"Ruth" story. Bedouin woman "Orpah", c.1940-1946
figureposted on 31.05.2019, 07:55 by Freja Howat-Maxted, Leila Sansour, Jacob Norris
This is a digital reproduction of an image held within the Library of Congress.
This image exists as part of a series intended to depict the Old Testament Book of Ruth. The woman pictured is portraying the role of Orpah from the Book of Ruth. Orpah was the sister in law of Ruth and is usually depicted in a negative light as an antagonist. Although Ruth and Orpah are presented as sisters, they are also presented as opposites: Ruth is the mother of David; Orpah is the mother of Goliath. Orpah then, becomes a symbol of promiscuity. This may be the reason why she has been depicted as a Bedouin woman.
This image is part of the Bethlehem Women collection within the Library of Congress project of the Planet Bethlehem Archive.