Later Pre-Islamic Arab Nomad II/23a: 312BC- 240AD

DBA list:
1x2LH (General)
1x 2 LH
1x 2 Cm
4x 3 Cm or 4Bd
3x 4Bd
1x 3Bw or 2Ps
1x 2Ps

Arab Genealogists divide the Arabians into two ethnic stocks. First, the original Arabic Arabs ('aribah) and then the arabized Arabs (musta 'iribah). The Arabic Arabs are supposed to have originated with the Yamanites and are descended from Qahtan (Jaktan of the Bible) and are the original stock. The Arabized Arabs are the Hijazis, Najdis, Nabataeans, and Palmyrenes. These Arabized Arabs are supposed to have all descended from Adnan, an offspring of Ishmael.

The Arabs also divide themselves into town-dwellers and the nomadic tribes, a division still in observance to this day.

Bedu, the Arabic word from which the name bedouin is derived, means "inhabitant of the desert," and refers generally to the desert-dwelling nomads of Arabia, the Negev, and the Sinai.

The tribal chief was the Sheikh who was elected by the elders and was advised by a council of elders called the Majlis. He ruled by virtue of his personality and the respect it engendered, by negotiation, consensus and arbitration rather than by dictat. The office of Sheikh was often limited to a noble family, and did not pass automatically to the eldest son, but was open to any suitable member of the family who could gain the approval of the elders. This system could lead to violent quarrels between brothers.

"Others (camels) which have short legs and are slender in build are dromedaries and can go at full stretch a day's journey of a very great distance, especially in the trips which they make through the waterless and desert region. And also in their wars the same animals carry into battle two bowmen who ride back to back to each other, one of them keeping off enemies who come on them from in front, the other those who pursue in the rear." Diodorus of Sicily (Diodorus Siculus) (born in 90 BC), Bibliotheca Historica (Historical Library)

The Bedouin use the camel for many purposes, including transport, meat, milk, and sometimes they make use of their skins. During the winter, the camel can go fifty days without being watered, while in the heat of the summer it may only go five days without water. (Kut Schmidt-Nielsen, The Psychology of the Camel, Scientific American, 201.6, December 1959, page 140-151.) In the winter the camel can graze on the many green plants which contain enough moisture to enable the camel to go without water. However, if it had a choice, the camel would water every couple of days in the winter and every day in the summer. They can live for up to 40 years. They can go for seven days without water, even in the intense heat, and carry 200-300 kilos on their backs.


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