HvWO 152

Antique Omani coffeepot Nizwa style (brass with silver top)

Dallah. Omani coffee pot

Common old Omani coffeepots Nizwa style (brass with silver top)  The design includes a spike and "coxcomb" in fact the overall design is that of an abstract bird. Techniques used are: chasing, incising, driving and piercing. Different metal parts fixed together by interlocking a sort of "zip" in the metal and hammering flat so it becomes hardly visible. The lid of the coffee pot has little stones inside, so one hears when someone is opening the pot (avoid poisoning risk? ) Ref 1 demonstrates how such a pot is made. Size: 26 cm high.

The Omani dallah is very different form the heavier and less ornate pots made of brass and found elsewhere in the Gulf area.

Antique Omani coffeepot

Arab Name: Dallah (Nizwa style)

Antique Omani Nizwa coffee-pot

Period: 1850-1955. These coffee-pots have not been made over the past 60 years.

Origin: Northern Oman Purchased in Nizwa. (Carter refers to a similar one made in Nizwa by the silver silversmith Rashid bin Khalfan al Sabahiy.

Arabian folklore credits the discovery of coffee (khawa) as a drink to a goatherd named Al Shadri . He observed that his goats did not sleep after eating the leaves and berries of a particular bush. He tried the fruit and found it reduced fatigue and gave him energy. He picked the berries and carried them with him but, over time , they dried out making it difficult to eat the fleshy pulp. To soften the berries, he boiled them in water and coffee drinking began! (see ref 10) Arabian coffee is in fact native to Ethiopia and was introduced to Arabia 400 years ago.

  1. The craft heritage of Oman Vol 1 by Richardson & Dorr page 170
  2. Tribes in Oman by J.L. Carter Peninsular publishing 1982 page 162
  3. Tribute to Oman 22nd National day. "Copper Craftsmanship" By Robert Richmond p 136-140
  4. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 25
  5. On the border of the Great Desert a journey in Oman by Miles in Geographical Journal 1910
  6. Islamic Art In Oman page 308
  7. Oman Faces and Places page 176-179 use of Coffee in Oman
  8. Throw down the anchor The story of the Muttrah souq by Maxine Burden, centre for Omani dress, Muscat Media Group 2014 pages-150151contains an interview with a modern Kahwa (coffee) seller in the Muttrah souq.
  9. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 143 photo with similar item
  10. Tribute to Oman, The coffee connection, 1994/1995 page 71-74


Youtube film showing traditional roasting of coffee-beans and baking bread in Oman: