Married woman's hat or bridal headdress Front

British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

Married woman's hat or bridal headdress made of blue and brown cotton; embroidered; red satin lining; with coins and coral attached.
This headdress or 'money hat' (wuqayat al-darahem) was made commercially by Bethlehem women for the use of villagers in the hills of southern Palestine. The original embroidery on the crown has been overlaid with more recent embroidery. The headdress was worn in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century during the wedding ceremony, especially for the 'going out to the well' ceremony when the bride appeared in public as a married woman for the first time. The headdress displayed the pride and status of the family, and was passed down through the generations.This headdress has clearly had many owners, each of whom added coins or trinkets. The most numerous coins are Ottoman Turkish, dating from the reign of Mahmud I (1730-54) to that of Mahmud II (1808-39), with further silver and copper eighteenth- and nineteenth-century coins, and a Romanian 2-lei piece dated 1924. Other ornaments include sixteenth-century German brass counters, a brass army badge, triangular white metal amulets and various glass, plastic, imitation pearl and coral beads and buttons. The headdress also features crescents, 'hands of Fatimah' (against the evil eye) and a pink plastic hand.


  • Title: Married woman's hat or bridal headdress Front
  • Date Created: circa 1840s with later additions
  • Location Created: Samu'ah, southern Hebron hills, Palestine
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 60 centimetres Width: 20 centimetres
  • Technique: beadwork; embroidered
  • Subject: marriage/wedding
  • Other information: Cultural rights may apply.
  • Material: cotton; coral; silver; plastic
  • Copyright: © The Trustees of The British Museum
  • British Museum link: As1968,04.5
  • Acquisition: Collected by Weir, Shelagh

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