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)
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
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
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.