Appliqued Shepherd Aba
The traditional Bedouin shepherd coat, or “aba”, is simply constructed of two pieces of fabric, joined lengthwise, folded and stitched along the top edge. Cuffs are then made by making a six inch cut along the folds at the upper right corners. The dark brown and tan striped ground is of plain-woven, weft-faced goat wool over a cotton warp, joined and hemmed with blue wool yarn. Impervious to water, this material is also used to make tents. Chain-stitched cotton stripes on the chest are reminiscent of frogs on traditional Turkish garments. The hems are reinforced on the inside with a faded, but striking, red cotton applique that terminates at the center of the back in the shape of a spearhead. This bold, yet hidden graphic was not intended to be a fashion statement, but rather as a protective talisman with the power to pierce the evil eye.
Circa: early 20th century
Condition: general wear consistent with heavy use, overall good condition
Dimensions: 47" x 52"
Inventory number: WR3776