Bedouin Women’s Embroidery as Female Empowerment: Crafts as Culturally Embedded Expression Within Art Therapy
This chapter describes the complex, dynamic role of crafts in the lives of impoverished women from non-Western cultures, and speciﬁcally the evolving role of embroidery for marginalized Bedouin women in Israel. The chapter ﬁrst discusses socially contextualized understandings of art and craft practices, as well as traditional Bedouin aesthetics. The use of embroidery as a culturally embedded speech act of female power within Bedouin culture is then presented. Also discussed is the
evolution of embroidery as an expression of Bedouin culture transitioning toward a Western-Israeli culture, and the use of embroidery as a multifaceted medium that can express and integrate dual-cultural identities. Finally, the implications of these understandings are discussed in relation to their application in art therapy.