‘Bedouin Boy With Camel’: An Analysis of Archival Photographs of Bedouin Children in Palestine

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This study analyzes photographs found in historical archives of Bedouin children in Palestine from over a hundred years ago. The Bedouin children were photographed in their natural environment by foreign European photographers touring the Holy Land. Young children were photographed held by their mothers, at work, on a path, or near the tent. The research unravels the context in which the pictures were constructed, documented, and archived. The study explores how colonialist photography in the region generated tropes of presentation of Bedouin children and examines its effects on forms of representation of their childhood of the time. The Bedouin women’s inferior status in society and its impact on the documentation of women and children are also examined. The study highlights notions of other children dressing up as ‘Hebrew Bedouins’ for studio portraiture as part of an orientalist cliché.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-56
Number of pages21
JournalChildhood in the Past
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group and the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past 2022.


  • Bedouin
  • Palestine
  • childhood
  • children
  • colonialism
  • culture
  • photography
  • postcolonialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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