It’s always fun to listen to people talking about their folk dress. They can share lots of tiny details and peculiarities that we wouldn’t find out otherwise. That’s why Nationalclothing.org likes to publish the stories of people from around the world who own and wear the traditional costumes of their countries. Today, we offer you a story of a 97-year-old Palestinian woman Jalileh Mansour. She will show us her folk outfit and talk a little about it.
I'm Jalileh Mansour and I was born on August 15, 1921. I was born in Ramallah, Palestine. I'm a Christian Arab.
This outfit is not mine, I bought it. When I decided to come to the United States, I said I had to take the outfit with me and show them some of our culture. So I brought it. I used it one time in college to show it to the girls. There was some gathering or something like that.
The outfit that I have here is not used for every day. It's usually used for certain occasions: weddings or evening events or something.
The jacket is in velvet. It was not made in Ramallah, it was made in Bethlehem. And it is stitched out with golden threads. Everything is done by hand.
The robe is embellished with embroidery designs. A young lady of 16 or 17 – before she gets married – she starts embroidering this. This is something that she takes with her from her parents’ house when she gets married.
The sleeves of the robe have an unusual shape. People used to hold them on both hands when they danced.
The belt is identical to the original one. Women wore such belts with the traditional outfit. Usually, there were little pockets inside, where they kept money or candy for the kids or something.
The hat is beautifully decorated. Usually, these yellow metal decorations are in gold, they are coins.