Community documentation of biocultural diversity in the eastern Yemeni province of al-Mahrah

Community documentation of biocultural diversity in the eastern Yemeni province of al-Mahrah

Language: Mehri (ISO639-3:gdq)
Depositor: Janet Watson
Location: Yemen
Deposit Id: 0484
Grant id: SG0475
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit

Mehri is spoken in eastern Yemen, southern Oman and parts of Saudi Arabia. This project focusses on the human-environment relationship in eastern Yemen through documenting and analysing nature-related texts in Yemeni Mehri. As al-Mahrah is the one safe enclave in a warring country, migration is increasing on a daily basis, exacerbating endangerment of both local language and ecosystems. The project will engage trained documenters from southern Oman to train local Yemeni community members in documentation, ethical research and archiving. Trained community members will produce 2 5 hours of audio/audio-visual recordings, including 2 hours of audio-visual recordings for gesture research.

Group represented

The group represented are all members of the Mehri tribe. The sub-tribes within al-Mahrah include: Bit Kalshat, Bit al-Qumairi, Bit Zabnot, Bit al-Jadhi, Bit Bakrayt.

Special characteristics

This deposit relates to the dialects of Mehri spoken in al-Mahrah, eastern Yemen. This collection can be compared to the archived collection:

This deposit has been created entirely by the local language community, led by Dr Saeed al-Qumairi, after training by Janet Watson and Ahmad and Ali al-Mahri in Salalah.

Deposit contents

Around 50% of the bundles in this collection are audio recordings, and 50% audio-visual recordings. We expect the total number of hours of recordings to be around 15. The recordings deal with issues such as weather and the stars, water-sources, feeding and watering livestock, material culture, flora and the use of flora, fire, personal stories and poetry. There will be around 3 hours of annotated data in ELAN, including transcription in Roman transcription and in the Arabic-based transcription developed by the DEAMSA project, and translation into Arabic and English.

Deposit history

The data for this collection was collected by Saeed al-Qumairi and other members of the Mehri language community between late 2017 and 2018. The collection will continue until the end of 2019.

Other information

None of the data in this collection may be used as evidence in court.

Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

al-Qumairi, Saeed and J.C.E. Watson. 2018. Community documentation of biocultural diversity in the eastern Yemeni province of al-Mahrah, Yemen. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: Accessed on [insert date here].


Resources online and curated


Janet Watson
Responsive image
Affiliation: University of Leeds

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2018 October 22 to 2018 October 22
Deposit hits:2
Downloaded files
Without statistics

Showing 1 - 10 of 54 Items

Animal livestock description "tayblet"

Recorded on: 2018-03-11

The speaker describes the benefits of animal skin in the past. He describes its making and use.

Recorded on: 2018-02-23

Camel traditions

Recorded on: 2018-02-23

The speaker describes how people mount camels

Recorded on: 2018-02-25

Description of camel things

Recorded on: 2018-02-25

the speaker describes cradle making

Recorded on: 2018-02-25

Description of cradle making

Recorded on: 2018-02-16

Description of cradle making

Recorded on: 2018-03-10

Recorded on: 2018-09-23

Keywords: Image

Old food description

Recorded on: 2018-02-25