Headdress (Araqieh)

Headdress (Araqieh)

Covering the crown of the head and keeping one’s hair under control was a practice common amongst all Palestinians regardless of gender, religion or class. A common saying in Arabic which goes ‘she’s going around with her hair undone’ was commonly used to refer to women with questionable comings and goings or noticeable and unquestioned freedom, in the worst cases it referred to moral and perhaps sexual promiscuity. 
The control a woman had over her hair, in terms of keeping it neat and bound and kempt reflected her ability to control her morality and sexuality. It should be noted that hair could show from under the headdress or the veil as long as it is braided, knotted or bound, and never loose or unkempt. The headdress (araqieh) on display was used to bind hair, cover the head, display wealth and metaphorically address fertility and sexuality through the shells and the tassels.