‘White as Cheese’: A Discussion of ‘Jbene’, the Palestinian Oicotype of ATU 403

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This article examines the oral versions of the Palestinian tale ‘Jbene’, an oicotype of ATU 403, focusing on the relationships between two plot details that neutralize each other: whitening the heroine, as an act of creation/blessing; and blackening her in an attempt to ruin/destroy her. Socio-cultural aspects are examined, taking into consideration the status of female sexuality in Palestinian society, as well as the Palestinian–Israeli conflict. The oicotype is viewed as both strengthening Palestinian collective identity and at the same time conveying messages to young women on how to handle their sexuality within a patriarchal society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-180
Number of pages20
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Folklore Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History


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