Basketry

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216
Country: Palestine
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Basketry is a famous handcraft in Palestinian villages. This ancient tradition is mostly carried out by women, who learn this from the older generation in their families. The preparation for this craft usually starts in the summer, where women and girls meet on the threshing floors to gather piles of wheat corp and begin to collect and arrange the stalks of wheat after separation of its ears. They choose the appropriate section for construction use. The perfect part is usually from down the spike to the first node of the stalk, with a length of about 40 cm. Women gather these parts in the form of a bundle and continue this process until they collect what is enough for their needs.

Along with this kind of straw, women keep an amount of hay free of spikes, but without refinement for the use of filling.

The technique used in this craft starts by preparing the material. The work usually starts in the winter, when women meet in groups and sit in circle form to achieve their work. The straw is softened by immersion in water. Dyes are obtained to add colour. The process begins by hitching a bundle of hay, which may not exceed four or five, in a circle 1.5 cm in diameter. This bundle is then bent into a circle. The craftswomen repeat this process by using awl until they reach the end. The most popular objects of this craft are dishes trays, jugs and other households which used for their daily life.

Very few people are working in this craft at the present time. This could be attributed to lack of demand for the objects of this craft in the local market, as they have been substituted by objects of other materials such as plastic. Therefore, the production of this craft is on its way to becoming obsolete.

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Bundle of straw Palestinian craftswoman manufacturing straw try.

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