A Princely Duty

Fascinating interview with a bangle maker in Qatar. Married at age 12! I have a hard time imagining it, but then I’m certain I have customs that seem unfathomable to him.

Reem Saad

Mohammed, 45, prepares for a long day at Souq Waqif as he sets up his stall. Mohammed, 45, prepares for a long day at Souq Waqif as he sets up his stall.

When he was only 15, Mohammed Aslam Maniyar’s grandfather taught him the art of bangle making from scratch. Here he is now, 30 years later, doing the very same thing outside the Royal Tandoor restaurant on the streets of Souq Waqif.

Maniyar, a traditionally dressed bangle man, is from Rajasthan, India, a place known for the craft. His face breaks into a warm smile at the sight of his customers, and he always greets them by offering them coffee or water, which he then insists on paying for.

For Maniyar, bangle making is a family tradition. His wife, his sons, his daughters-in-law and sons-in-law are all doing the same thing back in Mumbai, India. The bangles are made from Lac, a substance that comes from the Peepal tree. When you walk past his stall…

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