Port Said  

 

The bamboo industry started in Port Said since 1952 through dealing with foreigners at that time, when the city was under the British Occupation.

 

The industry was initiated in Port Said by Mohamed Nasr el-Din, who in turn taught his son Yehia about it.

 

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“I inherited this craft from my father, who initiated and mastered it to meet foreigners’ needs of wicker products at that time,” Yehia Nasr said.

 

The Craft’s popularity

 

Citizens of Port Said loved the different types of wicker, and flocked in numbers at the bamboo maker at one of the oldest neighborhoods in the “Eastern district,” which is known to manufacture and sell bamboo products such as chairs and tables.

 

Demise of the craft

 

Yehia asserted that the craft has almost disappeared in Port Said, pointing out that he has tried hard to extend the craft to successive generations of people in the governorate, “but youths show little demand to enter this profession, which hinders its expansion.”

 

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Bamboo manufacture

 

The materials used in manufacturing the bamboo differs from one person to another, said Yehia, adding that he uses the best materials that are “durable,” and customers never complain about his products.

 

Bamboo prices, forms

 

Prices of bamboo products vary from one manufacturer to another, according to the customer’s desire. For example, a bamboo chair is sold for L.E. 600, depending on the size and shape.

 

 

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