Chain stitches

A small exhibition about women and creativity in southern Iraq.

Along the Euphrates river in southern Iraq, the area of Mesopotamia's ancient civilization and humanity's oldest cities, women in the villages have developed a distinctive textile craft. Here, generations of hands have embroidered colorful and patterned wool rugs and blankets. Knowledge has continuously passed on from mother to daughter.

But after decades of international sanctions, persecution, and war, the continuity has been broken. The making of textile has decreased and knowledge about the craft has been forgotten. Today however, women are organizing themselves and reviving this embroidery tradition while also creating job opportunities.

In the exhibition Chain Stitches, one of the most recent objects acquired by The Museums of World Culture is shown – a large and richly embroidered weaving made by women in Samawa, southern Iraq, in the 1970s. It tells about symbols, history and an unexplored handicraft, as well as about embroidery as a way of saving lives.

The exhibition is shown from 17th of may 2019 until september 2019.