Threads of Identity: Preserving Palestinian Costume and Heritage

£39.50

Threads of Identity: Preserving Palestinian Costume and Heritage

464 pages | softcover
Author: Widad Kamel Kawar

With this book Widad Kamel Kawar pays homage to Palestinian women.

Threads of Identity is a history of Palestinian women told through aspects of popular heritage, focusing on traditional dresses but also including textiles and rug weaving, rural and urban customs, jewellery, cuisine, and festivities. The interviews with women who lived through the traumas and changes of the 20th century are a contribution to oral history, augmenting standard historical accounts. While most writing about the Middle East concentrates on politics, her book focuses on the dignity of ordinary people, and women in particular, bridging the gap between the major events of history and everyday life.

This book is a record of the 50 years Widad Kawar spent researching, collecting and preserving part of the heritage of Palestine. This endeavor evolved into the Widad Kawar Collection, the largest to date of Palestinian, Jordanian and other Arab traditional dress and accessories, comprising more than 2,000 items. In the following chapters she presents the story of how the collection evolved and she introduces the life stories of the women who produced the beautiful costumes it contains. For her, each item calls to mind an individual or a place: a wife, a mother, a daughter, a family, a house, a village, a town, a field, a market. Each item was worn on special occasions, happy and sad, that marked the owner's life. Much of Widad 's knowledge stems from the personal narratives of these women whose embroidery and dress-making skills she so admires.

22 x 28 x 3 cm
Full color photographs, maps & illustrations
Language: English
Rimal Books

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