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Outfit of a Jewish woman from Gabès

<b>Outfit of a Jewish woman from Gabès</b>

Outfit of a Jewish woman from Gabès

“Let’s dress up like the girls of Gabès” is an adage that reflects the region’s reputation for rich, colorful clothing. One of the distinctive elements of this winter outfit is the wrap fastened with fish-shaped fibulae, worn over an embroidered blouse. The hips were accentuated by a belt of woolen yarn, and the head was covered with a kerchief worn underneath a scarf, adorned with amulet patterns and tassels. Embroidered scarves like this one were the sign of a married woman and formed part of her dowry. Instead of braided hair, woolen plaits adorned with beads and silver pendants framed her face.


Cotton crochet on cotton fabric

Sleeves: tulle embroidered with cotton thread, sequins

Wrap (melhafe)


Fibulae (tchlal)

Silver, pierced

Scarf (tarf)

Wool and silk, silk-thread embroidery, braided silk cord trimming, silk tassels

Decorative braids (tmayem)

Braided wool, beads, and silver pendants

Belt (hzam)


The Zeyde Schulmann Collection in the Israel Museum

Gift of Elisheva Ballhorn, Tiberias

Accession number:

B63.10.2414, B63.10.2421, B63.10.2657 (a–b), B63.10.2420, B63.11.2965 (a-b), B63.10.2403

Jewish Art and Life
From the Israel Museum 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