The Muslim West
Settlements and Domestic Life
Domestic life: women as homemakers.
In the Muslim household women were responsible for the cooking and childcare. They would store water in large jugs, drawing from them as and when they needed. Oil and grain were also stored in such containers, and smaller ones were used for preserved fish, meat and fruit. They used milk to make dairy products, prepared meals using traditional recipes and cooked on charcoal stoves. Food was often served on tableware, especially at family parties, a chance for women to show off their culinary expertise.
Distaffs (five examples)

Hegira end of 5th–first half of 6th century / AD end of 11th–first half of 12th century
Museum of Mértola
Mértola, Beja, Portugal
Muslim women were responsible for the welfare of the family and spent much of the day in the kitchen. In the evening, by lamplight, they found time to spin, weave and sew.