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Traditional Palestinian Costumes: The cultural richness of memory

Illustrated talk by Dr Janet Starkey

May 4, 2022
Wednesday at 6pm
Tickets £7
Proceeds to Edinburgh Direct Aid
Book online here

The Nomads Tent, 21 – 23 St Leonard’s Lane,
Edinburgh, EH8 9SH


Dr Starkey will introduce the various techniques and materials used in traditional Palestinian costumes, and some of the embroidery motifs found on festive dresses.

Before 1948, every village and small town in the historic region of Palestine had its own particular style of embroidery and cut of dress: variously reflecting their culture and identities. The needlework is of the highest quality with glorious richness of pattern. In addition to a selection of historic photographs and others from Janet’s family collection, this event will enable the audience to view a range of stunning and colourful costumes from the time, several of them dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. These wonderful garments were collected between 1964 and 1970 by Ian and Mary Murray Milne when they lived and worked in Jordan and later variously by Paul and Janet Starkey in Jordan, Damascus and northern Sinai. Anyone who sees these costumes cannot fail to be impressed by their powerful beauty.

Janet Starkey (MA Hons, M.Phil, PhD) is a former lecturer on the Anthropology of the Middle East at Durham University. She previously worked at the British Museum with Dr Shelagh Weir, one of the most knowledgeable experts on Palestinian costume. Janet’s family lived in Jordan from 1964 to 1971 where they made the collection that is the subject of this talk. Over the years she has carried out ethnographic fieldwork with Bedouin in Jordan, the Beja of Sudan and Egypt, — and travelled in many parts of the region: from Morocco to Kyrgyzstan. She has published widely and given many lectures about the Middle East including several here at The Nomads Tent.


Contact: The Nomads Tent
Email: info@nomadstent.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 622 1612
Website: Go to website ......
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