Histories & Culture

Fragments of clayware hundreds of years old, which have been found all over Bahrain confirm that pottery was once a widespread industry in the island. Today, pottery is made only in the village of Aali where traditional methods are used.

Different colored clay, brown or red for coarse work and white for fine, is collected from the hills around Rifa' and brought to the village of Aali, where it is beaten and mixed with water.

Flowerpots, vases, incense bowls, water jugs, plates are molded, dried in the sun and then heated in kilns. While potters in Aali seem to opt mostly for white, artists in Rifa' use red, purple and blue colors in their work. There are only a few such potteries in Aali which have survived after some 5,000 years of the ancient industry.

Popular demand, together with the advent of the gas-fired kiln, have encouraged the potters to develop their range so that now they produce glazed and decorated ware which, until just a few years ago was not possible. The Aali pottery also manufactures the traditional bread ovens used in most tradition¬al bakeries in Bahrain.