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Culture

Ramallah & Jerusalem Traditional Dress

Palestinian culture is rooted in farming and village life. Storytelling, crafts, dance and other arts have been transformed by political disasters and modernization, but they are still in practice today.

 

Embroidery

Samples of Palestinian Embroidery

Embroidery is the most indigenous form of art in Palestine. It is a language for expression. Most characteristic are the cross-stitch embroidered dresses of village women, made of all-natural handmade materials. The earliest embroidery combines predominantly geometric and abstract patterns (triangles, eight pointed stars, chevrons, squares, lozenges) with some representational motifs such as flowers and trees. Later, other motifs were introduced as a result of influences and historical events.

 

Architecture

Architecture in Palestine is a blend of ancient and modern, vernacular and classical. It also reflects cultural and religious influences that came to it from many parts of the world.

local architecture is village architecture. It is typified by the use of stone, thick walls and domed ceilings. The emphasis in vernacular architecture is on warmth and privacy. A typical Palestinian village blends with the landscape rather than imposes on it.

 

Handicraft

Samples of Palestinian Ceramic

Samples of Palestinian Glass work

Palestinian handicraft has its origins in the production of basic utensils and domestic furnishing made of clay, glass, straw, wood, and cane, and in the ornamental craft traditions evolved locally or brought in over time by various infuences.

The olive wood is a symbol of Palestine, and so Palestinian artisans use its striated wood and also mother-of-pearl to produce distinctive souvenirs.

 

Dabke Dance

Sirriyet Ramallah Dance Troupe

The only indigenous folkloric dance form practiced and performed in Palestine is dabke. Dabke is typical of village tradition, tied to the natural cycle of growth and fertility, and is therefore customarily performed on social occasions such as weddings and feasts. It involves timed steps to the beats of traditional instruments, with calculated movements and punctuated stomping with the foot.

 

Visual Arts

Image Created By Palestinian Artist Suleiman Mansour

Most visual artists practicing and exhibiting in Palestine are painters, and the most common is oil paint. There are only a few ceramists, sculptors and photographers. Almost without exception, Palestinian artists express the desire to produce their art as a means of supporting the plight of their nation. The dominant themes, therefore, have been associated with the symbolism of the land and the struggle of its people.

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