The Palestinian folk arts have a rich and fascinating history.
Silk thread and embroidery, together with an expanding repertoire of symbols, are known to have made their way from China to the Holy Land along the Silk and Spice Routes before being introduced to Europe by Christian saints, holy men and pilgrims. Mainly using cross-stitch, Palestinians have continued to embroider their traditional motifs, giving them their own appellations and developing their own terminology.
As clothing was of prime importance, Palestinian women wanted something personal, distinctive and handmade.
By adopting the traditional styles and motifs of her area, a woman expressed her wish to identify and be identified with her cultural roots.
Samples of late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century Palestinian costumes are considered to be representative of folk art at its best. Through the vicissitudes of war and occupation, Palestinian folk materials have been dispersed, though samples are to be found in published material, in museums outside Palestine and in small private collections.
Leila El Khalidi's work in identifying and recording the history and motifs in Palestinian embroidery will be of interest both to craftspeople and to students of folk traditions and is an important step in preserving the Palestinian heritage.
The book is illustrated with a detailed appendix showing the principal motifs and with photographs of traditional costumes.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 260 pages, 16 colour plates, 200 colour illustrations
- Publisher: Saqi Books
- Publication Date: 14/02/2001
- Category: Folk art
- ISBN: 9780863563232