Damascus: Collectors of Dog Excrement

Arabic: No name given

Date: c. 1890-1906

There is a stage in the tanning process when the sheep, goat, or calf skin is swollen where the tanner needs to make use of dog excrement (birāz). The dog excrement is collected by a special group of people (in Arabic, anās makhṣūsūn) who can profit greatly from this trade.

Citation: al-Qasimi, Muhammad Saʿid, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi, and Khalil al-ʿAzm (al-Azem), Dictionnaire des métiers damascains, ed., Zafer al-Qasimi. (Le Monde d’Outre-Mer passé et présent, Deuxième série, Documents III, Paris and Le Haye: Mouton and Co., 1960), p. 142 (chapter 101).