The Threads of Identity in Palestinian Embroidery

Traditional Palestinian embroidery is on UNESCO’s list of cultural heritage. Now there is a push to revive interest in the craft among younger generations.

In every stitch, there is a story.

Like layers of history, the hand-stitched Palestinian embroidery known as tatreez, traditionally used to ornament Palestinian dress, tells of towns and villages lost, old customs abandoned, past lives and survival. The stitched designs and symbols once functioned almost as an identification card.

The rooster, an old Christian symbol, indicated the wearer’s faith. A red bird on a blue-threaded robe worn by widows meant the woman was ready to remarry. An image of a particular plant or fruit suggested the garment’s origin,

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