Some tell their stories using the spoken word, some in the form of the written word, some through their art, music and dance.
Palestinian women tell stories through their skillful and intricate stitchery and embroidery, usually placed on women’s clothing (the “thobe”) as a way to reflect a woman’s social standing, marital status and wealth.
Embroidery stitches, motifs, colors and arrangements varied across time and from one Palestinian city and village to another.
Prior to 1948, the port city of Yaffa (Jaffa) was the cultural and economic heart of Palestine, driven largely by the worldwide export of its famous oranges. Contrary to Israeli propaganda that Palestine was an empty arid land before their arrival, Palestine had a dynamic agricultural and trade sector.
The Jaffa Chair pays homage to these two elements.
Engraved in the chair are two cross-stitches that were usually paired together by the women of Bayt-Dajan, a Palestinian village 6km southeast of Yaffa.
Story has it that the residents of Bayt Dajan were the first to start importing engraved sofas from Europe, owing to the wealth they accrued from their orange trade. The women of Bayt Dajan told this story in the embroidery in their thobes by usually pairing a cross stitch that was named “Kanabay” (Arabic for Sofa) alongside the orange motif cross-stitch.
On the seat of the Jaffa Chair engraved is the Kanabay cross-stitch and up the left arm of the chair is the orange motif.
Oranges were and remain a strong symbol of Palestinian national identity.
Dimensions: W:70cm X D:80cm X H:80cm Limited edition of one only. Year: 2017