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Veils & decoration


Especially on the Sinaï peninsula, the Palestine region and Egypt, burqa veils are often decorated with different kinds of beadwork. For more information on veils please visit the Wearable Heritage website. A variety of beads and beadwork decorate different parts of the same veils for protective purposes. Beads for instance decorate the textiles as simple strings. These strings hang across the cheeks of the wearer and are made up of individual prayer beads. Also, bands of beadwork are attached to the headband of the veil. The pattern of these bands often shows triangles and lozenge shapes. But this veil element may also be made of blue beads strung in a net pattern. For amuletic purposes loose beads are attached to the bottom of the veils. With this veil element, the material of these beads is of great important. The powers assigned to these materials (for instance coral beads, desert cobbles or flattened bullets) will influence the wearer. At the same time these beads also weight the veils down in the desert winds. Triangular amulets for the protection of children and mothers are sewn to the bottom of the veils. Other types of veils from Sinai contain fringed beadwork and tightly woven beaded head bands. Another very peculiar veil is the beaded veil from Egypt. This small veil is completely made up of a netted beadwork fabric or red and white beads. Parallels of beaded veils are found in India and with the Rashaida Bedouin of East Africa.
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