Old Berber Headgear – ADRAR – Ait Abdallah – Central Anti Atlas, Morocco
Early to mid 20th century. Wool, henna dye. Approximately cm. 145,0 x 100,0 (57.09” x 39.37”).
Beautiful women’s headgear from the Ait Abdallah tribe. Good general conditions. Some damage due to age and use.
The unique design on this headscarf may refer to a celestial pattern: the full and crescent moons of the lunar cycle. Dyers achieved the reddish-brown color by using henna leaves, which they made into a paste and then painted onto the woven ground. The color saturation varies, particularly within the darker shades, indicating that the dyers made multiple applications. In Morocco henna is an expensive material that is associated with the divine and with protective measures.
For more information and similar examples see “Splendeurs du Maroc”, by Africa Museum Tervuren, page 204.
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