The Ostrich Eggs Painting

Azraq is an oasis located in the Eastern Desert of Jordan. In the past, the constantly springing water sources as well as numerous wadies provided the oasis with a perennial water abundance, attracting an extraordinary variety of savanna fauna. Felines, many kinds of wild goats, gazelles and ostriches are well attested since the Neolithic, and especially represented in the Roman and Byzantine local iconography.

Due to its shape and hardiness, ostrich eggs were not only used as containers, but also as luxury objects symbolizing fertility and rebirth. Indeed, eggs fragments can be found in opulent burials. The decoration on ostrich eggs is attested in ancient Asia, Middle East and Africa.  We also know that since the Iron Age, Middle East ostrich eggs were exported to the Mediterranean world.  Nowadays, the ostrich egg painting became a sustainable activity for several local women of Azraq. Their work is exposed in several souvenirs boutiques in the tourist places of Jordan or geared towards exportation.


This art requires patience and dexterity, that one can acquired only after a long practice. It is effectively the meticulous dotting technique that is mainly used here, as the best way to reproduce the traditional antic mosaic iconography largely spread in Jordan.  Ladies in Azraq are ready to share with you their know-how. They will show you how they first draw the patterns on the egg shell, before to start dotting with an impressive skilfulness.

As a visitor, you will experiment this technique not on ostrich eggs but on a flat surface, as for example a plastic coaster. Alternatively, using local stones that you eventually collected during a hike in the desert would have a lovely effect. 

Beyond this opportunity to train you to the dotting art, you will have the chance to enter in the Druze community of Azraq and enjoy the calm atmosphere of this oasis. This activity can be part of a wider exploration of the Eastern Desert of Jordan, with a visit of the Wetland, the Shaumari Reserve, a hike in the Black Desert, a visit of the Tree... and much more.

Information and contact: Ms. Iptissam 00962 79 052 07 73 

or contact us...