Al Jeriz stick symbolises Musandam’s heritage, history

KHASAB: Residents in the Governorate of Musandam are keen to carry sticks, locally known as “Al Jeriz”, especially people of Al Shihi tribe, where they have a certain moral symbol associated with the heritage and history of the governorate.
Al Jeriz sticks are also carried by the elderly and young people as part of the Omani traditional attire. The parents are keen to teach their children carry the stick as part of their personality while attending social and national events, along with the Omani Khanjar “Dagger”, Shihi Knife, locally called ‘’Baishak’’ and the belt, locally called “Mahzam”.
Men in the Governorate of Musandam carry Al Jeriz sticks during the performance of some Shihi popular folklore, locally known as “Nadba” and other traditional Omani folklores. The uses of Al Jeriz sticks were many in the past, basically as a traditional weapon used by its carrier to defend himself, against any attack, often by wild animals on the road while travelling in the mountains and valleys. It was also used for assistance while walking and climbing mountains and a cutting tool.
Al Jeriz sticks are made in a number of areas of Musandam, most of which are in the villages. Sticks are made at homes with simple hand tools and the most prominent manufacturing places in the Niyabat of Lima in the Wilayat of Khasab.
“I have always loved the profession of making sticks,” Abdullah bin Sulaiman al Shihi, a resident of the Niyabat of Lima, told the Oman News Agency (ONA).
“Since childhood I have always loved the profession of making sticks. I have not left it and I practice with all skill and creativity. I teach the profession to my children and grandchildren and urge them to master it. Not to make money from it as much as to adhere to the heritage and profession of my parents and grandparents and we should not leave it,” he added.
The Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI) opened a training and production centre in 2005 in the Wilayat of Khasab. The centre trains Omani young cadres to make the sticks in consecutive training courses for two months and gives the trainees certificates of qualification to open their own project to work in the field of production and making of the sticks.
The centre aims to preserve this traditional profession as a traditional Omani heritage that seeks to establish it as a profession for young people to learn, teach, and keep for generations to come. Large models were used to decorate the various parks, squares and roundabouts to symbolise the heritage of Musandam. — ONA