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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1996
Location: Canterbury, UK
Sandie Shamis has shared information with me which her husband, Chris, found on the The Palestine Costume Archive located in Canberra, Australia. The archive has been in operation for about 20 years. Their objective is to preserve the material culture of the Palestinians in a time of severe stress for Palestinians; they focus specifically on the handmade dresses of the women. The archive also supports women's self help handicraft projects in over 30 Palestinian refugee camps.


For further information, including donations or assistance outside Australia:

Palestine Costume Archive
PO box 98 lyneham Canberra act 2602
tel/fax: 02 62480114, email:

The British Museum in London also has a considerable archive of Palestinian costume and, in 1990, at the then Museum of Mankind, there was a long-running and very excellent exhibition 'Palestinian Costume'. The previous year the Museum published 'Palestinian Constume' by Shelagh Weir, then an anthropologist at the Museum of Mankind at the British Museum and responsible for the Middle Eastern Collections based on more than 20 years of fieldwork carried out at intervals amongst Palestinians in Israel, the Occupied Territories and Jordan. The book is an excellent resourc and I thoroughly recommend it. I visited the exhibition several times and was very drawn indeed to the very striking costume with fine embroidery and generally very rich colours. Prior to this the Museum published a small volume by Shelagh Weir and Serene Shahid 'Palestinian Embroidery' with stiches and how to plan the embroidery.

Both books are in my collections as well as a very informative booklet 'Teachers Notes: Palestinian Costume' to suport the many schools visits to the exhibition.

I also have in my library a book in German by the Hungarian Anna Dolanyi 'Stickereien fur 1001 Nacht' full of good phoots of Palestinian costume and embroidery and with detailed information on stitching the designs. I met Anna in her home town of Debrecen through a shared interest in patchwork and quilting. I had the pleasure of taking a copy of Anna's book to the BM for Shelagh Weir.

on-line tribal textiles resource

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