The Qu’aiti State in Hadhramaut (الدولة القعيطية الحضرمية) is the same place as yesterday’s subject, the Qu’aiti Sultanate of Shihr and Mukalla (سلطنة الشحر والمكلاا), located in the Hadhramaut region of the southern Arabian Peninsula in what is now Yemen. The name was changed in 1955 and it continued being administered as part of Aden’s Eastern Protectorate. Covering approximately 70,000 square miles, Qu’aiti was the third largest kingdom in Arabia after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. Its capital was Mukalla and it was divided into six provinces including Mukalla, Ash Shihr, Shibam, Du’an, the Western Province and Hajr.
The Sultanate spanned the Indian Ocean coast up to the border of Mahra, encompassed Shabwa the legendary capital of the Queen of Sheba, the central valleys and oasis settlements of Hadhramaut and controlled the southern Empty Quarter.
Beginning with the set of definitives released on September 1, 1955, the inscription on the stamp was changed to QU’AITI STATE IN HADHRAMAUT. A total of twenty-four stamps are listed in the Scott catalogue under that name, the last set appearing on October 20, 1963 using the same designs as the 1955 set but with the portrait of Sultan Awadh bin Saleh al-Qu’aiti replacing that of the previous Sultan Sir Saleh bin Ghalib al-Qu’aiti and adding one additional denomination. There were also two aerogrammes issued, one in March 1956 and the other in October 1963, which are not listed in Scott. Scott also does not list the numerous stamps issued under the name of Qu’aiti State in Hadhamaut that appeared from 1964 onwards due to their bogus nature, designed solely to dupe collectors.
As Great Britain planned for the eventual independence of South Arabia in the 1960s, Qu’aiti declined to join the British-sponsored Federation of South Arabia but remained under British protection as part of the Protectorate of South Arabia. Despite promises of a United Nations referendum to assist in determining the future of the Qu’aiti State in South Arabia, on September 17, 1967, Communist forces overran the kingdom and, in November of that year, the Qu’aiti State was integrated forcibly without a referendum into Communist South Yemen. South Yemen united with North Yemen in 1990, again without a referendum, to become the Republic of Yemen.
Scott #32 was released on September 1, 1955. The 25 cents carmine stamp, engraved and perforated 11½ x 13 on paper watermarked with multiple crowns and script CA. the stamp portrays the traditional craft of pottery making. Pottery is a craft industry of great importance in the Hadhramaut village economy. A number of objects essential in everyday life are made of pottery — large ovens for baking bread (a fire is lit inside and pancakes of dough are slapped onto the sides), pots for carrying water from wells and streams, water storage pots, charcoal burners, and cooking pots. Less important for mere subsistence, but of prominence for local cultural reasons, are coffee pots (from which the spicy husk coffee is poured) and hubble-bubble pots (the smoking of tobacco through water being an essential accompaniment to qat chewing).
The pottery making centers in Qu’aiti produce pots for trade as well as for local consumption. Pots from these centers have long been seen for sale in markets throughout the Arab Peninsula and beyond.