Kurdish Woman

These two Kurdish women have been photographed as they might be seen today in Beirut. Their gay costumes are for everyday wear and are not reserved only for holidays. Riotous color and a flamboyance of dress characterize the appearance of these people.

The women wear two dresses, one on top of the other. The outer one has a low neckline which shows off the high neckline of the under garment. Pantaloons are a part of this costume. They are full and shir red tight to the ankle. Both women here wear yellow satin pantaloons.

One woman is wearing a blue silk outer dress or gambaz while the other is attired in an unusual velvet gambaz which is a family heir loom. The velvet dress is 50 years old. It is entirely embroidered in bands of multicolored flowers. Each outer gambaz has two free panels in the front of the skirt which may be brought to the back and tied up to add a flourish to the costume.

An important part of the Kurdish woman's clothing is the girdle fashioned of a handwoven wool scarf folded on the diagonal. The womanties this girdle firmly around her hips to give both warmth and support to the stomach. A bright apron which contrasts with the gambaz is tied over the girdle.

The headdress is a turban and veil. The veil is of sheer white cotton and may be edged with beads and sequins. The veil falls at either side of the face but does not cover it. The turban is made of a scarf like the one worn around the waist. It is tied at the back of the head and worn at an angle on the brow. Kurdish jewelry combines amber and turquoise beads with gold or silver.

The Kurdish men wear the sherwal, an open necked shirt, a sleeve less type of bolero jacket, and tie a turban such as the women wear around the head.


Kurdish Women


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