Educational Resources

This Digital Resource Library was created by the Jewish Museum London learning team. The Library brings together objects, video and audio that relate to the Jewish experience in Wales from collections across the country and is specifically designed for teachers and students.

Silk Bonnet (Object)

Copyright/attribution: Jewish Museum London

What do you see?

We can see some flowers made of frabric. We can also see a blue feather. Look closely, what can you see?

What do we know?

his is a bonnet made from black wire and silk. It is decorated with flowers and feathers. This bonnet belonged to a Jewish woman who came from the village of Nowy Dwor in Poland. She brought this bonnet with her when she settled in Wales in the last years of the nineteenth century or the early years of the twentieth. She would have worn the bonnet over a ‘sheitel’ which is the wig traditionally worn by Jewish women to cover their hair.

In many Orthodox, or traditional, Jewish communities, married women will cover their hair as a sign of modesty. Some women will wear a wig or sheitel, while other women might wear a headscarf or even a hat.

What do you wonder?

We might wonder why the woman chose this bonnet to bring with her? We might wonder how long her journey took her from Poland to Wales? What do you wonder?

Discussion Questions

Why might some Jewish women choose to wear a head covering?

Why might there be different traditions for men and women in some communities?