Palestinian Folklore



The term heritage and folklore are used to express a set of popular legacies that are culturally authentic and characterize a particular culture. Heritage is divided into tangible heritage such as ancient and archaeological buildings, and intangible heritage consisting of a collection of literature and folk stories along with an artistic heritage of songs and dances.

What makes Palestinian heritage distinct from others? And what are the reasons why preserving this heritage is part of the Palestinian struggle?

Palestinian heritage is a cumulative result of Palestine’s long history

Palestine is one of the oldest centers of human presence in the world, as the Palestinian city of Jericho dates back more than 7 thousand years BC and is believed to be the oldest city in the world.

Palestine has its own holiness in the three heavenly religions as well as being the eternal hub of geopolitical conflicts between kingdoms and empires, right up to the conflict between its people and the Israeli occupation.

Palestinian heritage is also an essential part of this conflict. Because heritage is part of the Palestinian identity that the occupation has been trying to obliterate since it began its settlement project in Palestine.

Palestinian folk fashion

The clothing design is a direct reflection of the country’s climatic conditions and meets the social and spiritual convictions and beliefs of its inhabitants.

Palestinian women’s fashion

We will find traditional women’s clothing in most areas consists of a loose dress and long sleeves with a headdress, these dresses are characterized by hand-colored embroidery, the differences are the shape in terms of drawings and the quality of the fabrics used in knitting, and the difference is the way the headdress and its colors.

Heritage men’s fashion in Palestine

In men’s fashion also we will find a similarity between the clothes of the Levant in general, where Qambaz is the traditional costume of most of Palestine. It consists of a dress made of Brocade and it’s open from the front, often colored in black and white, as the man puts a belt on his waist to install Qambaz. It is now considered a traditional costume that is used for parties, weddings, and Dabke groups.

The men’s headdress is also among the most famous costumes in the Levant and the Arabian Gulf, but distinguishing the forms of this headdress is not easy because each region has a specific inscription and color in addition to the different names (Hatta, kufiya, Silak, Shammakh). While the Palestinian Hatta is more than a headscarf, it is a symbol of the Palestinian struggle.

The Palestinian Hatta is the most widespread symbol of resistance

Palestinian kufiyah has been associated with the Palestinian popular struggle since the beginning of the twentieth century when the Palestinian people began to resist the threat of Jewish immigration and successive attacks on the Palestinian shrines under the British occupation.

We recall from these incidents, the Buraq revolution of 1929 and the Great Palestinian revolution of 1936 where Palestinian militants were masked by the use of kufiyah. This caused the British occupation to issue a warrant for the arrest of anyone who places kufiyah. the leadership of the Palestinian revolution ordered that all Palestinian people wear kufiyah, including civilians.

The late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat also played an important role in establishing this symbol through his insistence on wearing kufiya and the Palestinian headband with military uniforms, as well as being the most visible symbol of the Palestinian cause around the world.

Palestinian Kufiya day

Palestinian kufiya is characterized by white and black color with large inscriptions. the real value of kufiya is represented in the Palestinian people’s struggle march which occurs on the 15th of November of each year, which is the date of the declaration of independence of Palestine in 1988

In the end… There are many elements of Palestinian heritage that the Palestinian people seek to preserve. Some of these symbols have acquired Heritage status for their value in the Palestinian struggle, despite their modernity. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the “Hanzala”, a caricature created by the late Palestinian painter Naji al-Ali, in addition to the key that expresses adherence to the right of return.

Also, it shouldn’t be forgotten the collective efforts to preserve Palestinian heritage through the organization of exhibitions and concerts, as well as individual efforts in research and documentation.


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