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Today the Bedoul number some 500 familes, a total of almost 2,000 people, all of which originate from 10 basic families. Their customs were studied in an ethno- archaeological survey by Kenneth Russell and Steve Simms (University of Utah). Ken Russell died unexpectedly in 1992, at the age of 42, and was buried in the new Bedoul  village, outside of Petra.

The Bedoul of Petra and the Amarin of al-Beidha have been closely associated with archaeology in Petra. The Amarin tribe lived as squatters in the Siq el-Barid, in Beidha, on the outskirts of Petra, also known as 'The Little Petra'. In the late 1950's, the archaeologist Diana Kirkbride, reported that she provided work to both tribes in order to satisfy everybody. She was stunned by the mortality, famine and poverty.

Those who have not visited Petra  will be surprised to know that the Bedoul, despite their close tribal society, are cosmopolitans. They have met more foreigners than most of us will meet in a lifetime. They speak many foreign languages. In addition to working as guides, camel and horse drivers for tourists, and excavators, many of the men become professional soldiers in Jordan and other Arabic countries, and some of them have married abroad and live in Switzerland, France, and Germany. Two foreign women, from New Zealand and Spain, have married Bedoul men and live with them in the village. As Ken Russell once said, "trying to stereotype them is like not understanding them".  Some of the Bedoul are probably reading this web page on their personal computers. Now, with laptops and cellular satelite phones, you can have Net in the tent, can't you?
Here, Tin Tin and Captain Haddock make the acquaintance of a Bedoul woman in Petra! Captain Haddock had a peeked into her home and the woman, after splashing him in the face, remarks: "Are you looking for water? Here, can I give you some?"

Cartoonist Herge included many details so that his comics would be convincing. For example, his representation of the Khaznah facade is based on David Roberts's etching. How Herge
found out about the Bedoul squatters of Petra is not known. One thing is for sure, though; a Bedoul woman would not cover her face.

In a 1927 report, Ditlef Nielson described the Bedoul tribe that lived in the caves of Petra. He added that their population was no more than 150, and if they were not supported, they would soon disappear.
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Here, Tin Tin and Captain Haddock make the acquaintance of a Bedoul woman in Petra! Captain Haddock had a peeked into her home and the woman, after splashing him in the face, remarks: "Are you looking for water? Here, can I give you some?"

Cartoonist Herge included many details so that his comics would be convincing. For example, his representation of the Khaznah facade is based on David Roberts's etching. How Herge
found out about the Bedoul squatters of Petra is not known. One thing is for sure, though; a Bedoul woman would not cover her face.

In a 1927 report, Ditlef Nielson described the Bedoul tribe that lived in the caves of Petra. He added that their population was no more than 150, and if they were not supported, they would soon disappear.
Tin Tin in Petra
Tin Tin in Petra
F. Herge, Coke en Stock, pp.27-29. Casterman 1958.
(Congress Catalogue card number Afor26596)
Today the Bedoul number some 500 familes, a total of almost 2,000 people, all of which originate from 10 basic families. Their customs were studied in an ethno- archaeological survey by Kenneth Russell and Steve Simms (University of Utah). Ken Russell died unexpectedly in 1992, at the age of 42, and was buried in the new Bedoul  village, outside of Petra.

The Bedoul of Petra and the Amarin of al-Beidha have been closely associated with archaeology in Petra. The Amarin tribe lived as squatters in the Siq el-Barid, in Beidha, on the outskirts of Petra, also known as 'The Little Petra'. In the late 1950's, the archaeologist Diana Kirkbride, reported that she provided work to both tribes in order to satisfy everybody. She was stunned by the mortality, famine and poverty.

Those who have not visited Petra  will be surprised to know that the Bedoul, despite their close tribal society, are cosmopolitans. They have met more foreigners than most of us will meet in a lifetime. They speak many foreign languages. In addition to working as guides, camel and horse drivers for tourists, and excavators, many of the men become professional soldiers in Jordan and other Arabic countries, and some of them have married abroad and live in Switzerland, France, and Germany. Two foreign women, from New Zealand and Spain, have married Bedoul men and live with them in the village. As Ken Russell once said, "trying to stereotype them is like not understanding them".  Some of the Bedoul are probably reading this web page on their personal computers. Now, with laptops and cellular satelite phones, you can have Net in the tent, can't you?
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