A Palestinian henna party

A Palestinian henna party

British Mandate (1920—1948)

Source: Traditional
Sketch: Amal Abu Hussain [Bir Seb’a] Gaza
Embroidery: Ruba Al Behery [Bir Seb’a], Gaza
Size: 59 x 112 cm

Palestinian wedding ceremonies start the night before the wedding day, when women from the bride’s family and her friends gather to sing, dance, and apply temporary tattoos with henna, a plant dye. Older women decorate the skin of the bride and her guests with designs that often take hours to complete. Decorations on the bride’s legs represent the return of the dove to Noah, as evidence that the flood’s destruction was over. The women wear traditional, hand-embroidered dresses, with that of the bride being the most beautiful.

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