The date palm has been connected to the population of the local communities in the desert and oases for centuries, serving both as the source of numerous associated crafts, professions and social and cultural traditions, customs and practices, oral traditions and as a key form of nutrition. The date palm is an evergreen plant typically associated with dry climates, where the roots of the plant penetrate deeply into the earth in search of humidity. Bearers and practitioners include date palm farm owners, farmers who plant, nurture and irrigate the date palm offshoots, craftspeople who produce traditional products using various parts of the palm tree, date traders, creative individuals and performers of associated folkloric tales, songs and poems. The Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices have played a pivotal role in strengthening the connection between people and the land Egypt, helping them face the challenges of the harsh desert environment. A belief that date palm tree is a blessing tree and is a symbol of wealth helped the sustainability of it. Every single part of the palm tree has a social and cultural meaning, drying many kinds of dates to maintain it all over the year, basketry in oases is a craftsmanship provides a work chance for the inhabitants a ensure them an income and sustainable development. In marriage celebration in oases usually the groom and his family bring some gifts to the bride and hang them on a frame of palm-tree leaves taking it to the bride’s house accompanied by singing and music, this ritual is locally called “ Besbasah” and also there are many other social practices and children games. In Nuba most of house furniture is made of the palm tree parts, In palm Sunday feast people used to make different shapes of decorative item from palm tree reeds and leaves. Gommar; palm core is a precious gift or welcoming food to a very special guest in the desert and oases.

This historic relationship Egypt and the palm tree has produced a rich cultural heritage of related practices between people in Egypt, knowledge and skills maintained to this day. The cultural relevance and proliferation of the date palm over the centuries prove how committed the local communities are to sustaining it; this is achieved through collective participation in multiple date-palm related activities and numerous festive rituals, traditions and customs.

019: Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices (RL)

Abd el Rahmman Berendy , Date palm – its importance and cultivation, Dar Raslaan, 2020.