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Hat Shatweh

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1986M112.10.1
Collection:Applied Art - Costume
Date:1850 - 1920


The Southall Collection is a major collection of Palestinian Dress dating from 1900-1930. It includes garments and accessories worn by nomadic Bedouin people as well as men, women and children living in Ramallah and Bethlehem.

This tapered hat, worn by married women in Bethlehem and nearby villages, is known as the shatweh. Six or seven inches high it is padded so that it is hard, with a thick padded rim encircling the crown. The shatwehs were decorated with rows of coins from the women's bride wealth money (dowry). The more coins the higher the prestige, beads and typical Bethlehem embroidery also heavily decorated the entire surface. This shatweh dates from the early 20th century, as it is taller and narrower than earlier shatwehs. It would sit balanced on the head, with a silver chin chain or zenaq hooked onto two side flaps keeping it in place. An araqiyyeh or little cap was worn under the shatweh protecting it from oil or sweat from the head and hair. A veil would have covered the entire thing when worn outdoors.

Presented as part of the Southall Collection, 1985.

Further Information

Production Period:19th/20th Century
Medium:Handmade from red cotton, glass beads, coins, metal sequins. The embroidery is of cotton couching in orange, pink, blue, yellow and dark red.
Place of Origin:Bethlehem, Palestine


Depth:15 cm
Diameter:14 cm