TITLE: Bedouin Battoulah
TYPE: face veil
GENERAL REGION: Middle East
DESCRIPTION: Bedouin Woman’s Battoulah (Veil Mask)
FUNCTION: social control; status
MAIN MATERIAL: dyed cloth
OTHER MATERIALS: dyed cloth; stitching; turquoise pebbles; coral; pearls; silver decorations; gold beads
Arabic women living in rural areas or hewing to old traditions continue to wear the battoulah, a partial veil mask, throughout the Persian Gulf region. Although the tradition has fallen out of favor among younger and urban Arabic women, some continue to wear it to indicate their status as married or to avoid unwanted attention. In the distant past, the mask was gold or red in color, but today black and silver predominate.