This light net (tur) head veil (shaylah), was first gifted by Halimah Isa al Sayigh to Dr. Reem Tariq el Mutwalli. The two ladies met at one of Dr. Reem’s regular visits to the palace of Sheikhah Hamda bint Mohammed al Nahyan, maternal aunt to the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid al Nahyan, as she was compiling data for her Ph.D. research on this topic as early as the 1980s.
Sheikhah Hamda was instrumental in allowing Dr. Reem to meet with her entourage and visiting guests at her daily open reception (majlis) be it in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain. It was there that she met Halimah and discussed the topic at hand. A few days later Halimah sent this article as a gift to add to the research collection, that eventually became part of the (Sultani) Collection, the UAE section of The Zay Collection.
Halimah Isa al Sayigh, born in the early 1960s, is an Al Ain University graduate with a BA in Education, was one of the first women to hold a career at the Ministry of Education in Abu Dhabi where she was born and grew up. She married her paternal cousin at the age of 20 and bore 5 daughters and 3 sons. She is fashion conscious and continuously adapts modern trends with local and personal socially accepted norms in her style of dress.
This black Indian synthetic net (tur) veil (shaylah) is an example of a heavily adorned, yet affordable type of traditional metallic straw adorned (talli) veils that began to appear in the late 1980s. They were made in imitation of the more expensive, pure silver straw adorned veils (shaylah talli) or (mnaghad), which became rare after the 1970s.
Although these silver imitation veils were a popular mass market product for a decade, they are now quite hard to find. Today they are worn mainly by the elderly, or placed in a bride’s trousseau. As a result, they have become collectable in their own right.
The veil (shaylah) is imported from India in cut readymade shawl format, adorned in different geometric or vegetative motifs. In this example the teli work is spattered across the whole surface and is thus known as (mtashash) or rain drops (tash_al_matar).