Ababda veils & dress

 

The Ababda, an ethnic group living in the Eastern Desert of Egypt (part of the Beja nomadic population), wear a wrap-around body veil in the indigenous African tradition. In previous centuries white linen cloth was often used for these veils, called Shoga by the Ababda (see image below left). Nowadays, more colorful textiles are used, often made of cotton or even polyester. With the new and lighter fabric, often another dress is worn underneath. 

These people and their forefathers have been in (often indirect) contact with India for thousands of years. These days still, the textile is often imported from India through trade on the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Arabian peninsula. The Shoga's are often the same textiles that are used as Saris in India.

In the Shoga, the cloth is tied around the waist of the women and then draped around the shoulders, back and around the head of the women.