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Featuring groups of costumes, representing towns and villages in the
areas around Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Al-Khalil, Majdal, Gaza,
Jaffa, Galilee and the Naqab desert. This very well-received 35-minute
video documentary examines Palestinian dress from antiquity through the
Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Ottoman Turkish periods up to the 20th
In it, a distinct series of resemblances is revealed that link
present-day Palestinian costumes to Canaanite spinning, weaving and dyeing
tradition that evolved into a generalized Mediterranean style in the Greco-Roman period.
Also included is a short summary of the fascinating historical
development of textile arts and embroidery in the Arab world, containing
photographs of surviving pieces of ancient textiles from the Middle East
on display in European and American museums.
Devoting considerable attention to detailed close-ups of stitches and
patterns, the video looks at the impact of environment on such motifs.
Viewers interested in copying the patterns are enabled to do so thanks to
the close-up enlargements.
Palestinian Costumes and Embroidery: A Precious
By Beth Noland
I have watched the video presentation
"Palestinian Costumes and Embroidery: A Precious Legacy" several
times and each time I was more impressed. The tape presents a balanced
approach to the folk art of Palestinian costume, transitioning from stitch
details to the overall costume designs themselves in such a way as to keep
my interest and make me disappointed when the tape is finished, although
for the purpose of this presentation, its length is just right.
The narration is well done and the script is
engaging. The choreography is just right: not too much action but just
enough to show off each piece without leaving the viewer bored. The brief
references to places on the map of Palestine are quite necessary and
provide good visual points of reference for the next segments of costume
I really cannot think of any criticism, except
that Tape #2 is needed for the next chapter in a rich saga of folk art
that intrigues so many of us viewers.