Thinly Veiled Protection
Jews in the media are almost always represented as European, which is not only incredibly inaccurate, but it also erases almost half of the Jewish populations’ culture and history. Prior to 1948, vibrant populations of Mizrahi Jews lived in Morocco, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, Ethiopia, and many other lands throughout the east. Each community has a unique set of customs, cuisines, and languages; but are often left out of Jewish conversations. Through my personal relationships with Mizrahi Jews and my appreciation for their beautiful culture, I hope to paint a more diverse picture of Jews from around the world.
This piece was inspired by the stunning, beaded garments worn by Jewish women of the diaspora. Many of the bridal garments from the Middle East and North Africa have deep spiritual meanings and were tailored to the bride’s identity.
The peyote stitched band with beaded netting is attached by two sets of toggles and clasps. This element references the embellished band worn by the Yemini bride. The band can also be adjusted to drape across the face, emulating a modesty custom that was prevalent in Jewish societies in Arab nations. The geometric, bead embroidered head piece combines inspiration from jewelry and beaded headdresses from Jewish communities in North Africa.
This image was provided by a dear friend, Noa Gamliel, from her Great Aunt’s traditional Yemeni wedding.