ONE YEAR after the tremendous success of “Sovereign Threads” hosted by the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA, the exhibit “Threads of Pride: Palestinian Traditional Costumes” has opened in the Main Floor Gallery of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, MI. The exhibit was dedicated on July 12, 2007 with a reception attended by more than 120 museum members and their friends. In her presentation following the reception, curator Hanan Munayyer discussed the history of embroidery, art and crafts in the Middle East dating back to 1500 B.C. “Threads of Pride” will be on view at the museum through Nov. 25, 2007.
This stunning and one-of-a-kind exhibition demonstrates the rich cultural heritage of the Palestinian people. The dresses and embroidered stitched motifs are all that remain from Palestinian villages whose populations were ethnically cleansed during the war of 1948, and later systematically destroyed.
“Threads of Pride” features more than 200 Palestinian artifacts, including more than 30 antique embroidered dresses and ceremonial costumes, along with the accompanying veils, jackets, headpieces and jewelry. Featured as part of the collection of Hanan and Farah Munayyer, the costumes are hand embroidered with silk thread on hand-woven fabrics. They represent all regions of historical Palestine, including Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Al Khalil, Ramallah, Lydda-Ramleh, Jaffa, Gaza and Majdal, and Galilee. Dating back to the 1860s through the 1940s, the dresses were selected for their beauty and rarity.
"Threads of Pride” is a symbolic expression of Palestinian identity—specifically the identity of village women who toiled endlessly to create such masterpieces and wrote this part of their history with a needle and thread. This embroidered “script” containing ancient symbols is the language by which Palestinian culture is being introduced to the rest of the world.