Maysan - The

child Ali, who has completed his first year of life,


on the ground in his first attempt to walk while he is based on a primitive wooden machine with wheels called curry, which his father bought for him from the market of Al-Amarah city, the center of Maysan governorate in southern Iraq, to ​​help him learn to walk and use it as a walker. He holds it with both hands and moves it at will.

Curry (Persian kaf) as pronounced in the Iraqi dialect, a Persian word meaning the cart, is one of the oldest wooden wheels known to the people of southern Iraq.

The curry is made of two intersecting wooden bars, joined together by geometrically shaped supports of height according to the length of the child and fixed with nails. It has 3 small wheels, one in the front and two in the back. It is also made of wood to facilitate its movement, and at the top is a plank that the child holds with his hands to push it and move with it. As Abu Saad Al-Mandaei, one of the curry makers in the city of Al-Amarah, tells Al Jazeera Net.

The curry is made of two cross bars, united by ergonomically shaped supports fixed with nails, with 3 wheels (Al-Jazeera)

The Sabean-Mandaeans in southern Iraq in general practiced the curry industry, being one of the ancient craftsmen who specialized in the manufacture of primitive wooden tools, such as agricultural tools and others, and they are still practicing their profession, despite the few remaining working in this field.

The Mandaean or Sabian sect is one of the oldest religions in Iraq, with its roots extending for more than two thousand years within Mesopotamia, and they live in Baghdad and several cities in southern Iraq where the rivers are, because their religious rituals require living near them.

Abu Saad Al-Mandaei puts his final touches on curry (Al-Jazeera)

Folkloric uniqueness

Abu Saad Al-Mandaei says about the history of the curry industry to Al Jazeera Net, "We did not know the history of the curry industry and the first to make it accurately, but we inherited its industry from our fathers from our grandfathers, as we inherited the manufacture of other wooden tools, including agricultural tools, and I think the history of its manufacture dates back to many centuries."

And the fact that the Mandaeans are skilled in the handicraft of wood, they excelled in its manufacture, and they were distinguished from other carpenters, before the entry of modern tools in the field of carpentry.

Sheikh Jabbar Mandae, another of the city's residents, told Al Jazeera Net, "We used to make curry by hand exclusively, with the help of simple tools, but the introduction of modern machines helped improve its industry, and then dye it with beautiful colors that tempt the child to stick to it, and through it he learns to walk and rely on himself within a very short period." .

The writer and interested in the folklore industries in southern Iraq, Ali Al-Aqabi, told Al-Jazeera Net, that curry helps the young child to walk, a local industry of wood made by the Mandaeans, in addition to their other handicrafts with southern local description and designation, such as Al-Mawarah, Al-Maghrafa and Al-Mardi, all of which are tools that accompany farmers and their sons. Marshes, as well as sandboxes, ie wooden boxes.

"The curry is a simple machine that the family uses to train or teach their child who has reached the stage of walking, which generally begins when he reaches the age of about a year or a little more, to speed up the process of walking."

Al-Aqabi added, "The curry consists of 3 wooden legs, each of which ends with a small wooden wheel called (the jarkh). These legs converge and meet at the top with a cross-handle made of wood that the child holds and leans on, in case he is ready to walk."

He hoped that those concerned would preserve the Iraqi folklore and heritage from being lost.

Sheikh Jabbar, one of the curry makers in the city of Al-Amarah (Al-Jazeera)

roots and affiliation

The curry industry did not develop except with the smoothness of the texture and the perfection of the appearance, and it remained as it is, and perhaps its name has roots that reflect its affiliation.

Abu Saad Al-Mandaei says, "Modern machines have improved the (curry) industry of rotating and perforating, after it was made by hand and simple tools. The improvements of the modern machine took place on it, so it became more beautiful and smooth, and its wheels were easier to move and more expensive, and we inherited its industry as we inherited its name."

He added, "Families, especially in Maysan, are still willing to buy curry, despite the presence of modern, beautiful and varied walkers, because of their adherence to the folklore."

The Iraqis, especially the people of the south, used to buy curry for children. With it, children learn to walk faster, and from a scientific point of view, pediatricians recommend using it.

And the pediatrician in the city of Al-Amarah, Dr. Essam Saddam Laftah, told Al Jazeera Net, "We recommend using curry for the child, at certain age stages and not at each stage. Usually the child tries to walk at the age of one year, and it is supposed to be used at this age and not at a younger age, so as not to affect his bones, and it is preferable to use it From the first year of the child's life onwards.

Baby Ali's steps improved as he drives the curry (Al Jazeera)

He added, "Curry does not affect the movement of the child as was rumored, but on the contrary, many companies were inspired by the ideas of many baby walkers, and other companies developed modern walkers that reproduced the idea of ​​curry itself, in addition to some toys for children to accept.

The child Ali’s steps improved as he led the curry after he had become familiar with it and safe playing with him, and he took hold of it with one hand with confidence and not fear of falling to the ground, while he was standing on his feet in front of his parents’ gaze, which heralds the approach of their child dispensing with the piece of wood, and relying on himself by walking.

Keywords: al-jazeera, maysan - thechild ali, sabean-mandaeans, iraq curry, wheels, city, curry, tools, ali al-aqabi, one, abu saad al-mandaei, sect, industry, al-amarah, child