Silent Auction: Traditionally Embroidered Palestinian Dresses
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Once a traditional craft practiced by village women, Palestinian cross-stitch embroidery has become an important symbol of Palestinian culture. Embroidered pieces can be found in the homes of most Palestinian families in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and the Diaspora beyond, adorning the walls of houses in Jerusalem, villas in the Gulf, and cement block houses in refugee camps.
The popularity of embroidery springs from both its beauty and its association with the Palestine of the past. Common patterns reflect the millennia-long history of the foreign occupations and date as far back as the Canaanites, who lived in the area over three thousand years ago.
The handicraft also symbolizes the traditional rural lifestyle of Palestine, much of which was lost after the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. Embroidery was the principle decoration of rural women’s clothing. It was part of a village woman’s daily routine and a means of showing off her persona skills and social identity. The patterns, colours and quality of the dress reflected a woman’s social standing, marital status and wealth.
Although the Palestinian cultural landscape has changed dramatically in the last sixty years, cross-stitch embroidery has remained a vibrant handicraft because, for many Palestinians, it is a familiar reminder of Palestine in the days of their grandparents or great grandparents.
These dresses was sewn and then embroidered by hand by Palestinian women living in the towns of Idna, and Al Khalil (Hebron), both located in the West Bank. The dresses are sold through the “Women in Hebron” Jaffa Cooperatives, in the Souq of the Old City of Al Khalil (Hebron). The shop is managed by two Palestinian women, Laila and Nawal, who are the only female shopkeepers in the entire souq.
1. Size 10-18 (M-XL) – now $250.00
2. Size 10-18 (M-XL) – Now $263
3. Size 10-18 (M-XL) – Now $275.00
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