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British Museum puts Palestinian heritage on display

April 25, 2023 at 11:19 am

The Palestinian art of tatreez (embroidery) is on display at the British Museum in London [Palestine in the UK/Facebook]

The Palestinian art of tatreez (embroidery) is on display at the British Museum in London.

Making up part of the Islamic Gallery, thobes – traditional dresses – are being exhibited to reflect “the powerful and unique expression of Palestinian women’s skill, creativity and attachment to the land,” the Palestinian Mission in the UK said on its Facebook page.

The British Museum described the items as: “The festive dresses of the villages near Gaza were notable for the huge chevrons and ‘cypress tree’ motifs with which they were decorated.”

An ancient artform and means of expression for Palestinians, “The practice of tatreez originated in Palestine over 3,000 years ago. It is a unique form of embroidery that brings together coloured threads in various patterns to create traditional motifs. Motifs were area-specific, as well as symbolic of important events, such as a wedding or pregnancy.”

Tatreez is a recognisable form of Palestinian heritage and culture and is noted as a unique Palestinian artform.

In 2021, contestants taking part in the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Israel were criticised for appropriating Palestinian culture after posing in traditional Palestinian dresses and misrepresenting them by captioning them under the hashtag “visitIsrael“.

GALLERY: The art of Palestinian embroidery