Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Yemenite woman after childbirth
During the time she was considered ritually impure after childbirth, the Yemenite woman of Sana’a received guests enclosed in a special triangular structure. In this way she remained separated, both physically and symbolically, from her visitors while being shielded from malevolent powers. Her outfit included elaborate jewelry and a richly decorated dress (lulwi) that would later serve as her burial shroud. The triangular shape, also found in her bracelets, echoed the shape of oriental tomb structures and was therefore a reminder of death, from which the new mother and child had recently been delivered.
Gift of Shmuel Badihi, Jerusalem
Gift of Noemi Harpaz-Subeiri, Ganei Tikvah
Carl Rathjens Collection, on permanent loan from Salman Schocken, Tel Aviv
On loan from Wizo (Women's International Zionist Organization), in memory of Martha Bamberger, a longtime member of the World Wizo Executive
Accession number: B66.1734, B85.1204, L-B80.0080, L-B80.0092, L-B80.0087, L-B99.0247, B00.0097

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir