Falcon Trapping in the Jafr Basin

Falcon Trapping in the Jafr Basin: A Visual Tour

Falcon trapping, different from falconry that consists of using falcons to hunt other baits, is known to be a very traditional practice in the Middle East for nomadic populations. It is a part of the world of the Bedouin men who inhabit the Jafr Basin, who are mostly from the Abu Tayeb tribe. Here, the tradition is now entering its fourth generation of practitioners. Indeed, “the passion for falcons is inherited” says Abu Yazin, one of the most respected leaders in the tribe. In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of non-Bedouin interlopers seeking to try their hand at falcon capture and gain potential financial reward.

Every year, from early September to middle of November, around 50 temporary shelters dedicated to falcon trapping are set up in the south eastern desert of Jordan, hosting approximately 400 Bedouin men, who then dedicate their time to the social activities surrounding these birds.

In October 2018, photo documentarian Jérôme Poulalier, accompanied by anthropologist Prof. Cheryl Makarewicz and ornithologist Prof. Fares Khoury, travelling with these Bedouin falcon trappers of the Jafr Basin. You can read about their experiences and the details of this long-held Bedouin cultural tradition within the ‘Hunting with Falcons’ section.