Welcome to the wearable heritage website
Why a website on wearable heritage?
Monumental buildings, landmarks, landscapes and archaeological remains are virtually immovable and relatively well protected by law. However, those small movable objects in contemporary and traditional culture that are used in everyday life are changing and disappearing faster than ever because of modernization and globalization. These items have no formal status or protection. They are often disappearing without description or study, and are discarded or sold. Traditional veils worn by Bedouin in the Egyptian desert are such objects; these veils are often sold to tourists without considering their value as heritage for a fast changing culture. Tourists most of the time do not recognize them as valuable heritage objects either. In this manner museum pieces of traditional culture are often sold or lost. We would like to get these veils, jewelry and clothing away from the sphere of mere souvenirs and into the realm of heritage: wearable heritage.
Egypt’s Wearable Heritage is a collection of articles on crafts and objects from Egypt and the West-Asian and North African region. This book combines previously published articles in an edited form. I have been travelling to Egypt for over 25 years as an archaeologist and in this book I have combined my personal interest and love for people and culture with my profession as an archaeologist. This has resulted in a special, and richly illustrated book on wearable heritage. The book contains stories about costumes, beliefs, economy, socio-cultural phenomena and, of course, the people who live there and shows my absolute love for Egypt and its contemporary culture.
‘Paint it, Black’ covers the remarkable history of kohl containers from the Early Bronze Age to the present day, including ancient Egypt, ancient Persia, the culture of the Early Islamic Period and the present-day cultures of North Africa and West Asia. For thousands of years, people from all over the world have used body paint and kohl, a black powdery substance, has been universally used by both men and women throughout history. The book also incorporates a catalogue of a unique collection of kohl containers kept in the Wearable Heritage collection.
This pocket shows my favourite objects, my so-called "Objects Of The Day". I posted photographs of my favourite objects in the Wearable Heritage collection with small introductory texts on my Facebook page between 2015 and 2016. This booklet is the more tangible result of these posts, illustrated with wonderfully detailed photographs.