Suleiman also shared a fascinating detail about women in financial hardship who would burn wheat to extract and sell the gold or silver threads in their dresses. The hattah, a headdress that could be up to four meters long, was usually saved for special occasions due to its weight. She noted that the northern dress, extending from Ramtha through Jerash to the Irbid governorate and Ajloun, was the most common and diverse. Its defining feature is the embroidery with red, blue, and green cotton threads, symbolizing the earth and fertility. Suleiman also remarked on the distinct dress of the Ramtha woman, notable for its white embroidery and colored German headscarf, a small, brightly colored piece of cloth adorned with flowers, brought from Germany by men who had traveled there for work. In Madaba, women traditionally wore a black dress embroidered with a belt around the waist. The sleeves were long and wide, but the right one was the longest and was typically draped over the shoulder. The bride’s dress was similar in design but stood out due to its vibrant colors like yellow, green, and blue. Southern women, particularly those from Karak, were renowned for their expertise in designing, embroidering, and fabric selection. The typical dress could be made from a variety of fabrics, reflecting the woman’s economic status. Embroidery threads varied from cotton to silk, and some designs even incorporated colored Czech beads. The Karaki dress was typically sleeveless and worn over a brightly colored shirt that matched the embroidery. This was the typical attire for young women, while older women wore a black or lightly embroidered dress with a dark shirt underneath. Women from Tafilah had similar dress styles to the women of Karak, likely due to the geographical proximity and intermarriage between the two regions. The bride in this region wore a cloak on her head and adorned her forehead with ostrich feathers, which was a distinguishing feature of the time. In Ma’an, however, the dress style differed significantly in terms of fabric, colors, and design. The Hormozidress was worn by women across all economic strata. Sociologist Dr. Hussein Al-Khuzai highlighted that Jordanian folk embroidery was considered a fine art, and one of the most significant historical arts in Jordan. Through this art, Jordanians have been able to document their history and express their beliefs and social thinking patterns. Jordanian folk costumes reflect social, religious, economic, and geographical norms and connotations. For instance, the colors of traditional Jordanian dress can indicate a woman’s age; a red band for a young woman, a black band for an older woman. Furthermore, a married woman would wear a differently colored dress compared to a single woman, each region having its own customs. Each occasion also has its own specific dress and decorations; work, joy, sadness, and especially weddings have specific dress specifications. Al-Khuzai also noted that recently, some travel companies, hotels, and other institutions have begun to use Jordanian folk dress as an official uniform for their female employees to showcase the traditional attire. What distinguishes the Jordanian dress, according to Al-Khuzai, is its color palette, which closely matches the Jordanian flag with the predominant use of black and red. These colors symbolize pride, and they also reflect the link between the country’s attire, heritage, and identity, reinforcing an individual’s connection to their history and culture. This pride in their shared identity is a significant part of life in Jordan.
Source: Jordan News Agency