This piece (quba’ah) is one part of a five-part ensemble including: dress (thawb_al_sawn) (ZI2021.500946.1 KSA), undergarment (sirwal) (ZI2021.500946.1a KSA), headband (‘usabah) (ZI2021.500946.1c KSA), and flask (ZI2021.500946.1d KSA). This outfit was purchased together with two other full outfits, Harb tribe thawb (ZI2021.500946.2 KSA) and Hijazi bridal thawb (ZI2021.500946.3 KSA).
Once our Digital Archive launched in 2019, people began to reach out to donate, sell, or point out interesting outfits and body adornments to The Zay team. When the webinar (Traditional Costumes and Heritage of Saudi Arabia) aired in July of 2021, Mr. Zakaria Ahmed, silver and antique dealer from Yemen and close supporter of The Zay Initiative’s work, managed to source three interesting and complete outfits through his personal connections throughout the region. Though not the highest of quality, Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli was very quick to acquire and add them to augment the Saudi section of The Zay Collection.
The headdress (quba’ah), also known as (gargush), is worn by both Bani Malik tribe women in the Taif region, Saudi Arabia, and by the Harb tribe women. The size and shape vary depending on location, function, age, and the intended wearer’s head.
Basically, a simple hood-shape made of the same black cotton as the accompanying dress (thawb_al_sawn). It covers the head and extends to shoulder level. Typically, the quba’ah is completely covered with either embroidery and beads or woven strands of (khurayan). However, in this example, only the outer edges are hemmed with a woven silver, red, and black ribbon of geometric shapes, applied by hand.