رابطة الجالية الفلسطينية في المملكة المتحدة The association of the Palestinian Community in the UK

 

 رابطة الجالية الفلسطينية في المملكة المتحدة The association of the Palestinian Community in the UK

Overview of Palestinian Embroidery

  Tatreez

Only one kind of stitch is used in making Palestinian embroidered dresses, but the patterns and colors used for these dresses vary. The color combinations of the embroidery, the design and the color of the cloth on which the embroidery is made have specific connotations as to the specific region in Palestine, where the article was made or the status of the person owning or wearing the article. (In the case of women’s dresses, called Thobes, the status may be a new bride, an older mother, a pregnant wife, etc.) Also, one can determine where a Palestinian woman comes from through the patterns of the embroidery on her dress; almost each Palestinian town has its own unique pattern. Palestinian embroidery is therefore more than just an art or a craft; it is an integral part of the Palestinian geographical and cultural landscape.



While many of the patterns used in Palestinian embroidery are designs of geometric shapes, they also include designs, which were most familiar to Palestinian women as impressions of their daily surroundings. Depending on the region in Palestine, the patterns included representations of cypress tree, bunches of grapes, apple tree, cauliflower, cock, pigeon, rainbow, roses, birds, flower pot and extensive other such representations. Geometric designs were given such names as 'foreign moon', 'cow's eye', 'mill wheel', ‘crab’, 'moon with feathers', 'old man's teeth', 'bachelor's cushion', the baker's wife', 'old man upside down' and other such creative and often humorous names.

Palestinian embroidery did not, with rare exceptions, include patterns with any religious symbols. While the majority of Palestinians are Moslems, there hasn’t been any obvious Islamic representations in embroidery as there has been in other forms of art such as calligraphy. Because Christian minorities in Palestine have enjoyed essentially full societal partnership with the Moslem majority, Christian minorities did not find it necessary nor desirable to separate themselves from their Moslem brothers as did Christians in some other Arab countries, nor deliberately made themselves stand out as non-Moslems. In Palestinian society, religion was a private matter between 'man and his God'. A phrase which was very popular in Palestinian society during all of the twentieth century was "Religion is for God, but the country is for everyone" (Aldeenu Lillah Walwatan Liljamee') which meant that no one wanted the differences in religious beliefs to impact societal relations among Palestinians. Therefore, Palestinian Christians and Moslems did not use embroidery as a form of public display to separate them from each other. Nonetheless, Christian minorities have made embroidered articles with Christian representations for use exclusively in their homes or for the exclusive use in their churches for religious rituals and ceremonial purposes.

Arabs, both Christians and Moslems, and Jews lived in harmony in Palestine until the Zionist movement came into being and started to threaten the livelihood, hopes and existence of the Arab population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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