Bethlehem Woman

The intricately worked solid embroidery and the high headdress distinguish this as the costume of Bethlehem.

With this embroidered dress the woman would wear a lovely black velvet jacket encrusted with gold thread embroidery.

The wool scarf wound around the waist as a girdle is typical of this costume.

Visible only in form is the shatweh under her white veil. The shat- weh is a form of tarboush which is ornamented with coins and beads.

This heavy and inconvenient headdress is disappearing but once was popular in Beit Djala, Beit Sahur and Ain Karem as well as Bethlehem. It is held in place by a cord called the zenaq which passes through rings at either side of the shatweh and ties under the chin. Formerly on feast days a black silk veil (shambar) bordered with a band of red embroidery replaced the white veil called the tarbieh.

The model poses with a copper pail used to carry leben, the milk product like yoghurt. Behind her is a multi-colored table mat woven of local straw.


Bethlehem Woman


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