Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Elie Posner
Algerian woman’s ceremonial outfit

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.

Dress
Silk, gilt metal-cord embroidery

Jacket
Silk, gilt metal-cord embroidery

Sash
Silk, gilt metal threads


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
Accession number: B02.1336, L-B81.0016, B86.0300
 
 


Publications:
Juhasz, Esther (ed.), The Jewish wardrobe from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 5 Continents Editions, Milan and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2012

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir