Algerian woman's ceremonial outfit

UnknownMid-19th century

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

These garments, typical of Algerian Jewish women until the early 20th century, show the influence of territorial conquests, immigration, regime changes, and commerce on clothing. Such cultural influences are apparent in the rich metal-thread embroidery and its motifs, which originated in Spain, Morocco, and the Ottoman Empire.

The outfit consists of a sleeveless dress, a sash, and a jacket worn underneath the dress. Interestingly, the densely embroidered front of the jacket is concealed, with only the sleeves showing. This indicates the importance that was accorded to beauty, even when hidden.

Credit: Gift of Annie Teboul, Nice, in memory of Aziza Narboni née Souto

Lent by Kibbutz Regavim

Gift of Amelie Nicolay, France, in memory of her parents, Zerrada and Gaston Bouchara, who were killed in Auschwitz

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  • Title: Algerian woman's ceremonial outfit
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Mid-19th century
  • Type: Outfit
  • Rights: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Elie Posner
  • External Link: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Medium: Dress: Silk, gilt metal-cord embroidery Jacket: Silk, gilt metal-cord embroidery Sash: Silk, gilt metal threads
  • Curators: Bar'am-Ben Yossef, No'am; Assaf-Shapira, Efrat