I am Yemenite 4
Medium: Glass Mosaic
Materials: Stained Glass, Handmade Jewelry, Metal & Smalti
Dimensions: 18” H x 14” W
“I am Yemenite 4” highlights the beauty and the restrictions of traditional Jewish women’s roles in Yemen. While I focus on the Jewish Yemenite population, I hope to spark conversations about the wider aspects of female roles in society.
Due to numerous restrictive laws and regulations, the occupations available to Yemenite Jews were quite limited. In addition, traditional Jewish and Muslim customs and societal structures dictated that outside of childbearing and housekeeping, basket weaving and embroidery were the only occupations available to Jewish women. One outcome was that these women developed expert craftsmanship and created most, if not all of the basketry and embroidery throughout the country.
The style and color of the clothing worn by Yemenite Jewish women were also dictated both by Jewish customs and Islamic culture. This woman’s clothing and jewelry place her as living near a larger northern Muslim village or city from approximately 1900 –1950 CE.
I created this piece to shine a light upon women’s roles in the Yemenite Jewish and Muslim societies and to further discussions about both the beauty and restrictions of traditional social structures.