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Northern Palestine 

An area of Palestine that extends from Nablus to upper Galilee up to southern Syria and northern Jordan. Fashionable in this area until the late nineteenth century was a short-sleeved open coat (durra'a) made  from locally woven cotton fabric indigo blue, red and brown colors with very little embroidery. Such coats were beautifully decorated with patches of red, yellow and green taffeta or satin fabric in rectangular or triangular shapes, with very little embroidery. 

Towards the late part of the century, this coat was replaced with the qumbaz, a long coat with long tight sleeves with openings on the side. This coat was initially worn in upper Galilee, then copied in Lower Galilee villages and eventually was used in the Nablus area. These coats were made from striped Syrian satins or ghabani or roza silk fabric. 

More  ornamented coats (jillayeh) were richly embroidered with red silks in geometric designs; diamonds, triangles and squares in different stitches, typical of the Galilee embroidery (cross-stitch, stem-stitch, satin stitch). 

Contrary to village attire, the dresses worn by Galilee Bedouins are different in style and material from the embroidered dresses used by villagers of this region. The embroidery on the lower part of the skirt was done in a zig-zag stitch using cotton thread. Palestinian Bedouin dresses were similar in style and embroidery to those worn in villages in southern Syria and northern Jordan, due to the proximity of those regions and the nomadic nature of Bedouin life. 

Veils and scarves in Galilee were made of silk or cotton fabric in black or maroon colors with fringes and tassels on both sides. A headband (asbeh) was usually made of muslin, black silk with silver brocade square of material, folded diagonally and tied round the  forehead. The Bedouin women in Galilee used similar asbeh over a black crepe veil. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

A typical attire in Nazareth and the surrounding villages would include a long coat (qumbaz) with long side openings, a short jacket (mintyan), a white underdress (thob), a baggy pants (shintyan), asbeh and a girdle. 

In the nineteenth century, Galilee women wore a headdress called smadeh made of cloth skullcap with coins attached to it. The smadeh had a padded horseshoe rim sewn with coins called saffeh. Attached to the smadeh was a chain or Znaq hanging from both sides of the smadeh below the chin. This headdress was widely used during the nineteenth century in villages like Al Bassah on the Palestinian Lebanese border and in Usuffia south of Haifa. Coin headdresses went out of use for daily use by Galilee women in the early twentieth century, but continued to be used for wedding only.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016