Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 103

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 103

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 429

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 429

Warning: setcookie() [function.setcookie]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 697

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 697

Warning: setcookie() [function.setcookie]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 1471

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 1471

Warning: header() [function.header]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 250

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 250

Warning: header() [function.header]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 251

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 251

Warning: header() [function.header]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 252

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 252

Warning: header() [function.header]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 253

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 253

Warning: header() [function.header]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 254

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php:103) in /home/magicbah/public_html/index.php on line 254
Bahrain : The complete guide for visitors and expatriates - Feats of clay
Most Read

    Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Meet the Bahrainguide team

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • An expat's complete guide to Bahrain

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Bahrain's must-see attractions

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • From suqs to super shopping malls

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Rooms with a wow!
Recently Added

    Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Live pottery expo held

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Bahrain pearl traditions featured on CNN

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Diving into Bahrain's pearling past

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Life before and after the discovery of oil

  • Warning: eregi() [function.eregi]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393

    Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/sef.php on line 393
  • Images of Bahrain

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/components/com_content/content.php on line 25

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/components/com_content/content.php on line 25

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/components/com_content/content.php on line 26

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/components/com_content/content.php on line 26
Feats of clay Print E-mail

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3771

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3771

Warning: strftime() [function.strftime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3772

Warning: strftime() [function.strftime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3772

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3771

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3771

Warning: strftime() [function.strftime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3772

Warning: strftime() [function.strftime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /home/magicbah/public_html/includes/joomla.php on line 3772
Article Index
Feats of clay
The prepation process
Baking in the kiln

By Archie D'Cruz » Deep in the heart of Bahrain, amidst 4,000-year-old burial mounds, seven family units in the village of A'ali practice a craft that is just as ancient. Bahrain's potters believe that the craft originated in the country, during the time it was known as Dilmun. True or not, what is certainly beyond question is that people from the Dilmun era - which dates back to 2300 BC - loved beautiful pottery.


In 1996, archaeologists recovered from a necropolis at Riffa a jar with rounded shoulders topped by a broad neck, whose shape places it among the masterpieces of early Middle Eastern pottery.

A couple of years earlier, an archaeological dig recovered a gorgeous ovoid jar in red clay painted with black bands to simulate horizontal grooves. And a tall ribbed jar from around 2000 BC reveals a sense for style with speckled shell fragments shooting through the brownish red clay.

Many more impressive pieces have been recovered from the thousands of Dilmun era burial mounds, revealing the love residents of the time had for pottery.

Amazingly enough, this craft is today still being practiced in almost exactly the same way it used to be, with little or no resort to modern devices. The skills have been passed down, generation by generation, and although the number of craftsmen has declined, the potters still in the trade have remained true to their tradition.

The potters still use the old fashioned wheel, operated by foot, and the finished pieces are often baked in kilns built into nearby burial mounds.

The learning begins at a very early age. The 'elder' amongst Bahrain's current generation of potters, 67-year-old Jaffer Mohammed Al Shughul recalls he got started when he was just five.

Jaffer never went to school, at the time it was unthinkable that male children born into the tradition would contemplate any other career. He first learned his craft from his father, but when he passed away shortly thereafter ("I was six or seven"), his uncle and cousins took over the training.

"It was difficult in the beginning," recalls Jaffer. "I was so small then, my feet wouldn't reach the wheel, so I had to stand to operate it."

By the time he turned 15, he was a master who could create anything from the shisha (Arabic water pipe) to the jahla (huge pots for boiling water that were used in the days before electricity). They would bring the clay from the Umm Al Guwaifa and Um Al Samim wadis (valleys) in Riffa. At the time, there were only seven houses in Riffa, a far cry from the prized, golf-course adorned area it is today.