Near Eastern Women's Clothing
From North Africa and the Levant

Primarily from the 16th century

The artists who made these pictures were all Europeans and thus there may be inaccuracies in the representations of the garments. They are, nonetheless, the best we have to go on for this time period in North Africa and al-Andalus.



Maghribi Women's Clothing
16th century North African Woman
North African Woman, 16th century

She wears a tunic under a haik. Her head is bare, so these are possibly indoor garments
Woman of Alger from Nicolas de Nicolay
Woman of Algers
from the Voyages of Nicolas deNicolay, 16th century

She wears outdoor garments: a veil over her head coming down to her ankles, a narrow-sleeved tunic, stockings or hose of some sort, and "ballet" slippers
17th century Algerian Woman
Algerian Woman and child, 17th century

She wears indoor clothing, including fouta (wrap skirt) or haik over a short tunic, backless slippers similar to those worn today, and head wrap.
The child (unclear if it's a boy or girl) wears a pillbox hat, two tunics, a sash, and backless slippers
19th century Woman of Kabyle
Woman of Kabyle, 19th century

She wears a haik (it's unclear if there's a tunic underneath) tied with sash or fouta and A bnika over her head.
Although this illustration is out-of-period for the SCA, these garments are typical of rural and some urban Berbers in period, although i'm not sure about the bnika.



Andalusian Women's Clothing
Spanish Moorish Woman, 1529
Spanish Moorish Woman
from Weiditz, 1529

She wears at-home clothing consisting of trousers of some sort with lower leg coverings, parti-colored sleeveless surcoat over tunic, veil/scarf on head anchored with a roll, and sandals. The sleeveless surcoat may indicate Christian influence on costume.
Spanish Moorish Woman and Child, 1529
Spanish Moorish Woman and Child
from Weiditz, 1529

Woman wears at-home clothing consisting of trousers of some sort with lower leg coverings, jacket-like surcoat, tunic or vest, veil/scarf on head anchored with a roll. The jacket may indicate Christian influence on garments.
The child wears outdoor garments consisting of trousers with some sort of lower leg covers, long front fastening surcoat, tunic, head wrap, long veil covering head and most of body, and pointed toed slippers.
16th century Moorish Maiden
Moorish Maiden
from Vecellio, 16th century

She wears what may be outdoor clothing: long tunic, haik, and possibly a checked fouta, with a metal head cone over hair. Only the pointed toes of her footwear are visible
Another 16h century Moorish Maiden
Moorish Maiden
from D. Ghisi, 16th century

She wears indoor clothing: knee length tunic under what is possibly a frimla, hose or narrow pants, pointed toed ankle boots, and one or two caps.
Maiden from Granada
Maiden from Granada
from D. Ghisi, 16th century

She wears indoor clothing: one or two layered short loose tunics, pants, lower leg coverings, soft cap, and pointed toed ankle boots.
Married Woman from Granada
Married Woman from Granada
from D. Ghisi, 16th century

She is attired similarly to the Maiden, but with a frimla over her outer tunic and a hat.
Relief carving of the forcecd Conversion of Moorish Women
The Conversion of the Moors
from the Cathedral at Granada, late 15th-early 16th century
This relief carving illustrates women's outdoor clothing: a long veil extending from head to ankles held by hand over a long tunic. Additionally, the women are wearing ankle boots and hats like those in the illustrations by D. Ghisi.



Women's Clothing from Other Parts of al-Islam
Syrian Married Woman
Syrian Married Woman
from Vecellio, 16th century

She wears outdoor clothing: a long veil covering her head almost to ankles, over an ankle length tunic or coat. Her shoes are not visible.
Woman from Cairo
Woman from Cairo
from Vecellio, 16th century

She wears outdoor clothing: a long veil covering her head almost to ankles, over an ankle length tunic or coat. Her veiling is more extreme than the Syrian woman's, and includes a lower face covering. On her feet she wears sandals



To the Riyad

Questions? Comments? Send e-mail to