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Yemeni veils


In certain parts of Yemen, women wear the bright colored sittarah, a wrap-around body veil, when going out into the streets. These garments are richly colored, but the main color is blue. Underneath these cloths, a face veil or maqmouq is worn. A tie-dyed textile, light enough for the wearer to see through and attached to a heavy band decorated with metal embroidery and red (coral) beads to keep the maqmouq in place on the head or the wearer.


In other areas of Yemen, also burqas are worn, such as shown on the image bottom right. These mostly black or indigo coloured veils are only slightly decorated with light embroidery around the edges and some decoration of beads on the headband. The rim on the center of the veil and the forehead receives most attention. This rim is often decorated with differently coloured stitches. 


Also in the rural areas, a cap or qarqush is worn. One of them is shown on the image below left. The caps are made of silk, or other rich materials such as velvet and are often decorated with metalwork embroidery. Silver tassels are sewn to the bottom of the caps as decorative amulets. They are also attached to wear the caps down to make them easier to wear.


(The images on this page are made by Maarten de Wolf, Jolanda Bos and Musee du quai Branly)

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