The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jun 23, 2014


Shamsa went about showing us her many robes and accoutrements. This is my dark-red shawl, and here is the red linen tjikit, lined in wool felt. Here is my yellow bashtamal, embroidered in flowers. I tie it like an apron under this thick belt, my futeyh. It protects my kidneys and spine when I carry heavy loads. Now, this is my tiri, this brilliant green robe, split in front and on each side so that I can walk with long strides in the steppe. And under the sky-blue yalik that keeps my ribs warm, see, here is my white linen ishligh, falling over lilac knickers, shilwar, and my stockings, or ghurik, also lilac. On my feet, did you notice the leather teshrek that we make ourselves, from animal hide? 
Look, here is what I put on my head, a red fez or tarbush, and this is my silvery veil, a bashlak, decorated with gold coins. Over all of this I throw square scarves, called bushi, each one a different colour. I knot them all around my temples, leaving one to throw back like a headscarf. But it must never cover my face or braids.

Hoda Barakat, The Tiller Of Waters.


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