By Yedida Kalfon Stillman
This richly illustrated quantity is a ancient and ethnographic research of 1 vital element of Arab and Islamic fabric tradition - garments. whereas partially descriptive, its significant concentration is at the evolution and ameliorations of modes of gown during the last 1400 years in the course of the heart East, North Africa, and for the center a while, Islamic Spain. Arab garments is handled as a part of an Islamic vestimentary approach and is mentioned in the context of the social, non secular, esthetic, and political traits of every age.In addition to the 5 ancient chapters, 3 chapters are dedicated to significant topics of Arab dress heritage - the gown code for non-Muslims, the real socio-economic and political establishment of luxurious materials and clothes of honor, and the main famous and often misunderstood establishment of veiling.
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Additional info for Arab dress: a short history : from the dawn of Islam to modern times
That the terms were frequently interchangeable is clear from a ÈadÊth where a woman brings the Prophet as a gift a woven burda with a border (burda mansåja fÊh§ È§shiyyatuh§) which she herself had made and asks the people assembled if they know what a burda is. 21 Many of the later Arabic dictionaries are unclear about the precise nature of early wraps and mantles mentioned in poetry and use the name of one to define another. ”22 Many wraps and mantles were known by their fabrics. Thus the namira was a man’s wrap with stripes of varying colors which gave it the appearance of a tiger’s skin, whence its name.
The paintings in manuscript show many of the colors, patterns, and embellishments described in the literary and documentary texts. The question might well be posed: How reliable are these artistic sources? In studying Islamic art with another beloved teacher and mentor, the late Richard Ettinghausen, I came to the belief, shared by him and other Islamic art historians that Arab painting (though not always Persian painting), woodcarving, and metal inlays, within certain limits, are on the whole, accurate mirrors of their times.
Another basic one was the shamla, which like iz§r simply means “wrap”. These were usually white or some other light color. The khamÊßa, on the other hand, was black with ornamental borders (a#l§m). In a frequently repeated ÈadÊth, the Prophet found himself distracted by the decoration on a khamÊßa he was wearing at prayer and called for a simple woollen cloak known as an anbij§niyya. , for example, Exodus 22:25-26), the khamÊßa also served as a sleeping garment. Some wraps and mantles at this time seem to have been associated with one sex or the other, although these were in the minority.