This gorgeous veil is from the Yemeni Jewish community! Yemeni Jewish women wear it for special occasions, like weddings. Lucky them! The wide band at one end goes at the forehead and the rest of the goldwork hangs over the hair at the back. You can see Dr. Shirazi modeling it (and another piece from her collection) in this article about Dr. Shirazi and her research on the hijab. Take a look! It’s very informative about veils in general, though it doesn’t talk much about Yemeni Jews. Here is the Wikipedia article on Yeminite Jews.
I know y’all want to see it up close. Here’s a photo of the forehead band.
Now the middle (if you click on the photo you can see a larger version).
Here is the tail end:
Finally, a few more detail photos.
And finally, one more photo of the whole thing (click for the larger version). On Monday, I’ll show you the silver face veil and jewelry!
This is one of a special series of posts based on the embroidery collection of Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is on “textiles, dress, gender identity discourse, and material culture in the Middle East; the meanings of veiling; rituals and rites of passage as they relate to material culture.” Over the years she has collected a number of examples of embroidery from around the world, and has very kindly allowed me to photograph them for my blog.