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Headdress wuqa/wuqayeh

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1986M112.155
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 is probably a girl's head-dress, also known as wuqa or wuqayeh. It would have been placed flat on the head and tied under the chin as a bonnet by gathering the material at the back around the hair and fastening with hair bands. The piece of red linen has been trimmed with beads and metal amulets. The hand shaped amulets are commonly known as the 'hand of Fatimah', after the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, these along with the blue and green beads are thought to protect the wearer from the 'evil eye'. Both the words 'wuqa' and 'wuqayeh' are derived from the classical Arabic word 'waqia', meaning protection.

Presented as part of the Southall Collection, 1985.

Further Information

Production Period:19th/20th Century
Medium:Rust red linen. Glass beads, metal thread, embroidery in yellow, orange, dark red, green and blue including cross stitch.
Place of Origin:Palestine


Height:24.5 cm
Width:24 cm