The Palestinian Clay Pot

The 'jarrah' (الجرة)—or traditional Palestinian clay pot was a symbol of day-to-day life in rural Palestine.

They were mostly used for water. The small ones were used to drink water from directly while the large ones were used for transporting the water as well as long-term water storage. It was even used for storing olive oil. 

Traditionally, women were the ones to fetch their family their daily water supply from the nearby well or spring. They would often travel in groups and sing folk songs about their work. 

يا واردة ع النبع
ما تسقيني من الجرة
و حياة عينك يا سمرة
ما بوخذ غيرك بالمرة

"Oh girl coming from the spring!
Why won't you quench my thirst with water from the jarrah?
I swear by your eyes, oh tanned one,
I'll never be with anyone but you!"


It was such a staple of Palestinian life that it became a dance where women would balance the jarrah on their head and dance around. They would often design the pots with henna or soil called mughra. Below is a Hishey jarrah—a famous design style from Ramallah.
Palestinians would use the coiling technique to construct the pots. The clay used to form the pots has natural cooling abilities and is believed to make the water taste better.



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