Purchased together with (ZI2018.500121 ASIA, ZI2018.500121a ASIA, ZI2018.500121b ASIA, ZI2018.500737 ASIA, ZI2018.500737a ASIA, ZI2018.500737b ASIA).
This object was sourced with the help of fashion designer Homeira Ebadi from the Evaz county of Fars Province in southwest Iran. It was purchased by her on behalf of Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli in 2018 to be added to The Zay initiative collection.
Apart from being a fashion designer Ms. Ebadi is a dedicated volunteer associated with The Zay Initiative and its cause, often lending a hand in sourcing unique pieces like this.
Our heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Ebadi for her efforts for her contribution.
This is a metal foil embroidered (badlah) skull cap (kolaqča) possibly of Qashqai women. Although referred to as a karabaghi or carabokhi – spelling debatable – by the previous owner, current research failed to confirm any headgear of a similar name from the region.
Constructed of two silk brocades – one in jade green and the fuchsia pink – and several strips of badlah – possibly silver – creating varied geometric designs and shapes on black, purple, and orange base.
The underside of the cap is lined with a plain pale pink cotton fabric with running stitches securing the outer and inner fabric together.
It is worth noting that the name badlah for this type of embroidery is although the same across Iran and South Asia it is also sometimes commonly referred to as (khus_dozi) in south Iran. It is believed that the term badlah is derived from the phrase ‘badal kinari’ – cloud lining – popular during the Mughal period in India as net or fine gauze silk were often embroidered with metal pieces giving them the look of clouds with bright lines around them.
However, upon crossing the Gulf and reaching the Arabian Peninsula the nomenclature of the embroidery changes to (talli / tulle_bi_talli), while the cuffs of women’s trousers which are detachable and could be changed are called badlah.
The acquisition notes for this particular piece claimed that it was part of a Qashqai bridal kit and was acquired along with six other pieces of Qashqai sets (ZI2018.500121 Asia) series and (ZI2018.500737 Asia) series. However, it could not be said so with absolute certainty.
The (ZI2018.500121 Asia) series has a far greater possibility of being a Lori ethnic wear rather than a Qashqai.
Although Qashqai dresses have been over the years influenced by the population of southwest of Iran, and traditionally the women of the tribe usually stitched their own garments with whatever fabric was available in the market, they did have a few pieces that were not adopted from the Lori women for example the turban (tara) of the northern Lori tribes or the ceremonial silk brocade shirts (jama_atlas) worn by the Bakhtiari and Boir-Ahmadi women of the Lori tribes.
The Qashqai tribe, a diverse confederacy in the 19th-20th centuries, were nomadic pastoralists migrating between the southern Zagros mountains. They hand-crafted unique clothing at home using market goods and popular trends. Men wore trousers, shirts, cloaks, and distinctive hats, while women donned colourful skirts, tunics, jackets, and scarves. Following political changes, dress customs evolved, adapting to new codes and societal shifts.
Qashqai women in the 19th and early 20th centuries wore vibrant, contrasting clothing, including gathered skirts, slit tunics, short jackets, and diaphanous scarves. They distinguished themselves through silk headbands and fabric choices, never covering their faces.
After the formation of the Islamic Republic, women adopted more conservative attire, but some resisted. By 1989, modified urban dress became prevalent, while men generally followed new urban styles but retained the distinctive Qashqai hat.