A New Exhibition in the TRC Gallery
30 August 2010 until 20 October 2010
Dress is what people wear to say who they are, what they are doing and why. The latest TRC exhibition, Three Takes on Dress, presents three totally different snapshots about dress from India (badla embroidery), Jordan (the huge Thob 'Ubb) and Turkey (circumcision dress). Three Takes on Dress has been made by various staff members and students from Leiden University. For more information, click her.
First take: The Thob `Ubb: The longest dress in the world?
This exhibition features a Bedouin dress from Jordan that is 3 metres long and nearly 2.5 metres wide, sleeve end to sleeve end. The story goes that women started to wear these enormous dresses in order to prevent tax collectors taking small items of value such as money and jewellery. It would have been a brave man who was prepared to search these Bedouin women! The exhibition includes replica garments that can be tried on.
Second take: Badla: silver embroidery from India
Badla is a metal thread embroidery technique that originated in India and then spread throughout the Middle East. The Egyptian version became popular in the West during the 1920s following the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamen and the ensuing Egyptomania. The exhibition includes fine nineteenth and twentieth century examples from India, Iran and Egypt, as well as a rare 1920s flapper dress from Europe that is made out of two Egyptian shawls.
Third take: ‘Prince for the Day’: Turkish circumcision outfits
One of the most important markers of a Muslim boy’s life is his circumcision. This operation identifies him as a member of the Islamic community. When this event occurs varies from one country to another. In Turkey, for example, it normally takes place when the boy is between 6 and 10 years old and for one day he is regarded as a prince and treated to a large party to celebrate this important moment. The exhibition includes a late nineteenth century circumcision outfit, as well as several examples of the current fashions in Istanbul.