Mabkhara.. Traditional Yet Modern

By: Samar Yahya

Mabkhara was known since the very early ages, yet not with the same modern designs, however the primary man purpose was to have a pot where he can mix aromatic plant leaves and stalks to make scent to celebrate victory, harvest or wedding.

Traditionally, it was made from clay or wood with inner steel sloping pot that stands the very temperature.

With its composition of the essential elements of the universe: air, dust, fire and water, come bakhoor- wood chips or chipped bricks soaked in pure fragrant oils, musk and amber that are mainly used in Mabkhara over the burning coal to spread the scent in the whole ambiance giving a warm aromatic relaxing feeling.

At modern times variations of Mabkhara designs are made of shiny plated sheet metal. While they retain the traditional shape, they tend to be decorated with colored metals and come in many sizes. The craft of making Mabkhara is practiced today primarily by artisans, especially in Ha›il Province.

Still Mabkhara is a traditional sign to welcome guests, not only at home but it is also famous in festivals and conventions.

Architects, sculptors and artists have been inspired by this traditional craft and included it as a decorative landscape element.

Mabkhara inspired architects to create buildings in the shape of a traditional Mabkhara. For example, a famous Mabkhara sculpture is there in Haqel governorate –Tabouk Province in addition to the more in other cities.

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