Cotton

Kamea and Kofya are amulets from Salonica, Greece. The amulets were meant to be worn in women’ braids or chignon. The common embroidery motifs were ties, branches or eyes. 

This traveling wardrobe belonged to Yiddish theater star Dina Halpern, and is a relic of a time when plays by Sholem Aleichem, S. Ansky, as well as Yiddish translations of Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Wilder were performed on Chicago’s old West Side.

Dina Halpern was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1909. As a child, she performed as a dancer then joined the Warsaw Yiddish Art Theatre, headed by her great-aunt, Esther Rachel Kaminska.