Daulton Art

Berber Shawl,

Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Berber shawl (derfudit, also known as milayah or milayer)

blue and white chequered cotton cloth, with silk or rayon embroidered geometric decoration

66 x 72 inches

Berber people

Siwa Oasis, Egypt (western Egypt, near border with Libya)

age uncertain; probably mid-20th century

provenance: collected in Siwa by Jack Daulton

condition: good


 

This type of shawl is a married-woman's modesty garment, a garment used by married women of Siwa, an isolated Berber enclave in western Egypt, to cover themselves, their faces in particular, when they leave the house.  The cotton is woven in Kerdassa, Egypt, far to the east near Giza, and then transported along the desert caravan route (now highway) to Siwa, where the embroidered decoration is added locally.

References:

John Gillow, African Textiles (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2003), pg. 130.

British Museum AN511968001

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detail 2:

detail 3:

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