« | »

Saudis Hold Beauty Pageant For Camels

From those lovers of beauty at Reuters:

Photo

Saudi tribe holds camel beauty pageant

By Andrew Hammond Fri Apr 27

GUWEI’IYYA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – The legs are long, the eyes are big, the bodies curvaceous.

Contestants in this Saudi-style beauty pageant have all the features you might expect anywhere else in the world, but with one crucial difference — the competitors are camels.

This week, the Qahtani tribe of western Saudi Arabia has been welcoming entrants to its Mazayen al-Ibl competition, a parade of the “most beautiful camels” in the desolate desert region of Guwei’iyya, 120 km (75 miles) west of Riyadh.

“In Lebanon they have Miss Lebanon,” jokes Walid, moderator of the competition’s Web site. “Here we have Miss Camel.” …

Camels are also big business in a country where strict Islamic laws and tribal customs would make it impossible for women to take part in their own beauty contest.

Delicate females or strapping males who attract the right attention during this week’s show could sell for a million or more riyals. Sponsors have provided 10 million riyals ($2.7 million) for the contest, cash that also covers the 72 sports utility vehicles to be will be awarded as prizes.

Bedouin Arabs are intimately connected to camels and they want to preserve this heritage. The importance of this competition is that it helps preserve the pure-breds,” said Sheikh Omair, one of the tribe’s leaders…

Camel-drivers sing songs of praise to their prized possessions as they try to calm the animals down.

“Beautiful, beautiful!” the judge mutters quietly to himself, inspecting the group. Finalists have been decorated with silver bands and body covers.

“The nose should be long and droop down, that’s more beautiful,” explains Sultan al-Qahtani, one of the organizers. “The ears should stand back, and the neck should be long. The hump should be high, but slightly to the back.”

The camels are divided into four categories according to breed — the black majaheem, white maghateer, dark brown shi’l and the sufur, which are beige with black shoulders. Arabic famously has over 40 terms for different types of camel.

Some females have harnesses strapped around their genitalia to thwart any efforts by the males to mount them. One repeat offender called Marjaa has been moved away.

“This one would fetch a million!” says Hamad al-Sudani, a camel-driver, admiring the heavy stud, or fahl.

Chacun à son goat — er, goût.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 27th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Saudis Hold Beauty Pageant For Camels”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »