Camel and Nature Connection

Camel Vocabulary

Camel is the backbone of the Arabic and other Pastoralists’ communities’ culture and literature. The Arabs have a very rich vocabulary of the camel, a single camel has many names depending upon the sex, age, color, breed, physical status, beauty, gait, foot, shoulder, head, ear, eyes, hair, neck, and so on.

A Gabbara camel

Arab loves their Camels and Using a wide Vocabulary

Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall, a great eighteenth-century Orientalist, collected 5,774 words for camel and camel-related features and paraphernalia. Many of the terms he collected were poetical metaphors.17 But, for example, there really are at least thirty different words for camel milk.

The Love needs more Words to Express

As a personal note, I have an experience that the thing you love the most, you call that with many and different names. There are many names for the loved one, the kids and the animals, etc. It reveals that the camel keepers love their camel/s and they prioritize camels among the animals and even the family members.

There are 11 words for ‘love’ in Arabic, with each conveying a different stage in a relationship or the falling in love process. These words include ‘Hawa’ which is the initial attraction towards or turning towards and ‘Hayam which is blind love and the complete loss of reason. The most common words for love are ‘Hubb’ which means ‘seed’ and ‘Qalb’ which means ‘heart.’

Arabic has over 100 words for ‘camel’ which at one point had as many as 1,000 words. ‘Al-Jafool,’ for example is a camel that is frightened by anything and ‘al-harib’ is a female camel that walks ahead of the other camels.

A Camel Scientist’s View about Camel Terminology

In the field of camel husbandry, camel terminology is mainly derived from a cow/cattle production system in English, which is a wrong approach. I’m giving you food for thought to reconsider and re-establish camel’s terminology.

 As the camel was domesticated, evolved, and managed for centuries in Arabian Peninsula, the best terminology will be the one used in Arabian Peninsula. For more details, please click the link

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