This necklace (mriyah_um_shnaf) is part of an ensemble of a tunic dress (kandurah) (ZI2021.500971.3 UAE), overgarment (thawb) (ZI2021.500971.3a UAE), veil (shaylah) (ZI2021.500971.3b UAE), and a group of imitation jewellery in traditional UAE style: hair accessory (hyar) (ZI2021.500971.3d UAE), & earrings (kwashi) (ZI2021.500971.3e UAE).
This piece is part of a five-piece ensemble that was awarded first prize at the Zay Art of UAE Dress Design Competition held by The Zay Initiative in conjunction with Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown in 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UAE.
The outfit was donated by the designer Shaikha AL Gaithi to The Zay Initiative and will be included in the Fanan: The Art of Dress Exhibition, curated by The Zay Initiative at Zeman Awwal, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, from 28 January to 28 March 2022.
The exhibition will showcase the intersecting relationship between Art and Fashion while continuing to document the evolution of UAE traditional dress through the works of five UAE designers and five UAE artists. Together we will explore what fashion and heritage mean to contemporary Emirati women.
Shaikha AL Gaithi, a Sharjah-based, mother to two boys, holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic history and is a self-taught UAE designer. She established her workshop in 2008, and was awarded the prestigious role of designing the traditional outfits for the young hostesses during the opening ceremony at Dubai Expo 2020 in October 2021, where she created three particular styles. She donated an example of each style to The Zay Initiative’s collection.
The long necklace (mriyah) consists of golden coloured metal beads in different shapes and sizes, strung on a red cotton cord. In the centre front it has a pendant (shnaf) or (tfruqah) consisting of a horizontal bar connected to a crescent moon-shaped pendant with a smaller horizontal bar and crescent moon-shaped pendant attached below. The pendant concludes in a fringe made of fish-shaped flat metal pieces linked together in short chains. The crescent moon-shapes are decorated with green and red glass beads imitating precious stones.