Damascus: Makers of Wooden Trellises

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: shaʿʿār

These artisans used thin strips of wood which were intertwined to create interstices of various shapes such as stars, oblongs, and squares. The end of the strips were subsequently tied around a wooden frame called a barwāz. The shaʿʿār engaged in a difficult craft that entailed outstanding skill and precision. The authors describing this craft found that it was an activity that was no longer in demand in the 1890s and 1900s.

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. 256 (chapter 177).

Milwright, Marcus. “Wood and Woodworking in Late Ottoman Damascus: An Analysis of the Qāmūs al-Ṣināʿāt al-Shāmiyya”, Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales 61 (2012): p. 557.