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Influences from the various empires to have ruled Palestine, such as Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine empire, among others, have been documented by scholars largely based on the depictions in art and descriptions in literature of costumes produced during these times.
Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic and marital status and her town or district of origin, with knowledgeable observers discerning this information from the fabric, colours, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) used in the apparel.
Palestinian costumes reflected differences in the physical and social mobility enjoyed by men and women in these different groups in Palestinian society.
Needler also cites well-preserved costume artifacts from late Roman-Egyptian times consisting of "loose linen garments with patterned woven bands of wool, shoes and sandals and linen caps," as comparable to modern Palestinian costumes. The shift from woven to embroidered designs was made possible by artisanal manufacture of fine needles in Damascus in the 8th century.
Embroidered dress sections, like the square chest piece (qabbeh) and decorated back panel (shinyar) prevalent in Palestinian dresses, are also found in costume from 13th century Andalusia.
In their length, fullness, and use of pattern these modern garments bear a general resemblance to the costumes of West Asiatic people seen in ancient Egyptian and Assyrian monuments.
The dress of the daughters of Zion mentioned in Isaiah -24, with 'changeable suits of apparel,' 'mantles,' 'wimples,' 'hoods,' 'vails,' and 'girdles', suggests that feminine city fashions of Isaiah's day may have resembled modern Palestinian country dress.
Typically, Ghada Karmi recalls in her autobiography how in the 1940s in the wealthy Arab district of Katamon, Jerusalem, only the maids, who were local village women, donned traditional Palestinian dresses.
Due to their nomadic life-style, Bedouin costume reflected tribal affiliations, rather than their affiliations to a localized geographic area.
Research by Weir on embroidery distribution patterns in Palestine indicates there was little history of embroidery in the area from the coast to the Jordan River that lay to the south of Mount Carmel and the Sea of Galilee and to the north of Jaffa and from Nablus to the north.
Decorative elements on women's clothing in this area consisted primarily of braidwork and appliqué.
While the village no longer exists today, the craft of Majdalawi weaving continues as part of a cultural preservation project run by the Atfaluna Crafts organization and the Arts and Crafts Village in Gaza City.
Before the appearance of synthetically dyed threads, the colors used were determined by the materials available for the production of natural dyes: "reds" from insects and pomegranate, "dark blues" from the indigo plant: "yellow" from saffron flowers, soil and vine leaves, "brown" from oak bark, and "purple" from crushed murex shells.
The specificity of local village designs was such that, "A Palestinian woman's village could be deduced from the embroidery on her dress." Townspeople, (Arabic: beladin) had increased access to news and an openness to outside influences that was naturally also reflected in the costumes, with town fashions exhibiting a more impermanent nature than those of the village.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating