Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, The Zay Initiative founder was initially contacted on Instagram by Mariam Khalfan Mohammed Khalifah al Maydi al Badwawi, who offered to volunteer and help source old artifacts from the northern Emirates for the Zay Collection. Mariam has been an invaluable addition to our team, as she connects easily with people and patiently explains our role, convincing others to help the cause. This (kandurah_arabiyah khwar_zari) is one of her finds.
Mariam came across this article together with a few more from an elderly person by the name of Yousif Juma’ Saeed al Ka’bi, who is in his late seventies and lives in a remote area in the valley of al Qor in Ras al Khaimah. He had forgotten them saved in an old trunk dating back to the time of his marriage in 1979 and The Zay Initiative was lucky to acquire the whole lot.
This cotton loincloth (wizar) also pronounced (wizrah) is typically used by men in the UAE and surrounding Arab gulf region, to date, as an undergarment worn under the tunic (kandurah), or worn together with a cotton shirt top in informal settings and around the home or when engaged in laborious tasks.
Basically, a rectangle-shaped white or chequered loin cloth (wizar), can come in different colour combinations, this being blue, red, and white. Customary made from imported Indian cotton woven on a pit loom. At times it is composed of two cloths stitched along the lengths, with a border and tassels on the ends which is not the case here.
Worn wrapped around the body to cover the body from the hips to the ankles, and simply fixed in place by tucking the end top corner on to the waist. Belts can be used to help anchor it in place and after the 1980s ready wrapped with an elasticated waist, versions became popular, especially for male children to wear almost as trainers until they learn how to navigate wearing the article.