Monday, June 21, 2010

Weaving the story of Bedouin textiles

When the American-Palestinian textile enthusiast and art teacher Joy Totah Hilden moved in 1982 to Saudi Arabia, where her husband Robert had been appointed as an English teacher at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, she embarked on an intensive exploration of Bedouin weaving. Hilden’s interest in weaving and textiles had begun at an early age. She was born in Jerusalem in 1935 to a Palestinian father and an American mother from the mid-West. Her paternal grandfather was a village weaver, and Bedouin wove on ground looms near the family orange grove in Gaza. She spent her early years in Palestine, and when her family went to live in America, she got to know the work of her mother’s ancestors in sewing and quilting. During the 12 years she and Robert spent in Saudi Arabia, Hilden traveled widely to observe the working practices of Bedouin weavers, most of them women. As she puts it: “The search for weavers and their secrets of spinning, weaving and dyeing became a full-time occupation, a new career”. Hilden also visited Bedouin weavers in other countries in the region, and she has read many historical and contemporary sources on the subject. READ MORE

1 comment:

  1. , said the Maldivian Bedouin warlord Siruhan