Women with Water Jars

Women carrying water jars, mat00063 Women with water jars, early 1900s

“Water is generally brought from the fountain, or cistern, in skin bottles, which the women carry on their backs, and a rope holding this in position passes round the forehead. If, however, they have no skin bottles, known as ‘kirby,’ they have big earthenware jars, which they carry on their heads.”  –Philip Baldensperger, “Women in the East,” Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement (1900): 173.

“A great part of their lives seems to be spent in going to and fro between the tent and the spring.” –C. R. Conder, Tent Work in Palestine (1878) 2: 284.

The photo and quotations are taken from the Traditional Life and Customs volume of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection (Library of Congress, LC-matpc-00063).


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