"Ruth" story. Bethlehem woman "Ruth" as Bethlehemitess, 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 wearing the traditional Bethlehem bridal dress (malak) with embroidered chest panel. Over the dress she is wearing the distinctive short jacket (taqsireh) unique to Bethlehem. She also wears a traditional headdress local to the Bethlehem region, known as the 'shatweh'. This headdress is worn by married women and is covered with rows of coins, beads and coral, to symbolise family wealth. She is is portraying the role of Ruth as a 'Bethlehemitess'.
This image is part of the Bethlehem Women collection within the Library of Congress project of the Planet Bethlehem Archive.