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Title: Keswa Kebira
Subtitle: The Grand Costume
Author(s): JANSSEN, Angela
Journal: Khil'a
Volume: 1    Date: 2005   
Pages: 79-105
DOI: 10.2143/KH.1.0.629998

Abstract :
The article looks at one of the most important items of Jewish Moroccan dress, namely the keswa kebira, literally ‘the grand dress’. Traditionally every Jewish girl in Morocco received a keswa kebira as her wedding dress. It was then used by married women on every special occasion.
The article considers various aspects of traditional Jewish life in Morocco, including a brief history of the Jewish communities with a description of the clothing regulations associated with urban Jewish populations. This is followed by a discussion of the keswa kebira’s history, the different elements that make up an outfit, and the role of accessories such as jewellery. This is then followed by a detailed description of the construction of one particular keswa kebira now in a private collection. The article ends with an appendix that looks at the production of gold thread, an essential item in the decoration of the keswa kebira in Morocco.

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