(Ar. and Pers. lebās, Pers. pūšāk, jāma, raḵt). The articles in this series are devoted to clothing of the Iranian peoples in successive historical periods and of various regions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.
A version of this article is available in print
Volume V, Fascicle 7, 8, pp. 719-870
CLOTHING i. General remarks
Of the twenty-seven subsequent articles in this series eleven are devoted to clothing of the Iranian peoples in successive historical periods and fourteen to modern clothing of various regions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Persia. The remaining two are compilations of terminology for various types of garment in these settings.
Although details of dress have frequently provided clues for scholars seeking to date or localize various monuments in the history of art, the systematic study of dress, especially dress of the Middle East, is still largely in its infancy. As for clothing in Persia in particular, scholars are only beginning to come to grips with fundamental issues, and the study of costume is still in the initial, descriptive phase.
Sources. Foremost among the issues confronting those who study clothing, as is repeatedly indicated by the contributors to this series, is the problem of sources. The Safavid period (907-1145/1501-1732) is the earliest from which any meaningful quantity of actual garments survive; before that time only rare and usually fragmentary pieces have been recovered from sites widely separated in time and place. For periods spanning more than 2,000 years, then, it is necessary to rely primarily on textual descriptions and pictorial representations. Not only does the richness of this documentation vary with the group or period being studied, but also it is often difficult to integrate the two kinds of evidence in a coherent picture. Interpretation of representations is further complicated by the difficulty of distinguishing the formal conventions and traditions of a particular medium from realistically observed details of the subject matter. Before the Safavid period it is often risky to conclude that clothing illustrated in manuscript paintings or relief sculptures faithfully depicts clothing actually worn in contemporary life. Very often particular styles of mantle or robe, particularly in courtly settings, may simply follow established “types” widely recognized as identifying “king,” “courtier,” “warrior,” “servant,” and the like. On the other hand, a marked change in particular types of representation may reflect either an observed change in the clothing worn or the impact of new artistic models. Conclusions must be reached independently in each specific instance.
Then, too, the documentation is usually uneven. Because most of the texts surviving from before the Islamic period are concerned with political and dynastic events in which the protagonists were almost exclusively male and because most representations are to be found on official, courtly, and religious monuments—relief and other sculptures, wall paintings, coins and seals, and metalwork—knowledge of the clothing of women in those early centuries is particularly scanty and for the most part limited to that of aristocrats and entertainers. As for male costume, the monuments provide information on princely dress and the garments of warriors and priests but almost nothing on what peasants and other classes of society wore. Nothing at all seems to be known about children’s clothing in the pre-Islamic periods (see ii-vii, below).
For the first millennium following the Islamic conquest textual and pictorial sources are generally more plentiful, but the problems of coverage and interpretation are equally severe. The texts continue to be focused on historic events and affairs of interest to men, with little attention to the details of daily life; information about the lives of women is only incidental. In addition, assessing how much confidence is to be accorded to visual documents requires even more caution than in previous periods, for representation of human figures is often characterized by a deliberate androgyny (Ettinghausen, p. 53), and it is thus difficult to differentiate the clothing of men and women, especially in the centuries before the Mongol invasions.
Persian manuscript painting was first developed into a form of fine art in the 8th/14th century and reached a peak in the 9th/15th century, when scenes from both epic and lyric poetry were illustrated with relative frequency (see ix, below). Until that time women other than entertainers were even rarer in artistic representations than before the Muslim conquests, owing to the strictures imposed on them by religious law and custom; women were discouraged from leaving their houses and were not permitted to appear outside the immediate family circle unless completely swathed in veils or mantles of various kinds (see viii, below). Although some of these restrictions apparently sat lightly on Turkish and Mongol princesses and noblewomen during the period after the Saljuq invasions of Persia (429-654/1038-1256) and in the ensuing Il-khanid (654-754/1256-1353) and Timurid (771-912/1370-1506) periods, for the most part women in the Islamic world were invisible (see Lambton, esp. pp. 481-83). In the same periods, however, depictions of male costume were more sharply differentiated than before, and the wealth of surviving material permits some identification of clothing associated with specific social groups: aristocrats and courtiers, clerics, warriors, merchants, servants, laborers, seamen, nomads, shepherds, peasants, and professional mourners. It is even possible in certain instances to observe variations in the dress of smaller component groups within these broad categories; for example, among religious figures several kinds of dervishes, preachers, and teachers are distinguished by their clothing. Children are only occasionally represented and then usually in the same types of clothing as their elders.
Beginning with the Safavid period, however, though textual and representational sources are still important, they can be supplemented with actual surviving garments, particularly courtly pieces fine enough to have been treasured and collected through the centuries. The available texts, including Western travelers’ accounts, are also more comprehensive in their treatment of artifacts and practices of everyday life in Persia. Furthermore, from the middle of the 13th/19th century traditional visual sources have been supplemented by photographs (see ix-xi, below; cf. Stein).
By the end of that century some Western travelers and field expeditions were beginning to collect contemporary clothing and jewelry in Persia and especially Central Asia. Some of these collections found their way into museums, for example, the Museum für Völkerkunde in Berlin (primarily materials collected by W. R. Rickmers and the Turfan expeditions; Westphal-Hellbusch and Soltkahn, pp. 7-9), the Musée Historique in Bern (collection of Henri Moser), and the Danish National Museum (see xiv, below). More recently several institutions, notably the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh (Scarce) and the Ethnological Museum in Tehran (for illustrations of comparable material, see Shay), have exerted efforts to form comprehensive collections of Persian and tribal clothing, drawing on both donations and the marketplace.
Such collections help to add a historical dimension to the detailed field investigations of clothing by modern anthropologists and ethnographers. These field studies, based on both direct observation and verbal reports by members of the communities under study, yield a wealth of detail about specific distinctions among different types of garment and, taken together, provide a rich and subtle picture of the way in which clothing both contributes to and reflects the intricate social arrangements within each community. Details of headgear appear to be the main carrier of these social clues, but other garments can also function in this way. In view of the conservatism of clothing remarked by many of these investigators, it is possible that eventually, when the work of description is farther advanced than it is now, parallel conclusions about clothing in some earlier periods of history will become possible, though they will necessarily always be more speculative
Classification. A second problem confronting those who study clothing is that of classification. Most of the contributors to this series have adopted, whether explicitly or not, a general five-part classification, based on the position of the garment on the body: headgear, overgarments, undergarments, trousers, and footgear. Not every costume includes all these parts, and other items of apparel, for example, jewelry, belts, gloves, armor, and weapons are generally classified separately as accessories. There is no unanimity on further subclassification, however. Soviet archeologists, for example, divide garments worn on the body between those that hang from the shoulder and those that hang from the waist (cf. xv, below). An especially common approach is based on construction of the garment. A recent four-part classification derived from Western historic dress included draped garments, in which the shape depends on the fluid arrangement of textiles, often single flat pieces, on the body; straight-cut garments, in which geometric pieces are stitched together with straight seams; tailored garments, in which the component pieces are “sculpted” so that they maintain their shape even off the body; and garments shaped according to predetermined aspects of the cloth, for example, embroidered panels (Palmer).
Another approach to classification emphasizes the context in which the clothes are worn. Such classifications include, for example, the distinction between Achaemenid court and cavalry dress (see ii, below); distinctions among urban, rural, and nomadic dress; those between members of different occupational groups; and those between daily life and ceremonial occasions.
To some extent these classifications are determined by the type of evidence available. For example, an inductive survey of dress in a given historical period, based largely on pictorial representations, may be limited by the nature of the evidence to only the most general categorization of garment types, despite the complexity that may actually have characterized the clothing of the period. When evidence is more abundant, as in relatively modern times, the classification is more often dictated by the interests of the investigator; ethnographers, for example, are more likely to focus on the social function of garments.
Interpretive framework. Each issue of Costume, the organ of the Costume Society of London and a leading journal in this field, appears with the following statement of purpose: “to promote the study and preservation of significant examples of historic and contemporary costume. This embraces the documentation of surviving examples and the study of decorative arts allied to the history of dress, as well as literary and pictorial sources.” This approach is firmly rooted in the concrete reality of surviving evidence, and its proponents emphasize that “the study of clothing exists in its own right” (Saunders, p. 2). On the other hand, many scholars view the history of clothing as one aspect of the study of social history and value it mainly for what it can reveal about broader trends. Dramatic “clothing events” in the social history of Persia include the imposition by Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96) of European ballet dress on the women of his harem (see x, below), the forcible banning of the čādor under Reżā Shah Pahlavī, and the equally forcible reimposition of the čādor by religious authorities after the Revolution of 1358 Š./1979 (see xi, below). Such shifts, though particularly severe in relation to women’s clothing, have also affected men: European-style military uniforms (see xii, below) and European-style civilian dress for officials were mandated by Reżā Shah (1304-20 Š./1925-41), but Western styles were generally unpopular with the clergy, and fundamental changes in men’s clothing thus also became part of the revolutionary agenda.
Although the study of Persian clothing has not yet been focused on discussion of method, it is possible to find some useful directions in the study of Western clothing. In a recent discussion of Central European dress Wolfgang Brückner has emphasized the ways in which scholars’ theoretical orientations influence and sometimes even dictate the direction of their investigations and their methods. Drawing upon principles previously formulated for the parallel study of house types, he has identified four complexes of theory and method, in the historical order of their appearance.
The first are so-called “ethnic theories,” in which specific types of clothing are assumed to identify specific language and regional or tribal groups. According to a second, diffusionist theory, actual garments should be viewed as descendants of some original basic type; for example, the simple cover with a hole for the head may be viewed as the ancestor of various kinds of shepherd’s dress known throughout the world. Third is the history of development, which encompasses both internal evolution and the assimilation of outside cultural influences. Finally, there are theories of social function, which Brückner characterizes as “ahistorical” (p. 17); they encompass, among others, semiotic approaches to clothing as a language of signs that can be decoded and read (see, e.g., Petraschek-Heim; cf. Lurie). With this level of abstraction, in which actual garments and their consideration as historical documents are of little interest (Brückner, p. 17), the study of clothing can be said to reach the polar extreme from that of “a field of study in its own right.”
Elements of the first three approaches can be found in the articles that follow; nevertheless, as information accumulates, it will become necessary to reformulate and refine this basic framework for specific application to Persia, Afghanistan, and the various ethnic groups that live there. In fact, a primary focus of research and controversy in the study of clothing in Persia is delineation of the specific contribution made by the Iranian peoples to the repertoire of clothing (see, e.g., Moorey; Stillman and Stillman, p. 747). All the array of sources, classifications, and methods outlined above have been brought to bear on this question. In addition, linguistic evidence promises further assistance in these fundamental investigations (see xxvii, xxviii, below; cf. Stillman, pp. 740-42; idem and Stillman). As in the study of the diffusion of technology, systematic collection and analysis of the terms for specific items of clothing may eventually permit conclusions about a characteristically Iranian vestimentary system, as well as helping to establish or confirm patterns of reciprocal influence between the peoples living in Persia and in neighboring lands.
Although none of the contributors to this series on clothing has taken a semiotic approach, nevertheless many of them have focused on different aspects of the social and economic functioning of clothing, for example, as diplomatic gifts or a repository for capital (see x, below). Others have focused on more subtle types of social symbolism rooted in intimate communal relationships, in an effort to understand and delineate the underlying dynamics of particular cultural groups. For example, the prevailing sobriety of the clothing of married women can be contrasted with the livelier dress worn by young girls in several traditional communities (see, e.g. xvi, xvii, xxii, below). Among Baḵtīārī men the type of trousers distinguishes full-fledged members of the community from outsiders (see xxv, below).
W. Brückner, “Kleidungsforschung aus der Sicht der Volkskunde,” in Mode. Tracht. Regionale Identität, Cloppenburg, 1985, pp. 13-22.
R. Ettinghausen, Arab Painting, Geneva, 1962.
C. Issawi, ed., The Economic History of Iran 1800-1914, Chicago, 1971.
A. K. S. Lambton, “Al-Marʾa. 3. In Persia a. Before 1900,” in EI2 VI, pp. 481-85.
A. Lurie, The Language of Clothes, London, 1981.
P. R. S. Moorey, “The Iranian Contribution to Achaemenid Material Culture,” Iran 23, 1985, pp. 21-37.
A. Palmer, “The Royal Ontario Museum Costume and Textile Gallery, "Measure for Measure,"” Costume 24, 1990, pp. 114-16.
I. Petraschek-Heim, Die Sprache der Kleidung, 2nd ed., Baltmannsweiler, 1988.
J. E. Polak, Persien. Das Land und seine Bewohner, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1865.
A. S. Saunders, “Editorial,” Costume 24, 1990, pp. 1-2.
J. Scarce, Middle Eastern Costume from the Tribes and Cities of Iran and Turkey, Edinburgh, 1981.
A. Shay, “Traditional Clothing in Iran,” Ornament 6/1, 1982, pp. 2-9, 42.
D. Stein, “Early Photography in Iran,” History of Photography 7/4, 1983, pp. 257-91.
Y. K. Stillman, “Libās i,” in EI2 V, pp. 732-42.
Idem and N. A. Stillman, “Libās iii,” in EI2 V, pp. 747-50.
S. Westphal-Hellbusch and G. Soltkahn, Mützen aus Zentralasien and Persien, Berlin, 1976.
CLOTHING ii. In the Median and Achaemenid periods
Information on the dress worn by the peoples of the Median and Achaemenid empires is mainly related to male costume. Female dress will be described briefly at the end of this article. The data come from two categories of sources (Schoppa, pp. 55-70), references by classical authors (e.g., Herodotus, 7.61-80; Xenophon, Cyropaedia 7.3.13-14; Diodorus, 17.78.5) and antiquities of documentary value. Such antiquities can be divided into five groups.
2. Figures representing the thirty subject nations (Figure 46) carved on the facade of the tomb of Darius at Naqš-e Rostam near Persepolis (details in Schmidt, III, pp. 80-90; Walser, p. 52) and copied on those of his successors; the figures at Naqš-e Rostam are identified by preserved inscriptions.
3. Persepolitan friezes (particularly on the eastern stairway facade of the Apadāna,) representing warriors, nobles, and delegates of various subject nations (Walser, pp. 68-103; Hinz, 1969, pp. 95-113; Schmidt, III, pp. 145-62); the glazed-brick friezes from Susa and Persepolis showing soldiers in different uniforms (Dieulafoy, pp. 280-94, pls. IV-VII; von Gall, 1972, pp. 264-65); and the figures engraved on the base of the Egyptian statue of Darius from Susa now housed in the Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran (Porada, pp. 816-19, with references)
4. Representations on various, especially portable works of art: Greek vases (Bovon; Schoppa, pp. 28ff.); contemporary Egyptian stelai (von Bissing); “Greco-Persian” seals (Boardman, pp. 308-58); paintings, especially those discovered in the Karaburuṇ I tumulus near Elmali (Elmalı) in the former province of Lycia in southwestern Turkey (Starr, pp. 79-87; Mellink, pp. 222-23; Cook, p. 165, pl. 30, with references); sculptures, especially those from Sidon and Lycia (Kleemann, pp. 173-74; Borchhardt; Dentzer; Shahbazi, 1975, with references); the “Oxus treasure” (Dalton); and, above all, the highly detailed hunting and combat scenes on the so-called Alexander sarcophagus from Sidon (shortly after 320 b.c.e.; von Graeve, pp. 95-100) and the Alexander mosaic (Winter) from the floor of the House of the Faun at Pompeii (1st century b.c.e., after a Hellenistic painting approximately contemporary with the sarcophagus).
5. Relics and remnants of clothing found in the Altai barrows, which are decorated with Achaemenid motives (Rudenko, pp. 83-98, 296-97, pls. 63-65, 151-57).
Of these groups, the first (the Bīsotūn relief) and the second (the tomb reliefs) afford absolute identification of figures and their clothing, as well as clear chronological indications. The seal of Animas (Shahbazi, 1975, p. 20, pl. LXXV) and the figure of Autophradates, satrap of Lydia, on a Lycian monument (the tomb of Payava) also provide clear identifications. During the Median and Achaemenid periods many minor, mainly stylistic changes did occur, but in general the forms of the clothing remained the same and can therefore be discussed as a whole. The richness of these documentary sources has given rise to an enormous literature on the history of Iranian costume, notably by George Rawlinson, O. M. Dalton, A. S. F. Gow, Ernst Herzfeld, Helmut Schoppa, E. F. Schmidt, S. I. Rudenko, Gerold Walser, A. B. Tilia, Anne Roes, Geo Widengren, Walther Hinz, and Stefan Bittner (see bibliography).
Edith Porada has emphasized that “in Near Eastern art in general, differentiation among peoples was mostly made on the basis of dress” (p. 822). The ancient peoples of the Near East had favored styles of loose or draped costume consisting of pleated skirts, wrapped overgarments, and tunics. It is possible that as early as the end of the 2nd millennium b.c.e. the migrating Iranians brought with them a costume that had been developed in Eurasia, where the climate fluctuated sharply and life depended on cattle raising and the use of the horse, particularly in fighting (Widengren, pp. 228-41; Houston, p. 160; Goetz, p. 2228; Rudenko, p. 88 and passim). It consisted of a tall cap, tight-fitting leather jacket and trousers, a long-sleeved coat, and boots. The Persians modified and adopted the Near Eastern pleated dress (Walser, p. 72; Hinz, 1969, pp. 70-79), supplementing it with a headband or a tall, fluted hat (probably derived from an Assyrian feathered headdress; Gow, p. 144 n. 29; Barnett, in Survey of Persian Art). Hence scholars sometimes call this style “Persian costume” and the dress of Central Asian origin “Median costume” (Schoppa, pp. 46-48). These designations are not always accurate, however. Herodotus testified (1.135, 7.61-62) that the “Persians” habitually wore “Median” dress; on a seal impression from Persepolis Cyrus I (ca. 630 b.c.e.) is shown as a horseman in the tight-fitting costume (Hinz, 1976, p. 53 figs. 16-17); the Achaemenid prince Artimas of Limyra (a cousin of Cyrus the Younger; see astōdān) is represented on his seal (dated ca. 401 b.c.e.) in a similar way (Shahbazi, 1975, p. 120, pl. LXXV); and on Darius’s tomb his weapon bearer, Aspačanā (Gk. Aspathines), whom Herodotus (3.70) specifically identified as “Persian,” wears “Median” dress (Schmidt, III, p. 86, pl. 24). Dress alone can thus not be used as the criterion of nationality, and it is safer to designate the loose, draped style as “court dress” (see, e.g., Schoppa, p. 47: “a costume that can be identified as court dress”) and the tight-fitting style as “cavalry costume” (Shahbazi, 1976, p. 24; idem, 1978, pp. 498-99; Porada, p. 815).
In general the male costume of the peoples of the Achaemenid empire may be divided into five categories: “Court dress” (I) of the Persians and Elamites; “cavalry costume” (II) of Iranian and related groups (Medes, Armenians, Cappadocians, Parthians, Bactrians, Areians, Zarangians, Arachosians, Sogdians, Choresmians, Skudrians, and Scythians); the “Greek” style, including a short tunic and a loose mantle open in front (worn by Carians, Lydians, Greek islanders, and Ionians); the “Indian” style, consisting of a kilt with or without a mantle (worn by Indians, Gandarians, Sagartians, and Makans); and the dress of the plains dwellers, including a long gown reaching to the knees or ankles and a cloak (worn by Arabs, Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Libyans, and Nubians). The emphasis here will be on the first two categories. In all, five items of clothing may be distinguished: headgear, overgarment, shirt or tunic, trousers, and footgear. Before discussing these items it is useful to note that in the ancient Iranian tradition the three social estates were differentiated through the colors of their costumes: The warriors wore red, the priests white, the pastoralists blue (Hinz, 1979, p. 61, with references; cf. Widengren, p. 240). Traces of colors have been detected on the clothing of the royal figures and dignitaries represented on certain Achaemenid monuments (Schmidt, I, p. 116, III, p. 80; Lerner, 1971; idem, 1973; Tilia, II, pp. 31-69); in an early 5th-century painting from Elmali (Mellink, pp. 222-23; Starr, pp. 82-83) with a banqueting scene involving “a grandee whose physical appearance, costume, and surroundings seem wholly Persian” (Cook, p. 165); and on a Greco-Persian stone relief depicting a man in “Median” dress (Boyce, Zoroastrianism II, pp. 146-47). The evidence has been interpreted as attesting that the old Iranian tradition was partially observed in Achaemenid ceremonial dress: The king wore red shot with blue and white to symbolize his authority over the three estates (Hinz, 1979, p. 61). Schoppa must be credited with the ingenious observation (p. 48), based on Greek data, that the “cavalry costume,” which is depicted in “Greco-Persian” minor arts with ample pleats, was shown at Persepolis without indications of drapery only because pleats and appliquéd decorations were indicated by the use of various colors. Indeed, at Persepolis the laces of the royal shoes were indicated only by colored outlines (Tilia, II, p. 55 n. 1).
Headgear. The best-documented item of clothing from the Median and Achaemenid periods is headgear (Schoppa, p. 47; Calmeyer, pp. 173-78). Seven types are associated with “court dress” (I). Type I.1 was a simple, twisted headband worn by the royal guard (see Figure 47, Figure 47a). Type I.2 was a circlet or fillet (worn by Elamites and many “Persian” soldiers) and type I.3 a wider fillet (worn by soldiers, royal attendants, and monster-slaying heroes); either could be decorated with floral motifs: embroidered on cloth or felt and incised or applied on metal, as in the headgear of Darius’s attendants at Bīsotūn and Persepolis (Figure 48; for details, see Tilia, II, pp. 58-66). Type I.4 was a long scarf (of wool, linen, or possibly silk) wrapped around the head (for example, of the Persian figure on the Egyptian statue of Darius) or closely around the head and neck, leaving only the central features of the face bare, as worn by the royal towel bearer on the “Treasury relief ” at Persepolis (Schmidt, I, pl. 121), by the “servants” on the Tačara (palace) stairways (Schmidt, I, pls. 133-34), and by the members of Delegation IV on the Apadāna stairways (possibly Parthians or Areians; Walser, p. 76). Type I.5 was a plain cylindrical hat (taller when worn by royal figures, as on the “Treasury relief”; see also Figure 49). Types I.6 and I.7 were, respectively, shorter and taller fluted hats most commonly associated with “Persian” dignitaries (Figure 50). Both these types were evidently called mítra (cf. Herodotus, 1.195, 7.62.2, 7.90).
Figure 47. Drawing of archer from the glazed-brick frieze, royal palace, Susa, now in the Louvre, 5th century b.c.e. After M. G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration, 2nd ed., A and C Black (Publishers) Limited, p. 164, fig. 155.
Figure 47a. Frieze of Archers. The royal guards of Darius I (522–486 BCE). Central section, 510 BCE. Achaemenid Persian period (Iran). From the Palace of Darius I (Susa). Brick, ceramic, and coloured glaze, 475. Courtesy of Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Figure 48. Drawings of fillets worn by royal guards, from reliefs on the jambs of the eastern and western doorways to the portico in the main hall, harem building, Persepolis. After A. B. Tilia, Studies and Restorations at Persepolis and Other Sites of Fārs II, pp. 64-65 figs. 11a-b.
Figure 49. Drawing of Xerxes, relief from the western jamb of the north doorway to the main hall, harem building, Persepolis. After A. B. Tilia, Studies and Restorations at Persepolis and Other Sites of Fārs II, p. 54 fig. 6.
Figure 50. Drawing of fluted hat worn by Persian guard, from a relief on the great staircase, “palace of Xerxes,” Persepolis. After M. G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration, 2nd ed., A and C Black (Publishers) Limited, p. 167 fig. 159.
Four basic types of headgear were worn with the “cavalry costume” (II). Type II.1 consisted of a simple ribbon wrapped around the hair and tied in the back (plate l), worn by members of Delegation XV on the Apadāna stairways (perhaps Bactrians [Walser, p. 90], Areians [Hinz, 1969, p. 104], or Parthians [Schmidt, III, pp. 148-49]). Type II.2 was a plain rounded cap most commonly worn by “Median” dignitaries. This cap survives in the Fārs and Baḵtīārī regions, yet it was of Mesopotamian—or, more precisely, Elamite—origin (Walser, p. 69). A silver rhyton of the Achaemenid period (excavated at the site of Erebuni in Yerevan and now in the museum there) ornamented with the figure of a “Median” horseman (Arakelyan; Harper, p. 30) indicates that this cap was of a stiff material (probably felt), which in some instances was reinforced and adorned by an outer metal retainer with a ring in the back to which an appendage could have been attached (Figure 51). The figure of an eagle embroidered on the cap clearly anticipated a well-known Parthian and Sasanian tradition, the adorning of the cap (and costume) with “devices,” or signs of heraldry (for such “devices,” see Bivar, 1959). Type II.3 was a bonnet with three knobs in front, a short extension like a tail, and earflaps, worn by the members of Delegations III (Armenians), IX (Cappadocians?; plate li), and XVI (Sagartians) on the Apadāna stairway facades. This type was also of foreign origin, derived from an old Anatolian type of hat (Barnett, 1957, p. 69). Type II.4 was a hat attested by the Greeks as tiára, kídaris or kítaris (Lat. cidaris), or kyrbasía (rendering Ir. *kurpāsa, which may survive in Zāzā kur “hat”; see Bailey, p. 9; Schmitt, pp. 468-69; on the synonymous use of these terms by classical authors see Gow, p. 144 n. 30; Pauly-Wissowa, Suppl. XIV, cols. 792-93). It was a hood or cap of felt (Strabo, 15.3.15), leather, silk (as shown by the rendition on the Alexander mosaic; silk fabrics were known in Greece from the middle of the 4th century b.c.e. [Aristotle, De Animalibus 5.19; see abrīšam iii. silk textiles in iran], and the general assumption is that they originated in the east), or, more commonly among the nobility, soft cloth (as in representations on satrapal coins and the Alexander sarcophagus). It covered the head, the neck (with a long, pointed neck guard), ears, cheeks, and chin (with very long side flaps that could be tied over the chin or at either side of the neck; see Figure 52, Figure 53, plate lii). The magi wore, in addition, a kerchief (Av. paiti.dāna- > Pers. panām) to cover their noses and mouths loosely in order to avoid pollution of the sacred fire by their breath (Strabo, 15.3.15; Boyce, Zoroastrianism II, p. 20 n. 44). Herodotus mentioned (8.120) a gold-embroidered tiara among the gifts that Xerxes presented to the people of Abdera to win their friendship. Occasionally a ribbon was tied around the hat, with the end falling down over the back (Dalton, pl. XIV, no. 49; Ghirshman, p. 93 fig. 121a). This ribbon was the diadem, which, according to Xenophon (Cyropaedia 8.3.13), “the kinsmen” of the great king wore around their tiaras as “the mark of distinction.” Quintus Curtius described the diadem of Darius III (336-31 b.c.e.) as “blue (caerulea) variegated with white” (3.3.19; cf. 6.6.4, where it is described as “purple (purpureum) variegated with white”). The coins of Tissaphernes (see *ÂčiΘrafarnah 3) and Pharnabazus (Hinz, 1979, figs. 31, 12), as well as a figurine from Persepolis (Hinz, 1976, fig. 34), show that Persian magnates were allowed to knot their diadems in front of the tiara (Hinz, 1976, p. 141, with reference). In any event, the tiara had a top like a hood, often lined inside with luxurious animal fur. Ordinarily it was worn flat, either pressed down in front to form three knobs or falling in folds on either side. Only the great king had the right to wear his tiara (kyrbasía) “upright,” that is, with the top erect, presumably held by inner retainers (Xenophon, Anabasis 2.5.23; Arrian, Anabasis 3.25.3; Plutarch, Artaxerxes 26, 28; idem, Themistocles 29). The Greeks mockingly compared this version to a cockscomb (Aristophanes, Aves 487; Dio Chrysostomus, 4.66); hence the so-called “Darius krater” of the late 4th century b.c.e. in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, which shows the great king wearing a tiara resembling a cockscomb (Hinz, 1979, fig. 45), is of no documentary value (Gow, p. 148). As is well known, this type of Persian headgear became generally popular among Middle Easterners and was worn by monks and priests from Tibet to the Hellenistic realm, where—under the term “Phrygian cap”—it survived, with slight modifications, in Roman and European cultures (Dalton, p. xxx). Related headdresses of the 4th and 3rd centuries b.c.e. have been found in the frozen tombs of the Altai (e.g., at Pazyryk). One, made of stiff brown felt, was originally a tall hat with broad circular side flaps (Rudenko, p. 89) and was edged at the bottom with disks covered with gold leaf and decorated externally with leather (Rudenko, p. 90). Another (Figure 54) was made of two pieces of white felt bordered by an ornamented leather covering and provided at the apex with a square “turret” made from four leather cutouts covered with gold figures forming a battlemented “crown” (Rudenko, pp. 90-91). The Scythians wore the kyrbasía (cf. Rostovtzeff, pp. 55, 57) so tall that the tip bent backward, and one group (no. 15 on the tomb relief and Delegation XI on the Apadāna stairway facade; Figure 46, plate lii) wore hats so tall that the Persians called them “Tall-Helmet/Pointed-Hat Scythians” (Saka tigraxaudā; Kent, Old Persian, p. 186; Shahbazi, 1982, pp. 216ff., with references). The points, which curve toward the back, do not resemble the crest of the “upright” tiara, for, as can be seen from the Alexander mosaic and a gold statuette from the “Oxus treasure” (Dalton, pl. XIII/2-2a), the latter stood vertically and, in addition, bore precious adornments.
Overgarments. Several overgarments were associated with court dress. The vest (I.1) was worn by Darius the Great (in a hunting scene on his cylinder seal in the British Museum; Ghirshman, p. 268 fig. 329), the Persepolitan monster-slaying hero (plate liii; see Schmidt, I, pl. 147; Hinz, 1969, p. 78, pl. 27), and the Persian and Elamite throne bearers represented on the tombs (Figure 46). It had vertical pleats and, being sleeveless, left the wearer free to move quickly. It seems to be attested also on a Greek vase, where it is painted in red, with patterning and a broad white stripe down the front (Gow, pp. 146, 150 fig. 8), as well as on an enigmatic silver statuette from the “Oxus treasure” (plate liv; Dalton, pp. 1-2, fig. 41, pl. II/1). Scholars are sharply divided over the construction of the pleated robe (I.2) with very wide sleeves (Figure 49). Herzfeld (p. 259) maintained that it was “a simple rectangular piece of soft material, reaching in front and back from neck to ankle, and in width from wrist to wrist, arms outstretched, with a slit for the head. It was open at the sides and only girded around the waist by a belt.” His view has received wide support, at least in part (Houston, p. 162; Walser, p. 69 n. 5; Beck; cf. Schmidt, I, p. 163, III, p. 80, who, however, followed Rawlinson, p. 152, in incorrectly identifying it as the candys). Roes, however, argued for a two-piece costume, a cape-like top with wide sleeves and a pleated skirt. Her reconstruction was supported by Hinz on linguistic grounds (1969, p. 70). Nevertheless, that it was a single piece girt in the middle by a wide cloth belt, below which it fell in tiers of pleats to form a “skirt,” is clear from the representation of a “Persian nobleman” engraved on the seal of Artaxerxes (III?; 359-38 b.c.e.), now in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg (see plate lv). The extraordinary wide sleeves were enlarged by the insertion of separate pieces at the back; they could be thrown back on the shoulders for greater ease of movement (see esp. Schmidt, I, pls. 114-16, 144-46). Additional pleats, straight or bunched at the sides, produced the fullness usually associated with court dress. The chest was well covered but, as Hinz observed on the figure of Vahyazdāta on the Bīsotūn relief (1969, p. 72, pl. 26a), the back was left open. The lower part could be lifted and tucked into the wide belt. At Persepolis Darius the Great, Xerxes I (486-65 b.c.e.), and Artaxerxes I (465-25 b.c.e.) are all depicted wearing the same royal robe, a luxuriously pleated garment originally of red or purple fabric, magnificently patterned with concentric circles and lotus blossoms (Figure 49). Blue strips edging the hems of the robe and sleeves, as well as along the vertical pleats in the “skirt,” are “embroidered” with figures of marching lions in red (for details, see Tilia, II, pp. 41ff.; 53ff., esp. p. 54 fig. 6).
Plate liv. Front views of silver statuette from the “Oxus treasure,” probably 5th century b.c.e., The British Museum London, no. 123901. © The Trustees of the British Museum. Available at www.britishmuseum.org.
Associated with “cavalry dress” was the “Median robe” (II.1) with long, narrow false sleeves worn slung over the shoulder (plate lvi, plate lvii); this overgarment is generally called “candys,” although doubts about the meaning of the word (for etymologies, see candys) and the identification of the garment are still being expressed (e.g., Hinz, 1969, pp. 70-72). Persian kings and magnates wore this cloak frequently (see esp. Xenophon, Cyropaedia 1.3.2, 8.3.10, 8.3.13; idem, Anabasis 1.5.8; cf. Bittner, pp. 188-92). Autophradates, a Persian satrap of Lydia in the first quarter of the 4th century b.c.e., is shown wearing this “Median” robe in an audience scene on the Perso-Lycian tomb of Payava from ancient Xanthus, in Lycia (now in the British Museum; Shahbazi, 1975, pp. 137-70, pl. lxxviii). Herodotus (9.109) mentioned a “long robe of many colors and very remarkable in appearance” that Xerxes’s wife, Amestris, “had woven with her own hands” and presented as a gift to her husband. Other ancient sources give the same impression. Xenophon (Cyropaedia 8.3.3) wrote of “the most beautiful garments” that Cyrus the Great had distributed among his nobles “and other Median robes … with no stint of purple or sable or red or scarlet or crimson cloaks.” He further described the candys of Cyrus the Great as “all purple” (Cyropaedia 8.3.13), and Quintus Curtius (3.3.17) depicted that of Darius III (336-31 b.c.e.) as “a cloak of cloth of gold, ornamented with golden hawks” (see also Kantor, pp. 6-8, pl. XI). Finally, Diodorus noted (17.77.5) that Alexander dressed himself in a white tunic (chitón) and the Persian sash and “everything else” except the trousers and the candys. A sleeveless robe reaching to the knees, worn slung over the shoulder and fastened in front by an elaborate fibula just below the right shoulder (II.2) was worn by Delegation IX on the Apadāna stairway (probably the Cappadocians; Schmidt, I, pl. 35; Walser, pls. 16, 54) and may be of Anatolian origin. The Sogdian (no. 7), the Choresmian (no. 8), and the Amyrgian Saka (Saka haumavargā, no. 14) on the tomb reliefs, as well as the members of Delegation XVII on the Apadāna stairway (Amyrgian Saka; Schmidt, III, pp. 112-13, 150), wear a tight-fitting, sleeved coat, cut obliquely at the side to allow ease of movement while riding (II.3). It was either made of leather with fur-lined edges or was entirely of fur or skin (similar to the modern pūstīn) and could vary in ornamentation and color (Walser, pp. 93-94). The name of this eastern Iranian coat may have been *gaunaka (> Gk. gaunákēs, with variants: Widengren p. 239 n. 2; Schmitt, pp. 462-63). Widengren derived the word from Avestan gaona- which means either “color” or “hair.” As he pointed out, however, other evidence suggests that the garment “got its name because it was an extremely hairy coat.” Finally there was a short, sleeved coat (caftan, II.4) made of sable fur or of a “double thickness of very thin white felt” decorated with leather appliqués covered with gold disks (Figure 55; Rudenko, pp. 83-87).
Shirts and tunics. “Court dress” included a garment that is best documented on Greco-Persian sculptures (e.g., the “Satrap sarcophagus” from Sidon and the “Payava monument”) and particularly in the frontal representation of a Persian magnate or prince (plate lviii) on the “Kamini stele” (Bivar, 1970, pl. I). This figure stands with outstretched arms, evidently holding a pair of beasts by the horns. He wears no outer clothing but only a full-length belted garment with long sleeves and a round neck. Both the Alexander monuments (von Graeve, pp. 95-98), as well as classical authors (Xenophon, Cyropaedia 8.3.13; idem, Anabasis 1.5.8; Diodorus, 17.77.5; Quintus Curtius, 3.3.17), attest to the wearing of undergarments (chiton) as part of cavalry costume. Xenophon (Cyropaedia 8.3.13) emphasized that the wearing of a purple chiton “shot with white” was a prerogative of the great king, and Quintus Curtius (3.3.17) confirmed the fact and described the item as “a purple-edged tunic woven about a white center.” Strabo (15.3.19) even reported that Persian commanders wore the white chiton under a variegated one, as well as three pairs of leather trousers. From the monuments it is clear that originally a tight-fitting, knee-length belted leather tunic formed part of the cavalry costume. Eventually a more elaborate cloth version with long sleeves and a wide V-shaped neck opening appeared; it is best documented on the Alexander mosaic and the Alexander sarcophagus (plate lix). The tunic was belted fairly high, and the skirt could be looped up over the girdle for action. Sleeveless tunics worn by Persians are also represented on a few Greek vases (Gow, pp. 146-47). A shirt with sleeves was found at Pazyryk (plate lx; Rudenko, pp. 83-85, fig. 29). The Greeks usually referred to such an undergarment (shirt or tunic) as chitón, but their lexicographers noted a Persian word for it, which they rendered as sárapis (Gow, p. 146; cf. Widengren, p. 238 n. 2, quoting the information from Pollux 7.61 that the “Median” purple chiton was called sárapis and from Hesychius that, “sárapis is Persian for chitón”). The Old Persian term has been reconstructed as *sarapiš (Widengren, p. 238 and n. 2) or something similar.
plate lviii. Detail of “griffin grappler,” based on the design of Achaemenid cylinder seals, from stone stele found at Kamini, Athens, late 4th century b.c.e. Formerly National Archeological Museum, Athens, now lost. Photograph after Perrot.
plate lix. Detail of Persian warrior from the Alexander sarcopha gus, Archeological Museum, Istanbul, no. 370, ca. 312. Photograph courtesy of W. Schiele, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul.
Trousers. The Greeks usually called Persian leather trousers anaxyrídes and remarked on their colorfulness (Xenophon, Anabasis 1.5.8; Herodotus, 1.71, 7.61, 7.64; cf. references in Pauly-Wissowa, I/2, cols. 2100-2101), even ridiculing them for this feature (Aristophanes, Aves 1087); hence Alexander refused to wear them (Diodorus, 17.77.5). From another Greek term for Persian trousers, sarábāra, as well as Aramaic šarbālā (Book of Daniel 3:21) and Persian šalvār, the Old Iranian form has been reconstructed as *šaravāra (Widengren, p. 238) or the like. In court dress the long skirt formed a sort of kilt, and trousers were not worn, but cavalry dress included several types of trousers. One variety, represented among the gifts presented by the Medes, Sagartians, and Pointed-Hat Scythians (Walser, pls. 8, 18, 68), consisted of tight-fitting leather breeches terminating in shoes (plate lii), which obviated the horseman’s need for additional footgear (Widengren, p. 238; Walser, p. 69; von Graeve, p. 97). Another type, more common in eastern Iran and worn on the Apadāna reliefs by Delegations IV (perhaps Areians; Schmidt, III, p. 149) and VII (perhaps Arachosians; Schmidt, III, p. 149; Walser, pls. 11, 14), was shorter and wider, producing a “baggy” effect when tucked into boot tops (plate lxi). The Persians on the Alexander sarcophagus wear trousers of fine cloth tightly covering their legs and feet; they are painted in blue, yellow, violet, and red, sometimes patterned or ornamented with floral motifs (von Graeve, pp. 97-98; for patterned trousers, cf. Herzfeld, p. 205 fig. 314 center; Bovon). A variant, worn by members of Delegation XV (perhaps Parthians; Schmidt, III, p. 148; Walser, pl. 22) on the Apadāna stairway facade, by Persians on some Greco-Persian gems (Gow, pl. X/9-10), by a silver figure in Berlin (plate lvii; Gow, p. 147 fig. 5), and by a Persian magnate represented on an ivory plaque from Demetrias in Macedonia (plate lxii; Dentzer, p. 216 fig. 8) fell in horizontal folds, indicating that they were of very soft materials, perhaps silk.
Footgear (see esp. Schmidt, III, figs. 33ff.; von Graeve, p. 97; cf. Pauly-Wissowa, IIA/1, cols. 746-51). Two types of shoes were worn with court dress. “Persians” wore low shoes with plain toes, fastened by three or four straps or thongs (Figure 47, plate liii). Elamites wore half-boots, occasionally, as on the tomb of Artaxerxes I at Naqš-e Rostam (Schmidt, III, fig. 39/2), with upturned toes, closed by straps and buttons on instep and upper. The shoes and shoelaces of the Achaemenid kings represented at Persepolis were painted red (Tilia, II, pp. 55-56), whereas the archers represented on the glazed-brick frieze from Susa wear yellow shoes (cf. von Gall, 1972, pp. 264-65). Beside the leather shoes attached to trousers (Walser, p. 69; see above) knee-high boots were also worn; the toes could be “straight” (Areians or Arachosians: plate lx) or turned up (plate lxi). The boots were tied in front (e.g., the Zarangian on Xerxes’s tomb; Schmidt, III, fig. 42/9) and had contrasting tops or were turned down at the knees. This footgear was particularly suitable for fishermen and inhabitants of the lake areas around the Hāmūn in Sīstān (Nöldeke, p. 1). The magi depicted on plaques from the “Oxus treasure” (Dalton, pp. 19-20, pls. XIV-XV) and on a fire altar from Cappadocia (Bittel, pls. A-D) wear high boots with thick soles and fairly high heels, calling to mind Xenophon’s statement, in his description of Cyrus the Great’s adoption of “Median dress” (i.e., “court” dress; Cyropaedia 8.1.41), that the Persians “had shoes of such a form that without being detected the wearer can easily put something into the soles so as to make him look taller than he is.” Gow (p. 145 n. 33) remarks that “for the spindle-shanked … it had plain advantages.”
Persian official monuments do not include representations of women; accordingly, little is known of their costume in the Median and Achaemenid periods. There are, however, a few contemporary representations in other contexts: on a textile from Pazyryk (Figure 56; Rudenko, pp. 296-97, pl. 177c), Greco-Persian seals (Figure 57, plate lxi; Gow, pl. X/1-6; Boardman, nos. 854, 879, 891-92, 964), ivory objects (plate lxii, plate lxiii; Amiet, pp. 173ff.; Dentzer, pp. 216ff.), the “Satrap sarcophagus” (plate lxiv; Kleemann, pp. 21-23), the monuments from Ergili in northwestern Anatolia (Figure 58; Akurgal; Bernard), and small metal vessels (Figure 59; Culican; Gow, p. 137 and n. 14). There are also a few notices by ancient writers. Particularly informative is Ctesias’s reference to the wearing of the sárapis by Parysatis, mother of Artaxerxes II (Hinz, 1969, p. 74, with reference), Herodotus’ testimony (9.109) that Xerxes’s daughter-in-law asked him to give her a robe that his wife had woven for him, and Quintus Curtius’s remark that Darius III “was girt woman-fashion” with “a golden belt” (3.3.17). Indeed, the representations of women show that they usually wore the pleated “court dress” and the voluminous “Ionic” chiton (Gow, p. 137; Dentzer, figs. 7-8; Dalton, pp. xxxiii-xxxiv, and nos. 89, 93, 103, 104). Occasionally, as on some of the Ergili sculptures and the “Satrap sarcophagus,” they wore an overgarment that, like the modern čādor, covered the head and neck (Figure 58, plate lxiv). The face, however, was always uncovered. The hair was often worn in a single plait at the back (plate lxv). By far the best available documentation of women’s dress from the Achaemenid period is the remnants of actual clothing found in the Pazyryk tombs (Rudenko, pp. 91-98), though in that distant region Achaemenid influence may have been considerably attenuated and probably reinterpreted. Excavated garments include a short cape or caftan (Figure 60) made of squirrel skin with the fur side inward and bordered with a band of black coltskin; it has narrow sleeves decorated with patterns of applied leather pieces (Rudenko, pp. 91-92). Another was a hood (plate lxvi) of a double thickness of fine leather covered in black coltskin and ornamented with rhomboid leather appliqués; it reached to the shoulders (Rudenko, pp. 96ff., pl. 65A). Finally, two pairs of boots were found. One had fine red-leather tops and vamps stitched to soles decorated on the underside with fantastic patterns. The other was soft, knee-high, with broad cuffs of leopardskin, leather vamps, and thick, rigid leather soles ornamented on the underside (Rudenko, pp. 93-96). This curious feature was practical because the wearer “sat with legs arranged so that the heels were turned out,” as is still customary in Central Asia (Rudenko, p. 96).
Figure 58. Drawing, detail from stone relief from Ergili in northwestern Anatolia. After M. G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration, 2nd ed., A. and C. Black (Publishers) Limited, p. 165 fig. 156.
Figure 59. Drawing, Iranian couple incised on underside of lid to cylindrical silver box, said to have been found near Erzincan in Turkey, ca. 5th century b.c.e. After Dalton, p. xxxviii fig. 19. © The Trustees of the British Museum. Available at www.britishmuseum.org.
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F. Winter, Das Alexandermosaik aus Pompeji, Strassburg, 1909.
CLOTHING iii. In the Arsacid period
The Parthian period (ca. 250 b.c.e.-224 c.e.), when the Arsacid dynasty ruled, or claimed to rule, Persia, was the period in which trousers and sleeved coats became common garb throughout the Near East. These garments, the direct ancestors of modern dress, crossed political and ethnic boundaries and were worn from northern India to Syria, continuing styles already documented for the Achaemenids (see ii, above; Bittner). The conquests of Alexander the Great and subsequent Seleucid rule produced no change in Persian dress. On the contrary, Persian styles spread and even on occasion influenced the dress of the Greeks.
Male clothing. The most distinctive Parthian garment was trousers (šalwār) of fairly fine fabric that fell in elliptical folds to the ankles (Kawami, 1987, pl. 11), where the hems might be fastened snugly or pushed into boot tops (Kawami, 1987, pls. 7, 4). It has been suggested that in some Parthian sculptures, for instance, the well-known bronze figure from Šāmī (Shami) in Ḵūzestān (ancient Elymais; see plate lxvii), the representations of trousers were actually intended as leggings of leather, worn for protection while riding (Godard, p. 158). The Šāmī “prince” does indeed wear leggings of an unidentified material, but they are worn over trousers, not in place of them, and the fine soft drape of the material does not evoke leather. A second type of trousers had sharp vertical pleats (Kawami, 1987, pls. 4, 26). The apparent stiffness of the pleats and their pronounced width suggest a heavy cotton, linen, or wool fabric (for Parthian textiles, see Kawami, 1989). A third type appears only on a relief from Bard-e Nešānda (Bard-i Neshandeh; see plate lxviii) in Ḵūzestān, where trousers with horizontal folds or wrinkles are depicted (Kawami, 1987, pl. 26). Neither the trousers with elliptical folds nor those with vertical pleats appear in the Achaemenid reliefs at Persepolis (see ii, above). The third type of trousers is, however, shown as part of the garb of the Bactrian delegation on the Apadāna reliefs (Schmidt, I, p. 195, pl. 41A-B), suggesting a northeastern origin for the garment.
Two types of sleeved garment were worn with the trousers, a fitted jacket that closed in front and a loose tunic with no discernible opening, both worn belted. These garments were worn by royal and nonroyal figures. The earliest version of the jacket resembles Achaemenid examples and is documented at Assur in northern Mesopotamia in the early 1st century c.e. (Colledge, pl. 28b). It was a short, hip-length garment wrapped diagonally across the chest, its snug fit accentuated by a narrow belt at the waist, appropriate dress for such active pursuits as hunting on horseback, when loose folds might have hampered movement. This type of jacket appears on sculptures from Ḵūzestān, on coins of the Arsacid kings, and in nonroyal representations (Kawami, 1987, pls. 7, 11; Camb. Hist. Iran III/1, pls. 4/1, 5/12, 6/1, 9/3). A related version, a knee-length coat left open in front to reveal a tunic underneath, is also known from many Achaemenid representations. In these earlier illustrations, however, the coat is always shown draped loosely over the shoulders, the sleeves dangling empty at the sides. Indeed, a fur coat with sleeves too narrow to be wearable has survived from the 5th-4th century b.c.e. (Kawami, 1989, p. 16 n. 50). Parthian representations of this coat are somewhat later in date than those of the short, fitted jacket. In Persia it is known only from Bard-e Nešānda, where both the Arsacid king and his attendants wear it (Kawami, 1987, pl. 26). Outside Persia, however, it is well documented on royal images, from Hatra in Mesopotamia to the Kushan kingdom in what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan (Ghirshman, p. 89, fig. 100; Colledge, pl. 14).
The second basic type of sleeved garment, the long tunic, was worn either under the open coat or, more commonly, by itself. Outside Persia it was sometimes patterned all over with diamond shapes, which could also appear on trousers. Persian tunics were ornamented with bands, probably embroidered or woven, at the wrists and necklines. Occasionally one to three ornamental strips ran down the front of the garment, evoking the decorated tunics of the late Hellenistic Mediterranean (Kawami, 1987, p. 142, pl. 4; Trilling, pp. 47-49, 64-72, 77). The tunic was frequently secured by a loose, low-slung belt worn at the hips. Such belts could be simple broad bands, presumably of leather, or they might feature a variable number of decorative medallions or plaques. A complete gold belt of a similar design has been excavated in northern Afghanistan (Sarianidi, no. 4.2, pp. 150-54, 246-47). Although outside the area of direct Parthian or Arsacid control, this find is dated to the Parthian period. In the second half of the Parthian period two types of tunic can be distinguished in representations. One type, worn with an elaborate broad belt, has a flaring hem suggestive of a smooth, stiff fabric. It has parallels in the dress of the Kushans (Ghirshman, pp. 269, 279; Colledge, pl. 14a-b) and other related groups to the east (Kawami, 1987, pp. 144-45). The other type is distinguished by fine, soft pleats and a narrow belt and is related to contemporary dress at Palmyra in Syria (Ghirshman, p. 3 figs. 4-5, pp. 78-79). Both types of tunic are documented in Ḵūzestān, where trade routes from eastern and western Asia met. The major regional distinction that can be observed in Parthian dress is the preference in most of western Persia for the short belted jacket, whereas the longer, fuller tunic was preferred in Ḵūzestān.
Another distinctive item of clothing, a long, narrow bundle of fabric worn over the left shoulder, is known only from Ḵūzestān. It occurs regularly in depictions of rulers on the early coinage of Elymais issued by the local Kamnaskirid dynasty (1st century b.c.e.-1st century c.e.; Camb. Hist. Iran III/1, pls. 11/12, 12/1-2) and later on sculptures in the same region (Kawami, 1987, pls. 26, 38, 59). It was never worn by the Arsacid kings and appears only once outside Ḵūzestān, at Bīsotūn (Kawami, 1987, pl. 4). As it is usually worn by priestly, rather than secular, figures in these representations, it has been interpreted as a badge of religious office; the evidence of the Kamnaskirid coins would then suggest that they held such office themselves (Henning, p. 165). The origins of the roll are obscure; one possibility is that it was derived from the twist or loop of cloth carried by the figure directly behind the royal figure in a relief in the Treasury at Persepolis (Schmidt, I, pl. 121).
The footgear of this period, boots of soft leather, continues a general type known in the Achaemenid period, but the Achaemenid examples are worn only by delegations from the northeastern regions carved on the Apadāna reliefs at Persepolis (Schmidt, I, pls. 30B, 33B, 41A-B). The latter illustrate footgear that originated in the regions in which the Arsacid dynasty arose. The simple style precludes recognition of most utilitarian details, showing only the differences in the height of the boot tops and occasionally the use of straps with ornate buckles to secure the loose material at the ankle (Kawami, 1987, pl. 31). Examples of these buckles have been excavated at the Parthian site of Tilga Tepe in northern Afghanistan (Sarianidi, no. 4.1, pp. 182, 246, 247), but none is known from Persia proper. The multiple straps seen in some Achaemenid renderings (Bittner, pls. 2-5a) are not shown in Parthian representations.
Female clothing. Women are seldom represented in Parthian reliefs. Their main dress seems to have consisted of a long, full garment, belted at the waist and falling to the ankles in many fine pleats. It is distinguished from the loose male tunic only by its length. A second element of female garb was a veil covering the back of the head. Such veils were common throughout the Near East and the Aegean from the Achaemenid (see ii, above) through the Parthian period (Macurdy). Footgear was presumably similar to that of men, but the few known representations are too summary to warrant further conclusions.
See also belts.
S. Bittner, Tracht und Bewaffnung des persischen Heeres zur Zeit der Achaimeniden, Munich, 1985.
M. A. R. Colledge, Parthian Art, Ithaca, N.Y., 1977.
V. S. Curtis, The Parthian Costume. Its Origins and Distribution, Ph.D. diss., Institute of Archaeology, University of London, 1988.
R. Ghirshman, Persian Art, New York, 1962.
A. Godard, The Art of Iran, New York, 1965.
W. B. Henning, “The Monuments and Inscriptions of Tang-i Sarvak,” Asia Major, N.S. 2, 1951, pp. 151-78.
T. Kawami, Monumental Art of the Parthian Period in Iran, Acta Iranica 26, 1987.
Idem, “Archaeological Evidence for Textiles in Pre-Islamic Iran,” Iranian Studies 23, 1989, pp. 10-25.
G. R. Macurdy, Hellenistic Queens, Johns Hopkins Studies in Archaeology 14, Baltimore, 1932.
V. Sarianidi, The Golden Hoard of Bactria, New York and Leningrad, 1985.
E. Schmidt, Persepolis I-II, Chicago, 1953-57.
J. Trilling, “The Roman Heritage. Textiles from Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 300-600 A.D.,” Textile Museum Journal 21, 1982, pp. 9-112.
L. Vanden Berghe, Archéologie de l’Irān ancien, Leiden, 1966.
CLOTHING iv. In the Sasanian period
Investigation of female dress in the Sasanian period (224-651 c.e.) is hampered by the small number of preserved representations of women relative to those of men.
Ordinary women’s dress. The dress worn by females who were neither royal nor divine consisted of a long tunic derived from the Greek chiton, either unbelted with long sleeves or sleeveless and girt below the breast. This costume appeared as early as the reign of Šāpūr I (241-72) in the mosaics of Bīšāpūr (Ghirshman, 1956, frontispiece and pls. VII/1, V/1). A veil worn over the sleeved tunic, draped around the lower body and passing over the left shoulder (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 142 fig. 181), appears to have been a descendant of the Greek himation, later adopted by Roman matrons (Ghirshman, 1956, p. 66); it was worn either fastened at the shoulder or pulled over the head (Bieber, pp. 27, 29; Richter, p. 91). The version of this costume depicted at Bīšāpūr had its immediate antecedents in the long tunic and veil worn by powerful and wealthy women of the 2nd and 3rd centuries c.e., as depicted on Parthian and Palmyrene monuments (Peck, p. 107; Colledge, 1976, p. 149, pls. 61, 62, 85, 89; MacKay, pl. LVII/i; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 95 fig. 106; Kawami, pls. 63, 64; for comparable dress among the contemporary Kushans, see Ingholt, 1957, pls. 189, 310; Rosenfield, pls. 98, 98a). It was still popular in the 6th and 7th centuries (attested on silver plates in the Guennol and Arthur M. Sackler collections, where the fabrics are patterned with triple circles, stippled triangles, and trellis designs; Harper, 1981, pl. 38; idem, 1978, pl. 25).
A variation of the veiled tunic is seen on a series of silver-gilt vases and ewers depicting female dancers and generally dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. Their iconographic significance has been variously interpreted (Trever, 1967, p. 126; Harper, 1971, p. 508; idem, 1978; Grabar, pp. 63-68; Ghirshman 1953, pp. 57-59; idem, 1957, p. 77; Shepherd, pp. 82-88; Carter, p. 61). In these images the veil, instead of being worn over the shoulder, is draped below the hips, with its ends wrapped around the arms, thus revealing a clinging, diaphanous belted tunic with long sleeves, sometimes patterned with circles or triple dots (plate lxix; Lukonin, pls. 183, 185, 189; Harper, 1978, pl. 18; Trever, pl. XXVIII; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 215 fig. 256; Grabar, pls. 19, 20). The shoulders of one tunic are decorated with roundels enclosing dotted rosettes, a feature more commonly found on earlier male garments (Lukonin, pls. 186-89). Prudence Harper has traced this dress to 2nd- and 3rd-century costume of the eastern Mediterranean (1971, p. 513). Dancers and other women of lower rank did not wear beaded necklaces, but rather heavy collars with single, double, or triple pendants (plate lxix; Lukonin, pls. 181-89; Harper, 1978, pl. 18; Trever, pls. XXV-XXVIII; Ghirshman, p. 215 fig. 256; Grabar, pls. 19, 20, 22).
plate lxix. Ewer, silver with mercury gilding, Persia, 6th-7th centu ries. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 67.10, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. C. Douglas Dillon Gift and Rogers Fund, 1967. Available at www.metmuseum.org.
The tunic and veil were still worn at the end of the Sasanian period, as is clear from the depiction of female harpists in the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān (reign of Ḵosrow II, 591-628). The veil, which is draped over the left shoulder with the ends hanging behind or folded on the shoulder, is decorated on the upper thigh with a rosette enclosed in a jeweled border (plate lxx, plate lxxi; Peck, pls. IXb, X-XII; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. LIX, LXIX). The tunic is patterned with rosettes. The bodice closes down the front, where parallel bands disappear under the veil, and there is a high collar with rosettes or button forms, probably fasteners (plates lxx, lxxi). The harpists also wear heavy torques with rosette pendants (plate lxx; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. LXIX, LXX, LIX a-b; Peck, pls. IXb, X, XI), which are comparable to the plainer, more massive torques worn by men in the Parthian period (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 86 fig. 98, 88 fig. 99, 89 fig. 100, 94 fig. 105, 99 fig. 110). Wide cuffs adorned with rosettes and birds recall the pairs of heavy bracelets worn by Palmyrene women (represented on funerary reliefs of the 3rd century; MacKay, fig. 6a, pls. LVII/2, LVIII) and the embroidered and jeweled cuffs of their coats (Ingholt, 1928, pl. XVc). High collars with central fastenings appear in no other Sasanian representations and can be compared only to elements of the caftan, a fitted coat with long sleeves, worn by a prince in a 3rd-century Kushan sculpture from Surkh Kotal (Sorḵ Kotal) in Afghanistan (Schlumberger, pl. VI).
The harpists at Ṭāq-e Bostān, though damaged, provide rare evidence for head coverings worn by Sasanian women of the lower ranks; most other depictions are of queens or deities. Two of them wear soft turbans (plate lxx; Peck, pls. IXb, X; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. LXIX, LXX) reminiscent of those worn by female musicians on a 3rd-century Gandharan relief from Peshawar (Ingholt, 1957, pl. 38). Two other harpists wear rectangular headdresses with wide pendant bands of cloth or ribbon embroidered with panels in a repeat design (Peck, fig. 2; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. LIX, LXIX). Their hair, plaited and tied with beads, recalls the hairstyle of the small figure on a plate in the Guennol collection (Harper, 1981, pl. 38). A third rectangular hat is constructed with two narrow bands joined at the back in a bow with decorated ribbon ends (plate lxx; Peck, pl. XI; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pl. LXXI). Similar hats with long ornamented ribbons are worn by female donors on wall paintings of the 6-7th centuries at Ming Öi near Qïzïl in Chinese Turkestan (Le Coq, 1924, p. 19, pl. VIII). The closest parallels for all the harpists’ headdresses are thus found in the east, in Gandhara and Central Asia/Chinese Turkestan.
Royal dress. The tunic and veil were, as Ghirshman noted, appropriate dress only for noblewomen and court musicians and dancers (1956, p. 65). The dress depicted on royal women and goddesses in Sasanian Persia seems to have differed, though the limited material available makes generalization difficult. At Naqš-e Rajab there is an early representation of a queen, probably Dēnag, wife of Ardašīr I (224-41), wearing a heavy robe like a coat, similar to that worn by male figures. Another type of royal dress soon became characteristic, however (Herrmann, 1969, pp. 68 fig. 3, 69, pl. III). In the rock reliefs of Bahrām II (276-93) at Sar Mašhad, Sarāb-e Qandīl (also known as Tang-e Qandīl), and Barm-e Delak female figures, probably representations of Queen Šāpūrduxtak (Harper, 1981, p. 34 n. 36), wear floating robes rendered in the classical “wet drapery” style, though the hair styles and headdresses differ. A diaphonous long-sleeved robe is girt at the waist by a ribboned belt. A light cloak floats from the shoulders to the knees; in some instances it is secured at the breast by a clasp consisting of two circles with pendant pleated ribbons. A necklace of beads encircles the neck (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 175 fig. 217; Hinz, 1969, pls. 131, 135; idem, 1973, pls. 46, 48; Harper, 1981, p. 34 fig. 9; Frye, 1974, pls. II-IVa). On the unfinished relief at Naqš-e Rostam a figure, probably also to be identified as Šāpūrduxtak, seems to wear a similar mantle and a necklace of round gems, as she does in a portrait bust on the silver Zargveshi cup in the Museum for the History of Ethnography of Georgia, Tbilisi (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 169 fig. 212; Harper, 1981, p. 30; Lukonin, pl. 207). A seal of Dēnag and another that may portray the wife of Šāpūr I demonstrate that at the beginning of the Sasanian period the collar of large round stones was already part of the parure of a royal lady (Lukonin, p. 216, pl. 59; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 241 fig. 294). The necklace and cloak continued as marks of royalty in the reign of Narseh I (293-302), both appearing on the portrait bust of a queen on a silver bowl in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Harper, 1981, p. 38, pl. 5), and the necklace in a depiction of a royal lady on a vessel in the Iran Bastan Museum in Tehran (Harper, 1981, pp. 37, 39, pl. 7). Although the mantle, like the long tunic, may ultimately have been derived from Hellenistic prototypes as transformed by Parthian and Syrian fashion (Colledge, 1976, pls. 63, 68, 91, 93), its shape and its fastening are particularly characteristic of Sasanian dress; in Palmyrene representations the beaded necklace is usually found in conjunction with other collars (Colledge, 1976, pls. 68, 86, 89, 91, 93).
Divine dress. The goddess Anāhīd is dressed as a Sasanian queen in the Investiture relief of Narseh at Naqš-e Rostam (plate lxxii; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 176 fig. 218; Vanden Berghe, pl. 32). She is clad in a filmy sleeved tunic tied with a ribbon belt, her cloak secured by a clasp of two circles and pleated ribbons. A necklace of round gems encircles her throat. In a unique 5th-century stucco image of Anāhīd from Kish, in Mesopotamia, she wears a heavy collar with pendants similar to those of women of lower rank (Harper, 1978, pl. 42). At the end of the Sasanian period another variant of the divine female dress appears in the investiture relief of Ḵosrow II at Ṭāq-e Bostān. There the goddess Anāhīd wears an outer veil draped over the left shoulder in the fashion of the female harpists’ dress but worn here for the first time by a divine being (plate lxxiii; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. XX, XXI). Double strands of beads encircle the neck and wrists of the robe, also a modification of earlier fashions. Instead of the royal cloak with clasps a heavy, smooth coat with long sleeves is draped over the shoulders like a mantle, in the manner of Achaemenid male figures in the reliefs at Persepolis (see ii, above) and of female representations in Scythian art (Knauer, figs. 13-15). Anāhīd is represented on one of the capitals from Ṭāq-e Bostān wearing the more conventional cloak with a roundel at the shoulder (Herzfeld p. 330 fig. 413), though on another capital she seems to wear a heavy coat (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 292 fig. 376). This coat, perhaps lined with fur, is trimmed with a double row of beads and square gems and edged at cuff and shoulders by stepped bands of striated design and jewel-like disks (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. XX, XXI, XXVII-XXX, XXXIIIb). The stepped bands at the shoulders enclose roundels containing star rosettes, recalling slightly earlier shoulder designs on the robe of a dancer (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pl. XXVII), and the surface is patterned with roundels enclosing rosettes, each with four heart-shaped petals (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. XXVII, XXI). Georgina Thompson has cited the Avestan hymn to Anāhitā (Yt. 5; see ābān yašt), in which her typically rich costume is described as made of 300 beaver skins (1965, p. 121; cf. beaver). Heavy, decorated women’s coats can be traced to the 3rd century at Palmyra, where they are worn in the conventional manner, rather than thrown over the shoulders, and covered by veils (Colledge, 1976, pl. 92). Although the relief of Dēnag at Naqš-e Rajab is evidence that coats were worn in the early Sasanian period, they were soon abandoned, only to reappear toward the end of the period.
In the Ṭāq-e Bostān relief Anāhīd’s robe does not cover her feet as it does in other representations, and it is possible to see that she wears soft slippers decorated at the insteps with double ovoid jewels (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pl. XXXIII); this ornament is richer than those in Parthian and Palmyrene depictions (Colledge, 1977, pls. 13b, 47; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 78 fig. 90, 95 fig. 106).
3rd-4th centuries. The earliest representations of Sasanian male dress date from the reign of Ardašīr I (226-41); they are found at Fīrūzābād, Naqš-e Rajab, and Naqš-e Rostam. The king, his god, and the accompanying courtiers are all clad in heavy, smooth tunics shaped like coats, which fall to the knees over trousers (Herrmann, 1969, pp. 68 fig. 3, 70 fig. 4, pls. II, III, IV); that of the king at Naqš-e Rajab has elaborately folded sleeves (a style peculiar to this relief; plate lxxiv). This type of heavy tunic was worn in slightly different forms throughout the Sasanian period and had a long tradition in Persia and western Asia. It was descended from the candys of Achaemenid times (6th-4th centuries b.c.e.), described by Xenophon in the Cyropaedia (1.3.2., 8.1.40, 8.3.10) as a long Median coat draped over the shoulders with pendant sleeves, except when worn by the cavalry during royal inspection (G. Thompson, p. 122). When combined with a shorter tunic and trousers it was fastened by cords or lappets at the breast (Ghirshman, 1964, pp. 157, 158 fig. 209; Survey of Persian Art IV, pl. 108A-B). This fashion was probably brought into northwestern Persia by the Medes at the end of the early 1st millennium b.c.e. (Knauer, p. 23; see ii, above). In the 1st century b.c.e., at Nimrud Dagh, the Persian ancestors of Antiochus I were represented in embroidered fur-lined coats, without pendant sleeves, tied at the breast with ribbons and two circular clasps (Knauer, fig. 18). The nomadic Parthians and Kushans adopted this attire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries c.e. (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 78 fig. 90, 89 fig. 100; Kawami, pl. 26; Rostovtzeff, 1938, pl. XXIII; Rosenfield, pls. 2, 23, 94, 98a; see iii, above), and it is not surprising that the Sasanians wore it in their turn. The earliest Sasanian depictions of this coat are in two graffiti at Persepolis showing Bābak (Pāpak), father of Ardašīr I, and another royal figure clad in long quilted coats tied with ribbons at the breast and ornamented at the shoulders with radial medallions (Herzfeld, p. 309 fig. 402; Harper, 1978, p. 123 fig. N). This shoulder decoration had a long history on both male and female clothing in Sasanian Persia. A lighter variation of the coat was worn open over a long tunic and leggings, though fastened at the breast with circular clasps and sometimes tied with ribbons. It was favored by courtiers and princes and appears on reliefs of Šāpūr I and Bahrām II, as well as on metalwork of the 3rd century (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 153-54 fig. 196, 169-70 fig. 212; Herrmann, 1969, pl. VIII; Harper, 1978, pl. 88), but it seems to have gone out of fashion by the early 4th century. The fastening, consisting of two circular clasps and ribbons, is close in form to those at Nimrud Dagh (Rosenfield, pl. 152).
The most common types of headdress for Sasanian nobles also made their appearance in the early years of the empire. They were the rounded tall hat, with or without neck guards, borrowed from royal Parthian fashion, and the soft “Phrygian” cap, with a point falling forward; both styles were sometimes tied with long fillets or decorated with devices of rank (Kawami, pls. 26, 30; Colledge, 1977, pls. 13/a, 29, 38/k, 38/u, 38/w, 47/a; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 90 fig. 102). These two headdresses, the pointed cap sometimes ending in the head of a bird or animal, were worn by nobles and princes (and queens) in scenes of investiture and victory on reliefs dating from the period of Ardašīr I through the reign of Šāpūr II (309-79; plate lxxv; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 131 fig. 167, 132 fig. 168, 153-54 fig. 196, 158 fig. 200, 161 fig. 205, 169-70 fig. 212, 172 fig. 214, 173 fig. 215, 176 fig. 218, 184 fig. 225; Herrmann, 1969, pls. III, VIII, XI, XIIA, XVI). The appearance of these headdresses on silver “hunting” plates and on late seal portraits demonstrates their continued widespread use in the later Sasanian period (Harper, 1981, pp. 50, 51, pl. 9; Frye, 1973, D.a, D.2, D.91, D.93, D.101, D.103).
In early Sasanian Persia royal and divine male figures, like queens and goddesses, almost invariably were depicted wearing the light cloak secured in front with ribbons and clasps; it was clearly associated with power and authority. At Naqš-e Rostam Ardašīr I and the god Ohrmazd are shown in cloaks of soft material secured at the breast with short ribbons over their stiff coats (plate lxxvi; Herrmann, 1969, p. 70 fig. 4, pl. IV). This cloak was probably a descendant of the Greek himation (Houston, p. 174); a short version pinned at the right shoulder was adopted by wealthy Palmyrenes in the 2nd and 3rd centuries (Colledge, 1976, pls. 61, 66). Although Geo Widengren (p. 240) has traced the Sasanian cloak fastened in front by a clasp to that worn by the Achaemenids, it more closely recalls the early 3rd-century mantle of Parthian Elymais, which was longer, ornamented, and also fastened in front with an elaborate clasp (Vanden Berghe, pl. 15; see iii, above). In the early years of the Sasanian dynasty the royal cloak was worn with a broad jeweled collar (identified by Herrmann as a chain of office; 1969, p. 85, pls. XIIA, XIII, p. 84 fig. 10; Vanden Berghe, pl. 22). The flat jewels or disks of which it is composed recall Parthian neck ornaments worn by male figures at Dura Europus in the 2nd and 3rd centuries (Rostovtzeff, 1938, p. 97 fig. 10).
On rock reliefs dating from the reign of Ardašīr I through that of Ardašīr II (379-83; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 126 fig. 164, 127-30 fig. 165, 132 fig. 168, 153-54 fig. 196, 169-70 fig. 212, 176 fig. 218, 184 fig. 225, 190 fig. 233; Herrmann, 1969, pls. III, VIII, XI, XIIA) the collar, plain or adorned, was worn by royal, divine, and noble figures. Beginning in the reign of Šāpūr I it was replaced in most royal representations on reliefs by a necklace of round gems or pearls (plate lxxvii), which became the familiar mark of royalty, worn also by the queen. The high priest Kirdēr (Kartīr), active from Šāpūr I to Wahrām II, is depicted at Naqš-e Rostam clad in the pearl necklace and the cloak fastened with double clasp and pleated ribbons otherwise reserved for royal and divine figures, a mark of his exceptional power (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 161 fig. 205). The beaded necklace continued to be worn by royalty until the fall of the dynasty (for depictions on reliefs, coins, and silver vessels, see Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 135 fig. 171, 155 fig. 197, 165 fig. 209, 167 fig. 211, 171 fig. 213, 174 fig. 216, 176 fig. 218, 190 fig. 233, 208 fig. 248, 246 fig. 309, 247 figs. 310-13, 250, figs. 315-19; Harper, 1981, pls. 10, 15, 37). From the end of the 5th century, however, it was sometimes replaced by a heavy collar with two rows of beads and central pendants (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 224 fig. 267, 225 fig. 269, 251 fig. 329; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. VII, XV; Harper, 1978, pl. 41; idem, 1981, pls. 22, 27, 38).
Aside from the mantle and jeweled necklace the dress of the king consisted of a short tunic bloused at the waist above trousers of a filmy, clinging material with pleated ribbons. A ribbon belt with round clasps completed the outfit. This quintessentially Sasanian royal garb was identified for the first time on the reliefs at Dārābgerd (dated by Herrmann, 1969, pp. 65, 83-87, to the end of Ardašīr I’s reign; for attributions to Šāpūr I, see p. 65 nn. 11-13, 15). It was worn in depictions of both kings and gods and, once developed and codified under Šāpūr I, became standard royal attire in representations on rock reliefs and “hunting” plates until late in the 4th century (plate lxxvii; Herrmann, 1969, p. 75 fig. 8, pls. V, VIIA, VIIIA, X, XII; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 155-56 fig. 197, 161 fig. 205, 167 fig. 211, 169-70 fig. 212, 172 fig. 214, 173 fig. 215, 176 fig. 218, 184 fig. 225, 262 fig. 339; Harper, 1981, pls. 9, 10, 13-15, 17, 18, 23, 28, 38).
The soft tunic resembling a shirt had its prototypes in the draped tunics of Parthia and Palmyra, which were, in turn, inspired by Hellenistic examples (Colledge, 1977, pls. 22, 28a, 47; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 53 fig. 66, 104 fig. 119; see iii, above). The trousers worn by the king consisted of leggings pulled over narrower pantaloons and secured at the upper thigh with a button and strap leading under the tunic to an inner belt (Seyrig, pp. 11, 12); this arrangement is clear on the reliefs of Šāpūr I (plates lxxvii, lxxviii; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 156 fig. 197; Vanden Berghe, pl. 20; Herrmann, 1969, pl. V).
Trousers and leggings, traditional garments of nomadic peoples from harsh climates, were worn as early as the Achaemenid period (550-330 b.c.e.) by eastern Iranian tribesmen (Widengren, p. 261; Survey of Persian Art IV, pls. 94A-B, 97, 108A-B; Ghirshman, 1964, pp. 189 fig. 236, 197 fig. 245, 235 fig. 283; see v, below). Henri Seyrig described the jambières of the Parthian period as wide tubes of leather or fabric, open at the upper thigh and secured in front to an inner belt (pp. 6-10). In Palmyra and Parthia the leggings were generally attached at the sides or back (Colledge, 1976, pls. 32, 112; idem, 1977, pls. 12, 12b, 22; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 88 fig. 99, 89 fig. 100, 99 fig. 110). This attire had disappeared at Palmyra by the 2nd century, though trousers continued in use (Godard, p. 295). Throughout the Sasanian period leggings were accepted male garments, worn in conjunction with the soft tunic on both ceremonial and unofficial occasions. Because the leggings were suspended under the tunic it is not always possible to distinguish them from trousers in representations. Despite a later fashion at Ṭāq-e Bostān for smooth jambières, the early style of fluttering draperies never disappeared and can be found on the late investiture relief at the same site (plate lxxiii; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pl. XIII; idem, I, pls. XXXIX, XLIII).
The leggings or trousers were gathered at the ankles by straps, which were tied around the insteps in bows with long fluttering ribbon ends and fastened at the ankles with circular clasps. Although worn by both nobles and rulers, the long ribbons are more characteristic of royalty. The arrangement of straps and bows can be seen on the reliefs, but it is not clearly represented on the “hunting” plates (plates lxxvii-lxxix; Herrmann, 1969, pls. VIIIA, X, XI, XIIA, XIII, p. 84 fig. 10; Vanden Berghe, pl. 21; Harper, 1981, pls. 9, 10, 13-32, 38, p. 51 n. 62, citing A. I. Borisov and V. G. Lukonin).
This fashion, which is useful for nomadic peoples, was derived from the thongs, probably of leather, that secured the boots and leggings of Iranian tribesmen in the Achaemenid period (Ghirshman, 1964, pp. 185 fig. 232, 196 fig. 244, 205-6 fig. 255; see iv, below). In the 1st century b.c.e. identical straps were portrayed on the reliefs of Antiochus I at Nimrud Dagh (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 66 fig. 79, 67 fig. 80). Such straps were used among the Parthians and the Kushans in the 2nd and 3rd centuries to gather the tops of boots and the ends of pantaloons (Kawami, pl. 31; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 78 fig. 91; Rosenfield, pls. 146, 2, 22, 119, 120). Long Parthian ribbons tied at the instep prefigured the Sasanian royal ribbons (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 86 fig. 98, p. 94 fig. 105).
A variant in the king’s dress is the tunic with a diagonal closing edged with beads, which appears on the relief of Šāpūr I at Naqš-e Rajab, on his statue in the funerary cave of Bīšāpūr, and at Barm-e Delak on a relief of Bahrām II (plate lxxviii; Vanden Berghe, pl. 20; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 163-64 fig. 208, 65 fig. 209; Frye, 1974, pl. VIII). The shirt overlapping in front was favored by the Scythians in the 4th century b.c.e. and was related to jackets of felt and leather found at Pazyryk, Kurgan 5 (late 4th-early 3rd cent. b.c.e.; Rice, p. 67 fig. 41, pls. 4, 12). This style, with or without an inner shirt, was worn in Parthia and the Kushan empire in the 2nd and early 3rd centuries (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 86 fig. 98, 88 fig. 99, 105 fig. 120, 109 fig. 125; Sellwood, nos. 35.4, 35.8, 35.14; Rosenfield, pls. 3, 48, 145). The tunic with diagonal closing was never popular in Sasanian Persia, though early coin portraits seem to suggest that it was (Göbl, pls. 2/21, 2/23, 3/36, 3/45): Deborah Thompson believes that it is this tunic, rather than the royal harness, that is depicted on the coins of Šāpūr I (p. 12). A second modification to the royal dress can be seen in the form of the mantle, draped like a jacket below the fastening, on the relief of Bahrām II and his companion at Tang-e Qandīl (Frye, 1974, pls. II, III, IVb, Va). Despite such minor variations, royal dress remained virtually unchanged until the end of the 4th century. The short tunic and leggings of filmy cloth also became the standard dress of princes and nobles and underwent little change (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 169-70 fig. 212, 172 fig. 214, 173 fig. 215, 176 fig. 218).
A series of silver-gilt vessels dated from the late 3rd to the 7th centuries and continuing after the fall of the dynasty reveal that Sasanian royal attire was often patterned with triple dots, circles, or beaded bands (plate lxxix; Harper, 1981, pls. 1, 9, 13, 14, 16, 22, 38). The circular shoulder decorations on the Persepolis graffiti, from the very beginning of the dynasty, can be traced on royal tunics represented in metalwork from the late 3rd through the 4th centuries (Harper, 1981, pls. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11a, 13, 23, 24; idem, 1978, p. 89 fig. 30a). These bordered circular medallions contain dotted circles, rays, scallops, dots, and star rosettes, the latter recalling the later roundel on the coat of Anāhīd in the Investiture relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān. Toward the end of the 4th century the shoulder designs disappeared from male dress, though they were still found on female robes.
The most important symbol of royalty on the silver plates is the harness worn on the upper torso by royal hunters. It consists of diagonal shoulder straps attached to a horizontal strap encircling the upper chest; the juncture in front is marked by a central boss or rosette. Harper has pointed out that these straps, which seem to have been a mark of high rank, had become part of royal dress by the middle or late 4th century (Harper, 1981, p. 39). Although on the two earliest reliefs of Ardašīr I the king wears crossed bands with a central boss (Hinz, 1965, pls. XLVI-XLVIII; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 125 fig. 163; Herrmann, 1969, pp. 73, 74, considering the Salmās relief the earliest in Ardašīr’s reign; Hinz, 1965, pp. 148-68, placing it late in his reign), in the rock carvings of Šāpūr I they have been replaced by the royal cloak and do not appear again until the late 4th century, at Ṭāq-e Bostān (Hinz, 1965, pls. XLVI, XLVII, LI; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 126 fig. 164; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. LXV, LXXIV).
On silver vessels the harness had assumed its characteristic form, with beaded and banded straps and a rosette or beaded boss at the central junction, by the early 4th century. It was tied at the back with two long ribbons ending in jewels or bells and continued as a mark of high rank even after the fall of the dynasty (Harper, 1981, pls. 10, 13-17, 19-22, 24, 27, 28, 33-38). It is worn by the kings portrayed on coins, though it is not clearly delineated until the later examples (Göbl, pls. 7/113, 7/122, 8/136, 8/139, 9/155, 9/156; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 250 figs. 316, 319, 322), and is found on seals of the late 4th and 5th centuries (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 240 fig. 293, 241 fig. 294 C), stucco reliefs of the 5th century (Harper, 1978, pl. 41), and royal portrait busts in bronze of the 6th-7th centuries (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 224 fig. 267, 225 fig. 269). The harness appears in its most elaborate form in the Investiture relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān, on the figures of Ardašīr II (379-83), Šāpūr II (309-79), Šāpūr III (383-88), and Ḵosrow II (591-628). Ḵosrow’s harness is the richest, with bands of beads and square gems (plate lxxiii; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. LXXXII, LXVI, III-VI).
4th-7th centuries. Royal dress underwent modifications at the end of the 4th century, as can be seen on the reliefs of Ardašīr II and Šāpūr III at Ṭāq-e Bostān. The hem of the tunic seems to have been gathered at the sides by rings and ribbons, producing a rounded panel like an apron in front (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. LXVI, LXVIII, LXX, LXXIV, LXXXI, LXXXVI). Silver plates dated to the reigns of Yazdegerd I (399-421) and Šāpūr II in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, attest the currency of this garment in Persia at the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century (plate lxxix; Harper, 1981, p. 83, pls. 16, 24, 29). Representations on a seal of Bahrām IV (388-95) and on coin reverses of Kavād I (488-97, 499-531) and Ḵosrow I (531-79; Harper, 1981, p. 113; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 241 fig. 294 C; Göbl, tables X/3, XI/3, pls. 11/191, 12/199) show that it continued in use from the end of the 4th to the late 6th century. Its continuing popularity is also attested on post-Sasanian vessels (Harper, 1981, p. 120, pl. 36; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 218 fig. 259). The skirt of the tunic was either cut in this fashion or, more probably, drawn up for convenience in riding (Peck, p. 110). The long skirts of Antiochus I at Nimrud Dagh are drawn up in front by cords from the belt (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 66 fig. 79), and Seyrig has described the Parthian tunic of the early 2nd century as rounded in front and drawn up at the sides (p. 56; Rostovtzeff, 1938, pl. XXII; Colledge, 1977, pl. 28b). The secondary figures on the right of the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān also have their tunics tucked up in this fashion (Peck, pl. VIII). This feature was not adopted for the representation of gods, who are always shown in the more conservative cloak and simple tunic (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. LXXIV, LXXV, LXXXVIII).
Also toward the end of the Sasanian period a taste developed for richly decorated caftans of heavy material, with hems dipping to the sides in double points or curves. Such robes are depicted on a series of silver plates and a gold and rock-crystal bowl dated by Harper to the end of the dynasty and the immediately succeeding period (Harper, 1981, pp. 114-15, 120, 130, 132, pls. 19, 27, 33, 36; Harper, 1978, pp. 74-76, pl. 25). Robes with hems dipping to points had antecedents at Palmyra, in Parthia, and in the Kushan empire in the 2nd century (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 78 fig. 90, 79 fig. 91, 86 fig. 98, 99 fig. 110; Rosenfield, pls. 89, 60a, 62, 62a). A simple variation appeared at Bīšāpūr as early as the reign of Šāpūr I, but the more elaborate form occurred only at the end of the dynasty (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 153 fig. 196). On the silver plates it is worn by king and courtier alike, in conjunction with high boots with pointed tops. These complex, tight-fitting caftans are also represented on the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān, contemporary with the depictions on silver. Nobles riding elephants wear a type of robe with a curious hem of rounded scallops, which is closely related to the dress worn by nobles on the so-called Strelka (Perm, U.S.S.R.) plate (plate lxxx; Harper, 1981, pl. 19). This arrangement perhaps reflects a skirt with its hem caught up at intervals by some kind of inner construction, but it was more likely cut deliberately as a riding fashion. The robe is worn with smooth, decorated leggings. Servants are shod in boots rising to points below the knees (Peck, p. 111, pl. VI; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XXXV, XXXIX, XLIII). The closest parallels for such caftans are on 7th-century wall paintings from Afrāsīāb, the ancient site near Samarqand (Shishkin, p. 112). Similar smooth leggings in flannel with pointed tops were found at Antinoë in Egypt in a 7th-century context (before World War II in Berlin, Pfister, pp. 231, 232; Widengren, pp. 254-55 fig. 20).
The servant’s boots are paralleled on late or post-Sasanian plates (Peck, pl. VI; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XXXV, XLIII). Boots, a necessity for riders, are attested from Parthia and the Kushan empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries (Kawami, pls. 29-31; Widengren, figs. 26, 29). The most telling parallels are from 6th-8th century wall paintings from Ming Oï (near Qïzïl), Dandan Oïlïq, and Bäzäklik in Central Asia (Le Coq, 1928, p. 116; Bussagli, pp. 57, 59, 80). The boots depicted at Bäzäklik are pierced and attached to an inner belt by a cord (Le Coq, 1913, pl. 22).
Another late fashion, peculiar to the Boar Hunt and Stag Hunt reliefs at Ṭāq-e Bostān, is the low, square cap worn by the king and his entourage. The king’s hat is plain or decorated with beads and tied with a short fillet; it has little in common with the tall Parthian hat and Phrygian cap, the types of official headgear worn by nobles in earlier representations. Harper suggests that this hat was a natural outgrowth of Ḵosrow II’s crown, which incorporated a low cap (Peck, p. 121; pls. IV, XIV, XVIII, XIX; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. LXXXIX, XLVIII, LVII). The only apparent parallel is on the rim of a 7th-century silver plate from Kodski Gorodok, on which hunters appear in box-shaped caps tied with fillets (Smirnoff, pl. LVIII/92).
The king and his nobles on the Boar Hunt relief are clad in stiff, decorated garments with high collars, belted at the waist with nomadic thonged girdles or jeweled belts and decorated with cloth panels; they afford the opportunity to study the garments of late Sasanian Persia just before the fall of the dynasty (plates lxxx, lxxxi; Peck, pls. XIII-XIX; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XLVIII, L, LVII, LXIV, LXVI, LXXIX, LXXXIX). The winter dress of the Sasanians, which Huart (p. 165) describes as of silk or wool and padded with coarse silk for warmth, would have had the same unyielding surface as the raiment depicted in the reliefs. The king’s garment, fastened down the front as a coat, recalls the close-fitting coat on the mid-2nd-century statue of the Kushan ruler Kanishka (Rosenfield, pl. 2). Representations of the 5th-7th centuries at Bāmīān and Qïzïl in Afghanistan are very similar, with stiff, decorated surfaces, but are open and have broad lapels (Peck, pls. XIII, XIV, XIX; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XLVIII, L, LXIV; Bussagli, pl. 80; Rowland, pl. 57).
The nobles’ caftans are also close-fitting and stiff but have no opening in front (plates lxxx, lxxxi; Peck, pp. 115, 116, pls. XV-XVIII; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XLVIII, LVII, LXVI, LXVII). Again Central Asian and even Indian examples on 7th-8th century wall paintings offer the closest parallels: tightly fitted caftans, heavily decorated at cuffs, hems, and shoulders (Belenitskiĭ, pl. XXXVII; Shishkin, facing p. 62; Golubew, pl. LV). Sasanian caftans with high collars are represented only at Ṭāq-e Bostān (plates lxxx, lxxxi). The only known parallels are 4th/3rd-century b.c.e. felt trappings from Pazyryk (Griaznov, pl. 56). Widengren suggested that the thong-like attachments to the lapels depicted on caftans in the 7th-century wall paintings at Ming Oï may have been wound round the neck to produce a high collar when the lapel was closed (p. 272; Peck, p. 117; Rice, pl. 179). The closed caftan of the nobles does not seem to fasten, however. Perhaps the rectangular decorated panel on the left shoulder concealed a hidden fastening, as the beaded inserts on Palmyrene and Kushan tunics may also have done (plate lxxxi; Peck, p. 116-17; Rosenfield, pls. 67, 68; Colledge, 1976, pl. 94). The shape of the stiff, close-fitting caftans with narrow sleeves in the Boar Hunt relief is closely echoed in a wool caftan of the 7th century found in a 6th/7th-century tomb in Upper Egypt (now in the Ägyptologische Museum, Berlin), thus from a period when that area was briefly under Sasanian rule. It is not extensively decorated, however, and overlaps to fasten (Figure 61; Knauer, p. 28 fig. 23).
The royal caftan in the investiture relief must belong to the same group as the garments in the hunt reliefs. It has an unyielding surface trimmed with beads and square gems and strewn with ovoid gems dangling from smaller beads and disks (plate lxxiii; Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. III, VI, XII). Jewel-encrusted leggings, ankle straps with beaded edges, and shoes complete this magnificent costume (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pl. XIII). The god, on the other hand, wears the traditional soft tunic encircled at the waist by a ribbon belt under a cloak held by two round clasps (plate lxxiii; Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. XIV, XV). The caftans of the king and his nobles are covered with jewels and myriad patterns of flowers, birds, and animals. Some of these designs appear to be embroidered, others applied. Ammianus Marcellinus, who accompanied the Roman army on campaigns against Šāpūr II in the second half of the 4th century, was struck by the magnificence of Sasanian dress. He spoke of clothes “gleaming with many shimmering colors” and covered with gold, gems, and pearls (23.6.84). By the end of the dynasty the dress of the Sasanian king and court must have been even more dazzling, combining as it did rich decoration and exotic fashions newly arrived from the east.
A. M. Belenitskiĭ et al., Skul’ptura i zhivopis’ drevnego Pyandzhikenta, Moscow, 1959.
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R. Ghirshman, “Notes iraniennes. V. Scènes de banquet sur l’argenterie sassanide,” Artibus Asiae 16, 1953, pp. 51-76.
Idem, Bîchâpour II. Les mosaïques sassanides. Fouilles de Châpour, Paris, 1956.
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D. MacKay, “The Jewellery of Palmyra and Its Significance,” Iraq 11, 1949, pp. 160-87.
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CLOTHING v. In Pre-Islamic Eastern Iran
Modern knowledge of the dress of the eastern Iranian peoples is derived from literary and archeological sources, which can be compared, though with caution. Although there were regional differences, as well as a broad change over time, on the whole the costume remained fairly uniform. Material for the periods around 500 b.c.e. and 200 and 600 c.e. is especially abundant. It permits identification of three general costume types: the ceremonial dress of men and women and warrior’s garb. Male ceremonial dress consisted of forms of headdress, an undergarment similar to a shirt, a knee-length mantle open in front, a belt, trousers or leggings, and shoes or high boots. Female dress changed more sharply over time, from a full-length cloak draped over the head to a long dress with an opening at the neck. The warrior’s outfit consisted of a helmet and chain or laminated mail.
In the Avesta (between 1000 and 500 b.c.e.?). Little concrete information can be gleaned from the Avesta itself about the dress worn by the Iranian people among whom it was composed (see avestan people). Several general clothing items are mentioned but mostly not described: vaŋhana- or vastra- “dress,” adka/aṱ.ka “mantle” (Yt. 5.126; Nērangistān 92; OInd. átka), āΘrauuana- “leggings(?)” (Vd. 8.23; Nēr. 86), karana- “trousers (?)” (Vd. 8.24), aoΘra- “shoes” (Yt. 5.64, 78; Vd. 6.27), and aiβiiåŋhana- “belt” (passim). In Nērangistān 91-96 the clothes to be worn at the sacrifice are described (text and tr. in Waag, pp. 92-96, discussion pp. 129-37).
The goddess Anāhitā, in the hymn to her (Yt. 5.64.78, 125-29, see ābān yašt), is said to wear a dress girdled under the breast (uskāṯ yāstā), a golden decorated mantle with long sleeves (? frazuš-, Gershevitch, p. 220 n., but doubted by Kellens, p. 86), rectangular earrings (gaošāuuara … čaΘru-karana), a golden necklace (minu-), an outer garment of beaver fur, and a golden octagonal diadem (pusā-) adorned with a hundred stars. Her shoes are laced with gold cords (zaraniiō.urvīxšna-). In the Ard yašt women waiting for their men to return home are described as wearing pins (aŋku-; fibulae?), earrings, and necklaces (Yt. 17. 10).
The bellicose fravašis are said to be accoutered with metal (aiiah-; iron?) helmets and shields (Yt. 13.45), and Vāyu wears a helmet, crown, necklace, dress, shoes, and belt, all of gold (Yt. 15.57). Although no representations have yet been discovered, helmets and laminated armor of iron have been found at Persepolis.
Achaemenid period (ca. 500-300 b.c.e.). The eastern Iranian peoples represented on the reliefs of the Apadāna at Persepolis can be divided into two groups, on the basis of their clothing. The representatives of Haraiva (Herat; see aria), Drangiana (Zranka), and Arachosia (Harauvatiš), peoples of the eastern plateau, wear knee-length mantles, with trousers tucked into their high boots. They also display a variety of head coverings (see, e.g., delegations IV, VII, XV; see ii above, Figure 46). The Sakas, Bactrians, Sogdians, and Choresmians, on the other hand, wear long trousers, which cover the uppers of their boots; over their shoulders they trail a type of long mantle, with one diagonal edge in back. The Choresmians wear a piece of cloth wrapped around the chest and thrown over the shoulder. Again the caps are varied (e.g., delegations XI, XIII, XVII, XXI). One particular tribe of Sakas wore pointed caps (the Saka tigraxaudā, cf. Herodotus, 7.64; Hinz, p. 98, pls. 26a, 39).
Herodotus in his description of the Persian army (7.61-80), though describing mainly the arms and armor, mentions the following items of clothing worn by some of the eastern contingents: the Sakas, or Scythians, trousers and tall pointed caps (7.64); the Caspians and Paktyans cloaks of skin; and the Drangians dyed garments and buskins that reached to the knees (7.67).
Original items of Saka dress have been preserved in several tumuli (kurgans) in the Soviet Union (see vi, below). For example, at the excavations at Issyk Kurgan near Alma Ata, it was possible to reconstruct the original burial clothing from the position of a set of small gold plaques that had formerly been attached to it, even though the textiles themselves were not preserved. The Avestan terms zaraniiō.pis- or zaraniiō.paēsa-, literally “with golden decorations,” may refer to this practice. The warrior who was buried in the tumulus wore a pointed cap, a jacket that closed in front, a belt, leggings, and shoes (Akishev, pp. 24-27). At Pazyryk, in the Altai, where the kurgans have been frozen for more than two thousand years, the burial clothing itself has been preserved: caps; long-sleeved jackets that closed in front with ties; long-sleeved shirts with neck openings; leather belts; leggings or stockings; and felt shoes. Although the ethnic connections of these people are unknown, they wore garments recognizable as of eastern Iranian type.
Representations of women from this period occur only on the tombstones of the Persian satraps of Dascylium at Ergili in Anatolia (Borchardt, pls. 40, 45; Akurgal, p. 170) and on a woven textile from Pazyryk (Rudenko, 1970a, p. 296, pl. 177); they show two long, flowing outer garments corresponding to those in the description of Anāhitā. One is thrown over the head like a cloak, and the other seems to be belted; a crenellated diadem is also represented. The conclusions drawn from study of these representations are confirmed by some of the finds from Pazyryk; a fur jacket with sleeves and a cloak reaching from the head to the feet have been preserved, as well as a long, flowing headdress, with a diadem ornamented with figures. Leggings or stockings and shoes are embroidered (see ii, above, Figures 56, 60, 61).
Clothing around 200 c.e. In the Krorain texts (ed. Boyer and Senart; tr. Burrow, 1940) the Khotanese loanwords (cf. below) prahuni or prahoni “dress” (Bailey, Dictionary, p. 225), kamaṃta “trousers” (?) with suj’inakirta “embroidery” (Lüders, p. 31), and lastug’a, “some article made of cloth” (Burrow, 1935, p. 786), as well as the Indian word cīnāṃśuka “Chinese silk,” are mentioned. These garments can be recognized on the sculptures from the Kushan palace at Khalchayan (Stawiski, p. 96). The men wear the belted mantle that closes in front over a shirt with a neck opening; long trousers or leggings are worn over the boots. The Median cap (see ii, above) is the royal crown. The female dress consists of a tiara or crown, several floor-length dresses worn one over the other, and shoes. Often both men and women have pieces of cloth thrown over their shoulders. On one relief a set of armor, possibly of iron, is represented. On the basis of these sculptures it is possible to reconstruct the garments buried in the tombs of a warrior and his five wives at Tillya Tepe in Afghanistan (Sarianidi), again owing to the arrangements of small gold plaques that were once sewn to the cloth. Actual woven textiles have been preserved in the frozen graves of Central Asian tribal people wearing Iranian garments at Noin Ula (Mongolia; Rudenko, 1970b, p. 36) and in remains at the desert sites of Loulan and Niya (the possibly Saka kingdom of Krorain, in eastern Turkistan; Sylvan). They include mantles, shirts, leggings, shoes, and caps made of wool, linen, and silk, some of them decorated with Persian embroidery.
Sogdian and Khotanese, 600 c.e. The Sogdian texts contain few references to items of clothing (the brocade jacket, zyrnwfč qwrṯy, and the belt, rʾnʾkh, are mentioned, but the Khotanese texts are more explicit; cf. Bailey, 1960; idem, 1982, pp. 15-16). Buddhist texts contain frequent references to garments (prahauna-), and other texts mention thauna- “cloth”; vāsta-, cilaā-, and pamūha- “dress”; kaumadai “trousers or leggings”; rrāna- “belt”; khauṣa- “shoe or boots.” Fabrics include kapāysa- “cotton,” kāṃha- “hemp,” namata- “felt,” peʾma- “wool,” and śacī “silk” (from Chin. xian-chi “white silk”).
As represented in wall paintings from Khotan and Qïzïl in eastern Turkestan and Panjikant and Afrāsīāb in western Turkestan, the mantle was cut from patterned silk, overlapping below the neck like a modern European jacket and belted. The trousers were worn outside the boots or tucked into the tops; and warriors wore diadems or felt caps.
Female dress is not described in texts from this period, but in the wall paintings of Khotan and Qïzïl (Le Coq; Gropp) women are represented as wearing full-length dresses with neck openings and long sleeves.
In Khotanese sources the warrior’s outfit āysira- (Bailey, Dictionary, p. 21, s.v. āysīra-), nyūrra- (Bailey, Dictionary, p. 194, s.v. nyūrr-), baṃggāma- (Bailey, Dictionary, p. 265), baṭha- “laminated (?) armor” (Bailey, Dictionary, p. 266) are all mentioned. Depictions of such armor are to be found especially in the battle scenes from Panjikant (Belenizki).
Because in this period the majority of the Iranian peoples belonged to one of the great redemptive religions, there are no graves with burial objects in which garments could have been preserved.
K. A. Akishev, Kurgan Issyk. Iskusstvo Sakov Kazakhstana, Moscow, 1978.
E. Akurgal, Die Kunst Anatoliens von Homer bis Alexander, Berlin, 1961.
H. W. Bailey, “Vāsta,” in J. P. Asmussen and J. Læssøe, Iranian Studies Presented to Kaj Barr, Acta Orientalia 30, Copenhagen, 1966, pp. 25-43.
Idem, The Culture of the Sakas in Ancient Iranian Khotan, New York, 1982, pp. 15-16, 39, 42.
A. M. Belenizki, Mittelasien. Kunst der Sogden, Leipzig, 1980.
J. Borchhardt, Epichorische, gräko-persisch beeinflusste Reliefs in Kilikien, Istanbuler Mitteilungen 18, 1968, pp. 161-211.
A. M. Boyer and E. Senart, Kharoṣṭhī Inscriptions I, Oxford, 1920.
T. Burrow, “Iranian Words in the Kharoṣṭhī Documents from Chinese Turkestan—II,” BSOS 7, 1935, pp. 779-90.
Idem, A Translation of the Kharoṣṭhī Documents from Chinese Turkestan, London, 1940.
W. Geiger, Ostiranische Kultur im Altertum, Erlangen, 1882, pp. 224-28.
I. Gershevitch, The Avestan Hymn to Mithra, Cambridge, 1959.
G. Gropp, Archäologische Funde aus Khotan, Chinesisch Ostturkestan, Bremen, 1974, pp. 82-92.
M. Gryaznov, Drevnee iskusstvo Altaya, Leningrad, 1958.
G. Hanyu, Soieries de Chine, Paris, 1987.
J. Kellens, Les noms-racine de l’Avesta, Wiesbaden, 1975.
A. von Le Coq, Bilderatlas zur Kulturgeschichte Mittelasiens, Berlin, 1925.
M. Lombard, Les textiles dans le monde musulmane du VIIe au XIIe siècle, Etudes d’économie médiévale 3, Paris and the Hague, 1978.
H. Lüders, Textilien im alten Turkistan, APAW, phil.-hist. Kl. 3, Berlin, 1936.
S. I. Rudenko, Drevneĭshie v mire khudozhestvennye kovry i tkani, Moscow, 1968.
Idem, Frozen Tombs of Siberia, Berkeley, 1970a, pp. 83-101.
Idem, Die Kultur der Hsiung Nu and die Hügelgräber von Noin Ula, Leipzig, 1970b.
V. I. Sarianidi, Baktrisches Gold aus den Ausgrabungen der Nekropole von Tillja-Tepe in Nordafghanistan, Leningrad, 1985.
E. F. Schmidt, Persepolis, 3 vols., Chicago, 1953-78.
F. Spiegel, Eranische Alterthumskunde, III, Leipzig, 1878, pp. 659-60.
B. Stawiski, Mittelasien. Kunst der Kuschan, Leipzig, 1979.
V. Sylvan, Woollen Textiles of the Lou-Ian People, The Sino-Swedish Expedition, Reports, 15=7/2, Stockholm, 1941.
CLOTHING vi. Of the Sogdians
The very few representations of Sogdian people that survive from before the 5th century c.e. do not allow any conclusion more specific about their clothing than that it was part of the general historical complex of Middle Eastern dress, specifically the category associated with the Central Asian steppes (Gorelik, pp. 32-33). Information about Sogdian dress between the 5th and the mid-8th centuries is, however, much richer, owing to representations in wall paintings uncovered at Panjīkant, Afrāsīāb (Afrāsīāb, the site of old Samarkand), Varakhsha, and other sites (Al’baum; Azarpay et al.; Belenitskiĭ, 1973; idem, 1980; Bentovich, 1980; Lobacheva; Shishkin; Skul’ptura i zhivopis’; Zhivopis’).
The most common type of male outer garment was a caftan (PLATE LXXXII/2) with long, tapered sleeves; a round neck; and slits on the sides of the skirt. The neckline, lapels, cuffs, hem, and side slits were trimmed with fabric of another pattern. The caftan was worn belted, and the neck was probably fastened with a single button. A rare variant of this costume wrapped across the chest, creating a V-shaped opening at the neck. Sometimes the sleeves were very full and gathered in rich folds above the elbows (PLATE LXXXII/1). In the 6th century the typical caftan was short (PLATE LXXXII/3), but later it reached to mid-calf. A special type of wrapped, short-sleeved caftan was worn over armor (PLATE LXXXII/4). Another kind of caftan had no opening in front but was pulled on over the head (PLATE LXXXII/5, 6, 12), a style facilitated by slits along the shoulders to widen the neck opening. Again, all the edges were trimmed with contrasting fabric, including the shoulder slits and later the decorative epaulettes that replaced them. In religious ceremonies a mantle with large triangular lapels was worn over the caftan (PLATE LXXXII/7).
Plate lxxxii. 1-5. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 6. Drawing after wall painting from Afrāsīāb. 7. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 8. Drawing after wall painting from the palace at Varakhsha. 9. Drawing after ossuary from Krasnaya Rechka. 10-14. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 15. Drawing after ossuary from Uzkishlak. 16. Reconstruction based on wall painting from Panjīkant and ossuary from Durmen-Tepe. 17-18. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 19. Drawing after ossuary from Khirman Tepe. 20. Drawing of leather boot from the cave at Kūh- e Sorḵ. 21. Drawing of leather shoe from Yakka-Parsan. 22-23. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant.
Undergarments might or might not be worn under the various types of caftan. Trousers were usually tucked into the tops of tall boots (PLATE LXXXII/3), but sometimes they were worn outside, and it is possible to observe that the hem and side seams (or possibly side slits) were trimmed with fur or fringe (PLATE LXXXII/19, 23). In one instance a figure wears leggings of leopard skin (PLATE LXXXII/18).
The most common form of male headdress was a soft, pointed cap (PLATE LXXXII/25-27, 32), but various types of skullcap (PLATE LXXXII/1), sometimes bordered with a band of fur or twisted cloth (PLATE LXXXIII/28), as well as turbans and headbands (PLATE LXXXIII/24, 29, 31), were also worn. For celebrations wreathes encircled the head (PLATE LXXXIII/30). Representations on coins show that before the 5th century the main symbol of royal power was a simple diadem with fluttering ribbons at the back; in 5th-century Bukhara a crescent moon was added at the top (PLATE LXXXIII/33). In the 7th century a winged crown reminiscent of Sasanian prototypes became quite common in royal representations (PLATE LXXXIII/ 34; cf. iv, above), but it did not entirely displace the old pointed cap; in fact a combination of the two can be seen in representations of the ruler at Panjikant (PLATE LXXXIII/39).
Plate lxxxiii. 24-30. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 31. Drawing after painting from Afrāsīāb. 32. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 33. Drawing after coin of the Bukharan ruler Mawak (MR’Y mw’k). 34. Drawing after coin of Chirdmish (cr’myš MR’Y), ruler of Ustrushana. 35. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 36. Drawing after stucco relief from the palace at Varakhsha. 37. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 38. Drawing of hairnet excavated at the castle on Mount Mug. 39. Drawing after wall painting from the palace at Panjīkant.
Women wore caftans or mantles similar to those worn by men (PLATE LXXXII/14, 15). One distinctive female garment was a shawl draped over the shoulders, with weights or pendants at the front corners (PLATE LXXXII/17). Female deities were represented wearing a short-sleeved blouse over what may have been either a belted tunic below which a skirt of light material fell in lavish folds or a single full-length garment constructed of several components stitched together (PLATE LXXXII/16). The sleeves were cut obliquely at the elbows. Diaphanous scarves were part of the costume of dancers and other entertainers (PLATE LXXXII/15).
The most common female headdress in representations was a small, close-fitting cap (PLATE LXXXIII/36). Young girls wore their hair in five plaits (PLATE LXXXII/14, 15), two at each side and one in back, but insufficient information on adult coiffures is preserved. Variously wrapped turbans seem to have been worn (PLATE LXXXIII/35), and several hairnets have been excavated at Mount Mug (PLATE LXXXIII/38).
Typical footgear for both sexes consisted of high boots without heels. Two examples were found in excavations at Mount Mug (Vasil’ev, p. 25) and Kūh-e Sorḵ (Kukh-i Surkh; Drevnosti Tadzhikistana, p. 249 no. 598; PLATE LXXXII/19). Shoes with turned-up toes are known from wall paintings, from finds at Yakka-Parsan (Nerazik, p. 16 fig. 8/13; PLATE LXXXII/21); and from a pair preserved in the Shosoin treasury in Japan. Also depicted in paintings are luxurious sandals ornamented with pearls, buckles, and ribbons (PLATE LXXXII/22). From documents excavated at Mount Mug it is clear that a pair of shoes might cost as little as 2 drachmas (Livshits, p. 182). On the other hand, among the booty captured from Boḵārā Ḵātūn in 54/674 were a shoe and stocking of “gold” studded with gems, which were evaluated at 200,000 dirhams (Naršaḵī, p. 53).
It seems that members of the Sogdian upper classes, regardless of regional or ethnic origin, wore essentially the same costume. There were no significant differences in ensemble or cut. Furthermore, the same basic dress seems to have been worn at all social levels. Social status was expressed, rather, in the textiles from which the garments were made. The common people generally wore plain fabrics, whereas a merchant or aristocrat might were rich silks, sometimes in three or four different patterns. Textiles were also subject to shifts in fashion. Whereas in the earlier period even the upper classes wore monochromatic textiles, in the 7th century these fabrics were displaced by bright-colored silks patterned with pearl-bordered roundels familiar from representations of Sasanian textiles (PLATE LXXXII/13; see iv, above); in the 8th century large rosettes with double or triple frames and more complex rosettes of Chinese origin were popular (Belenitskiĭ and Marshak). A more certain indicator of social status was the belt. Nobles wore belts consisting of series of gold plaques (PLATE LXXXII/8), though sometimes the plaques were of copper covered with gold foil (Belenitskiĭ and Raspopova). Members of the lower classes wore a soft girdle knotted at the waist (PLATE LXXXII/10). A triple cord reminiscent of the Zoroastrian kūstīg and a mask (padān) over the lower part of the face (PLATE LXXXII/6) distinguished the priests. Even more important was the weapon or utensil attached to the belt: for the noble a sword (PLATE LXXXII/4, 6), for the merchant a large ornamented dagger (PLATE LXXXII/8), and for the peasant a simple knife with a single-edged blade.
With the knowledge presently available it is impossible to make definitive statements about foreign influences on medieval Sogdian costume, partly because the clothing of neighboring regions is even less well known than that of Sogdiana. Nevertheless, it is possible to recognize strong similarities between the clothing of Sogdiana and Sasanian Persia (see iii, above), on one hand, and Sogdiana and eastern Turkestan, on the other, leaving aside details of belts that were common from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea.
L. I. Al’baum, Zhivopis’ Afrasiaba (The paintings of Afrāsīāb), Tashkent, 1975.
A. Arzhantseva, Poyasa na rospisyakh Afrasiaba (Belts in the Afrāsīāb paintings), Istoriya Material’noĭ kul’tury Uzbekistana 21, Tashkent, 1987.
G. Azarpay et al., Sogdian Painting, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1981.
A. M. Belenitskiĭ, Monumental’noe isskustvo Pyandzhikenta (The monumental art of Panjīkant), Moscow, 1973. Idem, Mittelasien. Kunst der Sogden, Leipzig, 1980.
Idem and B. I. Marshak, “Voprosy khronologiĭ zhivopisi rannesrednevekovogo Sogda” (Chronological investigations of early medieval Sogd), Uspekhi sredneasiatskoĭ arkheologii (Progress report on Central Asian archeology), Leningrad, 1979, pp. 32-37.
A. M. Belenitskiĭ and V. I. Raspopova, “Sogdiĭskie "zolotye poyasa"” (Sogdian gold belts), Strany i narody vostoka (Moscow) 22, 1980, pp. 213-18.
I. B. Bentovich, “Pletenye izdeliya iz raskopok na gore Mug” (Wicker articles from the excavations at Mount Mug), in Kratkie soobshcheniya o dokladakh i polevykh issledovaniyakh Instituta istorii Material’noĭ Kul’tury (Moscow) 61, 1953, pp. 65-69.
Idem, “Odezhda rannesrednevekovoĭ Sredneĭ Asii” (The clothing of early medieval Central Asia), Strany i Narody Vostoka (Moscow) 22, 1980, pp. 196-213.
Drevnosti Tadzhikistana. Katalog vystavki (Ancient Tajikistan. Catalogue of the exhibition), Dushanbe, 1985.
M. V. Gorelik, “Skifskiĭ muzhskoĭ kostyum v sisteme kompleksa odezhdy iranoyazychnykh narodov drevnosti” (Scythian male costume within the system of dress of the ancient Iranian-speaking peoples), in III. Vsesoyuznaya konferentsiya Iskusstvo i arkheologiya Irana i ego svyaz’ s iskusstvom narodov SSSR s drevneĭshykh vremen (Third joint conference on the art and archeology of Iran and its connections with the art of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. in ancient times), Moscow, 1973, pp. 32-33.
[V. A. Livshits,] Yuridicheskie dokumenty i pis’ma. Chtenie i kommentariĭ V. A. Livshitsa (Juridical documents and letters. Readings and commentary by V. A. Livshits), Sogdiĭskiye dokumenty s gori Mug 2, Moscow, 1962.
N. P. Lobacheva, “Sredneaziatskiĭ kostyum rannesrednevekovoĭ èpokhi” (Central Asian costume of the early medieval period), in Kostyum narodov Sredneĭ Asii (Costume of the people of Central Asia), Moscow, 1979, pp. 18-49.
E. E. Nerazik, Raskopki Yakke-Parsana (The excavations at Yakka-Parsan), Materialy Khorezmskoĭ Èkspeditsii 7, Moscow, 1963.
V. A. Shishkin, Varakhsha, Moscow, 1963.
Skul’ptura i zhivopis’ drevnego Pyandzhikenta (The sculpture and paintings of ancient Panjīkant), Moscow, 1959.
A. P. Vasil’ev, “Sogdiĭskiĭ zamok na gore Mug” (the Sogdian castle on Mount Mug), in Sogdiĭskiĭ sbornik, Leningrad, 1934, pp. 18-32.
Yu. Yakubov, Pargar v VII-VIII vekakh nasheĭ èry (Pargar in the 7th-8th centuries c.e.), Dushanbe, 1979.
Zhivopis’ drevnego Pyandzhikenta (Paintings of ancient Panjīkant), Moscow, 1954.
CLOTHING vii. Of the Iranian Tribes on the Pontic Steppes and in the Caucaus
The main attention of those who have studied the Iranians of the eastern European steppes has been focused on the headdress and the caftan of the aristocracy. Most of the rich gold ornaments of their costume, as well as detailed representations of them, are connected with the Scythians in the Ukraine in the 4th century b.c.e. and with the Alans of the 1st and 2nd centuries c.e., two periods when these nomadic peoples were in close contact with Greek colonists around the Black Sea (PLATE LXXXIV).
Plate lxxxiv. Clothing of the Scythian and related Iranian tribes on the Pontic steppes and in the Caucasus. 1. 4th century b.c.e., Scythians. 2. 3rd-1st centuries b.c.e., Sarmatians. 3. 1st-2nd centuries c.e., Alans-“Scythians.” 4. 2nd-4th centuries, Alans-“Massagetes.”
The Scythians and related peoples. The Central Asian origin of the Scythians, mentioned by Herodotus (4.11), can be corroborated by means of specific parallels between the costume of the western Scythians and those of the Saka tigraxaudā and haumavargā, the Bactrians, and the Sogdians of the 6th-4th centuries b.c.e. (see ii, v, vi, above). Three varieties of western Scythian male dress associated with three different groups within the Scythian federation (the “royal Scythians,” the “nomads,” and the “farmers” [georgoi]; Strabo, 7.4.6, 11.2.1; cf. cimmerians) can be distinguished, mainly by the ornamentation of the trousers and the type of headdress. The mentioned parallels with Central Asian costume are to be found only in the clothing of the “royal Scythians,” the easternmost group (concentrated in the eastern Crimea and on the northern shore of the Sea of Azov) and also the most influential.
Both sexes wore caftans open in front (kurta), trousers, and a tunic with a round neck opening and long side slits, convenient for riding horses. The Scythian caftan was constructed of two pieces of cloth stitched at the shoulders and at the sides and hemmed. The front normally did not fasten but was wrapped to the left. In a special variant the hem of the caftan tapered to two vertical points in front. The caftan might be made of woolen cloth, textiles woven from hemp, deerskin, or thick felt. In the 1st century c.e. Roman silk began to be used, and in the 4th century linen was introduced. The opening and hem were often trimmed with fringe, rows of gold plaques or beads, and, after the introduction of silk, strips of gold brocade. Sometimes the caftan, and the trousers as well, was quilted from narrow strips of cloth. Winter cloaks (Gk. sísirna) were made of sheepskin or the skins of marmots and decorated with beaver, otter, and fox fur. In the 2nd-1st centuries b.c.e. the fashion of fastening them at the shoulder with fibulae was adopted. High boots were fastened by straps that wrapped around the leg; shoes sewn from one or two pieces of leather were fastened with laces. Other distinctive Scythian features were a small knot of hair centered on the forehead and a pair of locks curled in one of two ways flanking the face.
Representations of aristocrats can be identified particularly by special forms of headdress and such jewelry as torques, bracelets, and belts either made of gold or abundantly ornamented with it. Favorite ornamental motifs were animal-combat scenes, chthonic monsters, and the “tree of life.” “Royal Scythians” wore hemispherical headdresses cast from gold and also decorated with mythological themes. The color red was associated with the military aristocracy and predominated in all elements of the warrior’s costume.
The most typical Scythian woman’s headdress consisted of a rigid frame covered with gold plaques ornamented with figural motifs. This “Scythian calathos” (< Gk. kálathos, a vase-shaped basket worn on the head), the tiara, and the high conical headdress were always worn with a flowing scarf and gold pendants at the temples. A long skirt opening in front was also typical. An unusual type of cloak was the candys, which contrasted with that worn by other Iranians in having wide, loose sleeves.
From early infancy the clothing of children was covered with beads and gold plaques, and a great number of amulets were attached to their garments. The dead were buried in new sets of ceremonial garments. In the graves of some aristocratic women two to four complete sets of ceremonial dress for different ritual functions were found.
In the 5th-4th centuries b.c.e. Scythian fashions heavily influenced the clothing of the aristocracy of tribes inhabiting the forest and steppe zones of the Ukraine, as well as the Maeotae (Strabo, 5.195, 5.201) of the Kuban region.
The Sarmatians and related peoples. Both the “early Sarmatians” (from the end of the 4th century b.c.e. to the middle of the 1st century c.e.) and the “late Sarmatians” (from the mid-2nd century to the end of 4th century c.e.) were related to the Massagetae and Dahae of the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea. During this period items of clothing similar to those worn by Scythians and also to some degree by Parthians and ancient Bactrians were widely diffused: short cloaks, caftans opening in front, loose trousers, headdresses with one or two disks over the forehead. The Sarmatians also sometimes bought clothing readymade from Greek merchants (Strabo, 11.2.3). The late Sarmatians wore high boots and leather stockings, shoes with turned-up toes, or high felt boots. At the end of the 2nd century c.e. a sleeveless dress fastened at each shoulder with a fibula was adopted by the women. Both men and women covered their bodies with tattoos (Pliny, Historia Naturalis 22.2.), and children were tattooed in infancy (Sextus Empiricus, 3.202). Layers of red paint have been discovered on several excavated female corpses.
During the same period several waves of newcomers from the depths of Central Asia, whom the ancient writers called Alans and who are not to be confused with the Sarmatians, appeared. The first group, led by a chieftain named Anavsi, began to settle along the Kuban river at about the turn of the 1st century b.c.e. were followed by Alano-“Scythians,” who were to be found in the region of the lower Don in the 1st and early 2nd centuries c.e. In subsequent waves elements connected with the Huns, tribes from the region between the Sayan and Altai mountains, and the Yuezhi of Bactria (see chinese-iranian relations i. in pre-islamic times) settled farther west.
There were common features in the costume of these four migrating populations. Men wore a shirt made from a single piece of cloth with a deep triangular opening at the neck and a traditional tailored caftan with a front closing, its seams masked by gold beads strung on leather thongs. The cloak was fastened on the right shoulder. Women wore a dress that reached below the knees, with long, narrow sleeves and an opening over the breast; full trousers decorated with vertical rows of beads; and coats of varying lengths. In contrast to the men, they fastened the cloak on the left shoulder. There were no pockets in this costume; objects were suspended from the belt in specially made containers. The hair was generally worn in two plaits.
The shape of the dress worn by Sarmatians and Alans and the general style of ornamentation had a great influence on neighboring groups—Greeks, Maeotae, late Scythians. It can be traced in clothing of all social strata. Many aspects of this costume were still preserved by the Alans in the Middle Ages and by their descendants, the modern Ossetes.
E. V. Cernenko, The Scythians 700-300 B.C., London, 1983.
M. B. Gorelik, “K ètnicheskoĭ identifikatsii personazheĭ, izobrazhennykh na predmetakh Amudar’inskogo klada” (On the ethnic identification of the personages depicted on objects from the “Oxus treasure”), in V. G. Lukonin, ed., Khudozhestvennye pamyatniki i problemy kul’tury Vostoka (Artistic monuments and problems in the culture of the east), Leningrad, 1985, pp. 36-46.
L. S. Klochko, “Skifskie nalobnye ukrasheniya” (Scythian forehead ornaments), in V. D. Baran, ed., Novye pamyatniki drevneĭ i srednevekovoĭ khudozhestvennoĭ kul’tury (New monuments of ancient and medieval artistic culture), Kiev, 1983, pp. 37-58.
T. V. Miroshina, “Skifskie kalafy” (The Scythian calathos), Sovetskaya Arkheologiya, 1980/1, pp. 30-45.
Idem, “Nekotorye tipy skifskikh zhenskikh golovnykh uborov IV-III vv. do n.è.” (Some types of Scythian women’s headdress in the 4th-3rd centuries b.c.e.), Sovetskaya Arkheologiya, 1981/4, pp. 46-69.
S. A. Yatsenko, “O drevnikh prototipakh muzhskoĭ plechevoĭ odezhdy Osetin” (The ancient prototypes of the Ossetic men’s shoulder garments), in V. A. Kuznetsov, ed., Arkheologiya i traditsionnaya ètnografiya Severnoĭ Osetii (Archeology and traditional ethnography of the Northern Ossetes), Ordzhonikidze, 1985, pp. 25-36.
Idem “Diademy stepnykh kochevnikov Vostochnoĭ Evropy v sarmatskuyu èpokhu” (Diadems of the steppe nomads in eastern Europe in the Sarmatian period), in Kratkie soobshcheniya Instituta arkheologii Akademii nauk SSSR (Moscow) 186, 1986, pp. 14-20.
Idem, “K rekonstruktsii zhenskoĭ plechevoĭ odezhdy Sarmatii” (On the reconstruction of the female shoulder garments of the Sarmatians), Sovetskaya Arkheologiya 1987/3, pp. 166-76.
CLOTHING viii. In Persia from the Arab conquest to the Mongol invasion
The Omayyad period (41-132/661-750). Investigation of costume in the Omayyad period is hampered by the scarcity of surviving representations; furthermore, many of those that do survive are purely symbolic and do not reflect what was actually worn. For example, all the so-called “kings of the world” in a wall painting at Qoṣayr ʿAmra in Jordan, of the 2nd/8th century (Ettinghausen, 1972, p. 190 fig. 2), wear Byzantine robes. Similarly, the approximately contemporary stucco reliefs from Čāl Tarḵān-ʿEšqābād, near Ray, in which a king is depicted hunting boar in full Sasanian royal regalia (Thompson, pl. II/1-2), probably do not accurately record contemporary princely dress; more likely they express the wholesale adoption of Sasanian attributes of power.
Nevertheless, there is some evidence that styles of the late Sasanian period in Persia continued to be worn for some time after the Islamic conquest. For example, the costume worn by “Bahrām Gōr” in a relief from the same site probably reflects that of a contemporary man of high rank: It consists of a smooth, close-fitting tunic with a jeweled belt at the waist, a wide skirt with jeweled hem below the knee, and tight sleeves ending in rolled cuffs or bracelets at the wrists worn over smooth trousers ornamented with pearls (Thompson, pl. II/3-4). Deborah Thompson (p. 21) has compared this garb with that worn by Ḵosrow II Parvēz (r. 591-628) on the Investiture and Boar Hunt reliefs at Ṭāq-e Bostān (see iv, above); the absence of a central fastening in front is most closely paralleled in the robe in the investiture and those worn by the courtiers in the boar hunt (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pl. V; Peck, 1969, pls. XV-XVII). Stiff, close-fitting decorated caftans (long, heavy, often richly decorated robes with long sleeves, worn belted) and smooth pantaloons appeared in Sasanian Persia only in the 7th century and continued into the post-Sasanian period, as attested on the reliefs at Ṭāq-e Bostān and on silver vessels attributed to the 1st-2nd/7-8th centuries (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XXXV, XXXIX; Harper, 1981, pls. 19, 21, 27, 33, 36; idem, 1978, pl. 25). The flat cap with beaded fillet worn by “Bahrām Gōr” is also paralleled in the Boar Hunt relief, where it is worn by the king and some of his courtiers (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XLVIII, LVII). As Prudence Harper has pointed out, this cap, which is not characteristic of Sasanian dress, may have been introduced by Ḵosrow II, for it was incorporated into the royal headdress in representations on his coins (Peck, 1969, p. 121).
The taste for richly decorated caftans seems to have spread through Omayyad domains. Remnants of a stucco figure known as the “standing caliph,” from the unfinished 2nd/8th-century palace at Ḵerbat al-Mafjar, north of Jericho, probably built during the reign of the caliph Hešām (r. 105-25/724-43), show a smooth, close-fitting garment with wide skirt and narrow sleeves, girt with a jeweled belt and worn over full trousers and soft boots (plate lxxxv; Hamilton, pl. LV/1). The central fastening recalls the king’s coat in the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān, which was also worn with ample pantaloons (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pl. XLVIII). This type of heavy coat had a long history in Persia (see v, above). Although it was worn in the early Sasanian period (Herzfeld, 1941, p. 309 fig. 402), its form at Ḵerbat al-Mafjar is closest to that in the late Sasanian representations at Ṭāq-e Bostān, which are closely paralleled in turn by garments in wall paintings and sculpture of the 5-8th centuries at Central Asian and Afghan sites like Bāmīān, Qïzïl, Balalyk Tepe, Fondukistan (Fondoqestān) and Panjīkant (Panjīkaṯ; Rowland, pl. 57; T. T. Rice, figs. 83, 97, 157, 179; Belenitsky, 1968, fig. 143; see v, vi, above). Enough of the upper torso of the “standing caliph” has survived to suggest that the coat closed diagonally across the chest, from right to left. This type of closing recalls those on 4th or early 3rd-century b.c.e. tunics and jackets found at the Siberian site of Pazyryk, as well as rare Parthian and Sasanian examples (see iii, iv, above). The caftan worn by the standing caliph probably had lapels like those on the garments of smaller stucco figures from Ḵerbat al-Mafjar; (Hamilton, pl. XXXVI/6); this feature is also more closely linked with the caftans of Central Asia than with those represented at Ṭāq-e Bostān. The fastening, hem, and vertical slits on the sides of the skirt are edged with pearls, emphasizing the slightly pointed dip of the hem at the sides. The form of the skirt and the vents, suitable to a riding coat, are also known from late and post-Sasanian representations (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XXXV, XXXIX; Harper, 1981, pls. 19, 27, 36). The wide trousers, gathered at the ankles, hark back to Sasanian styles continued from Parthian and Kushan dress of the 2nd century c.e. (Kawami, pl. 31; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 56 fig. 70, 155-56 fig. 197; Rosenfield, pls. 22, 120; Harper, 1981, pls. 10, 13, 16).
The dress of the “standing caliph,” which seems clearly to have been inspired by Sasanian and Central Asian models, is paralleled by a fur-lined green-silk caftan decorated with a pattern of sīmorḡs (legendary creatures generally represented in the art of this period as having the front quarters of quadrupeds combined with wings and peacocks’ tails) in roundels from a burial of the late 2nd/8th or early 3rd/9th century at Moshchevaya Balka in the northwest Caucasus and now in the Hermitage, Leningrad (Jeroussalimskaja, pls. I, XIII). It was probably worn belted over a lighter tunic, trousers, and soft leather shoes (Jeroussalimskaja, p. 186). This find provides evidence not only on the construction of early caftans but also on how they were fastened. The closing of the caftan, which was vertical, rather than diagonal, was from right to left in the Persian manner, as at Ḵerbat al-Mafjar, with small lapels (Figure 62); A. Jeroussalimskaja (p. 205) has noted that Chinese garments were wrapped in the opposite direction and that the Chinese considered a closing to the left characteristic of barbarians. The coat was fastened symmetrically by three or four pairs of tabs fastened to the right panel with covered buttons and containing buttonholes for a matching set of buttons on the left panel. A hidden button secured the waist, but the wide skirt, constructed of several panels of material, was unfastened in front, and the sides were slit for freedom of movement. Jeroussalimskaja (pp. 203-6) related the form and decoration of this garment to those of the royal caftan represented on the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān and to Central Asian examples. Only the wide sleeves, made separately and stitched to armholes, differ. Better-preserved men’s garments from Moshchevaya Balka suggest that the sleeves were generally longer than the wearers’ arms; though identical in cut to the sīmorḡ caftan, they are made of humbler materials, linen with silk borders or sackcloth.
The persistence of Sasanian styles of dress during the Omayyad caliphate is further exemplified by a stucco relief of a ruler from the palace at Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī in Syria, probably also dating from the time of Hešām. A tunic, decorated down the front and around the hem with a pearl band and at the knees with rosettes, is worn over ample trousers with jeweled bands down the front (Schlumberger, 1939, pl. XLV/3). The hem of the tunic is pulled up on the sides, probably by straps, which are represented as borders on the sides of the garment (Schlumberger, 1939, p. 353). This detail recalls the apron-like skirts of Sasanian Persia, which appeared first in the 4th-century reliefs at Ṭāq-e Bostān and were depicted on Persian metalwork into the 2nd/8th century (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. LXVI, LXVIII, LXX; Harper, 1981, pls. 16, 19, 24, 29, 36). The Sasanian fashion, ultimately derived from Parthian dress, must have been adopted so that the long tunic could be worn for riding (see iv, above). The jeweled pantaloons were also adopted by the Sasanians from styles in vogue in Parthia and Palmyra (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 47 fig. 60, 56 fig. 70, 79 fig. 91; Harper, 1981, pls. 13, 14, 16, 38). The headdress of the stucco figure at Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī was described by Daniel Schlumberger (1939, p. 328) as a flat cap with metallic fillet supporting a central jewel flanked by a pair of wings. The form recalls the caps depicted in the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān and in the “Bahrām Gōr” relief at Čāl Tārḵān-ʿEšqābād, but the wings were borrowed from Sasanian royal crowns.
Few depictions of nonroyal male figures have survived from the Omayyad period, but the late 2nd/8th-century finds from Moshchevaya Balka in the northwestern Caucasus provide evidence that men of lower social status probably wore garments similar at least in form to those worn by their rulers (Jeroussalimskaja, p. 203). In other stucco reliefs from Ḵerbat al-Mafjar riders of lesser rank wear stiff tunics over full pantaloons tucked into boots, a costume quite close to that of the “standing caliph” (Hamilton, pl. VII/2, 3, 7). Simple boots are most characteristic of Omayyad representations, though at Čāl Tārḵān-ʿEšqābād there is one example of boots with upturned toes (Thompson, p. 44, pl. IX/1). Figures of low social status are represented in the paintings of Qoṣayr ʿAmra with bare feet and legs and wearing simple short tunics with long or short sleeves (Almagro et al., pp. 182-86, pls. XXXIV-XXXVIII). This tunic was ultimately derived from the Greek chiton, which was secured by a belt and then pulled up and folded over it, and recalls tunics worn by servants in the Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān, which in turn must hark back to depictions of servants’ garments on Palmyrene reliefs (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pl. LXXIV; Peck, pp. 104, 105). Male figures depicted either hunting on horseback or butchering onagers are clad in longer robes with wide sleeves, the hems tucked up for greater freedom of movement (Almagro et al., pp. 133, 178, 180, pls. XXX, XXXII). Such clothing worn with neither shoes nor boots seems to echo Hellenistic traditions of dress, rather than those of Sasanian Persia. More elaborate male outfits are worn by two fan bearers flanking the enthroned caliph (Almagro et al., pp. 158, 159, pls. Xb, XI); they wear soft shoes, long robes with beaded collars, and mantles with elaborately patterned linings.
This costume is quite similar to that of a flute player depicted in a painting on the floor of a stairwell at Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī (Schlumberger, 1946-48, p. 89 fig. 4, pl. B), though the latter wears full trousers tucked into boots under his long belted caftan in violet cloth, with tight sleeves. The red of a tunic worn beneath shows at the cuffs and collar, and a long, transparent red cloak is worn over the whole. Flying ribbons and a jeweled scarf complete the costume (Schlumberger, 1946-48, p. 89 fig. 4, pl. B). Schlumberger (1946-48, p. 96) believed that this dress reflected Sasanian styles depicted on the reliefs at Ṭāq-e Bostān and on silver vessels, though in Sasanian art only royal or divine personages were shown wearing cloaks (see iv, above). The elaborate garments worn by the fan bearers at Qoṣayr ʿAmra and the flute player at Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī probably spread among both men and women of lower rank after the fall of the Sasanian dynasty.
In the main register of the same floor painting from Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī a hunter is shown wearing a close-fitting tunic with long sleeves similar to that in the “Bahrām Gōr” relief, though open below the waist to reveal trousers tucked into low boots (Schlumberger, 1946-48, p. 91 fig. 5, pl. B). The form of the robe is of Sasanian type, as are the knotted flying ribbons at the back of the head and the jeweled scarf fluttering from what is probably a leather belt (Schlumberger, 1946-48, p. 90, pl. B; Harper, 1981, pls. 10, 13, 15); as hunting was a royal pursuit, it is possible that a royal personage was being depicted.
Depictions of female dress surviving from the Omayyad period are even fewer than those of male dress. In a stucco relief of “Bahrām Gōr and Āzāda” from Čāl Tārḵān-ʿEšqābād the slave girl is shown in a close-fitting tunic with necklace, bracelets or rolled cuffs, full trousers, and small slippers. The dress falls in rippling folds, suggesting soft or transparent cloth, in contrast to the stiff textile of Bahrām Gōr’s caftan. Certainly the taste for close-fitting, diaphanous robes was already familiar in Sasanian times, reflected in representations of queens and goddesses on rock reliefs and of dancing girls on silver vessels (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 173 fig. 215, 178 fig. 218, 215 fig. 256; Harper, 1978, pp. 60 fig. 18, 77 fig. 26). Trousers are not known to have been worn by women in the Sasanian period, however; they must have been introduced in imitation of male costume in the early Islamic period. Women wearing trousers are depicted on post-Sasanian silver plates (e.g., Survey of Persian Art IV, pls. 229A, 230B).
A more complex garment of approximately contemporary date is represented in the figure of a female lute player on the floor painting from Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī. A long white robe with narrow sleeves and a short overskirt is worn over an even longer green tunic. A violet mantle and soft shoes complete the attire (Schlumberger, 1946-48, p. 89 fig. 4, pls. B, XXV). The basic dress is reminiscent of Sasanian examples (Peck, 1969, pls. X, XI; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 218 fig. 259). The long cloak and multiple skirts were new fashions, worn also by female musicians on a post-Sasanian plate in the Hermitage (Survey of Persian Art IV, pl. 208A).
A woman’s headdress depicted on another fresco fragment from Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī consists of a low, cloth turban wound with a length of material surrounding the face, which could serve as a veil when necessary (Weiss, p. 433 no. 258). It is difficult to find earlier parallels for this turban, as few representations of Sasanian women other than queens and goddesses survive. Two harpists on the Boar Hunt relief seem to wear soft turbans, though damage to the surface has obliterated the details (Peck, 1969, pls. IXb, X; see iv, above, plates lxx, lxxi). The wound turban or ʿemāma (see ʿamāma) became the characteristic headdress of men in the Islamic world, and there is evidence that it was aready in use early in the Omayyad period (Masʿūdī, Morūj, ed. Pellat, IV, pp. 6-7; Ettinghausen, 1972, p. 30; Serjeant, p. 67).
In the wall paintings at Qoṣayr ʿAmra female figures appear in various styles of dress and undress. A flute player wears a long-sleeved garment patterned with floral roundels, diamonds, and flower sprigs (Almagro et al., p. 154, pl. VIb), reflecting the tradition of elaborately decorated female garments in the late and post-Sasanian periods (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. LIX, LXIX, LXX; Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 215 fig. 256, 218 fig. 259). Dancers are shown either elaborately bejeweled but nude (Almagro et al., p. 175, pl. XXVIIc) or wearing draped blouses or sleeveless belted gowns with short overskirts, both costumes echoing classical attire (Almagro et al., pp. 154, 190, pls. V, XLIIc). The figure of Fortuna is also dressed in Hellenistic style, a draped robe with a veil drawn over her head (Almagro et al., p. 157, pl. IXb), whereas a “bacchante” is portrayed nude to the waist but adorned with collars, belts, and bracelets (Almagro et al., p. 157, pl. IXa). This alluring outfit is repeated on other Omayyad representations of courtesans and dancers: Stucco figures at the palaces of Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī and Ḵerbat al-Mafjar are shown nude to the waist and wearing elaborate torques with pendants, bracelets, anklets, and hair rosettes. Skirts, belted at the hips with twisted cords, are elaborately patterned; they are either pleated or wrapped like sarongs (Schlumberger, 1939, p. 354 fig. 25; Hamilton, pl. LVI/6-9). Although no such depictions survive in contemporary Persian sculpture, Schlumberger (1939, p. 354) compared them to representations on Sasanian and post-Sasanian silver objects. Certainly they call to mind the bejeweled dancers represented nude or in transparent, clinging robes on some vessels (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 215-17 figs. 256-58; Grabar, pls. 19-23), but the style of the skirts is not known from Sasanian representations and seems peculiar to Omayyad and early ʿAbbasid art. In later times dancers were more discreetly clothed, with rare exceptions, for example, a drawing of a nude dancer (from Fatimid Egypt, probably 6th/12th century; Guest and Ettinghausen, pl. 12/43).
During the Omayyad caliphate dress for both men and women thus seems to have been derived in large part from the fashions of Sasanian and post-Sasanian Persia and Central Asia, though new elements had already appeared, for example, trousers and a complex arrangement of skirts worn by women. The clothing worn by rulers in sculptures from Qaṣr al-Ḥayr and Ḵerbat al-Mafjar suggests deliberate adoption of the attributes of power and authority associated with the vanquished empire.
The early ʿAbbasid period (132-ca. 422/749-1031). The trends observed in the Omayyad period continued through the early centuries of ʿAbbasid rule, with gradual evolution of new styles. In fragments of wall paintings and painted ceramic wine jars found in the palace of Jawsaq al-Ḵāqānī at Samarra in central Mesopotamia (218-27/833-42) male figures are depicted in the heavy, ornamented caftan with short, tight sleeves and hems dipping to points at the sides and ample, decorated trousers gathered at the ankles above small boots (plate lxxxvi). The caftan with short sleeves, a new feature, is worn over a tunic with long sleeves, recalling garments worn by both men and women in wall paintings from Qïzïl, perhaps dating from the 7th century c.e. (Herzfeld, 1927, pls. XVI, LXV, LXIX; Le Coq, 1926, p. 116). The bright hues of green, red, and pink seem to conform to the dictum of Abu’l-Ṭayyeb Moḥammad Waššāʾ (246-325/860-936) that men of position should wear pure colors and avoid “ugly” tones in their clothing (Serjeant, 1972, p. 214). A leather belt with short thongs, or lappets, is associated with the caftan worn by noble and warrior figures at Samarra (Herzfeld, 1927, p. 88 fig. 65, pls. LXV, LXVI, LXVIX). This belt, though also represented on the Boar Hunt and Stag Hunt reliefs at Ṭāq-e Bostān, was essentially a foreign fashion originally borrowed from nomadic peoples (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XXXV, XXXIX, L, LVII, LXXXIX). The first examples seem to come from 5th-6th-century burials of the Avars in Mongolia and southern Siberia, where two belts were customarily worn, the upper as a symbol of rank, the lower for suspending weapons (Ghirshman, 1953, p. 69; idem, 1963, pp. 305-6 fig. 13). The lappet belt was popular in Central Asia in the 6th-8th centuries, and on wall paintings there are many representations with small objects or weapons suspended from the thongs (Le Coq, 1924, pls. 14, 15, 17; Grünwedel, 1920, p. 128 fig. 14; Bussagli, p. 59; Belenitsky, 1973, pls. 9, 11, 122; see belts ii. in the parthian and sasanian periods).
A belt with three long lappets tipped with metal, from which two swords are suspended, is shown on a wall painting of the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries from the palace of Sabzpūšān at Nīšāpūr (Figure 63; Wilkinson, 1986, pp. 206-7 figs. 2.39-40). The rider is clad in a stiff, decorated caftan with tight sleeves, ornamented trousers (or leggings that cover the heels), and high boots with pointed toes. On the upper sleeves of the caftan are ṭerāz (embroidered) bands of pseudo-Kufic writing, a common element of clothing in the early Islamic period. Charles Wilkinson believed that plain, uninscribed brassards were worn in Persia as early as the 3rd/9th century; they appear on the garments of what have been identified as “Persians” in wall paintings of approximately that date at Bäzäklik (Wilkinson, 1986, p. 211; Le Coq, 1926, pl. 20); it is more probable, however, that they are Central Asian donor figures. Although this parallel underscores the influence of Central Asian styles on Persian clothing, inscribed brassards seem to be a purely Islamic innovation in dress. According to Wilkinson, the headdress worn by the painted rider from Sabzpūšān is probably a helmet of silk and leather, which he considered unique in form (1986, p. 209). Next to the rider is a second, damaged figure wearing a stiff embroidered coat; what appears to be a stole; ample, decorated trousers; and small slippers reminiscent of Omayyad examples (Wilkinson, 1986, p. 207 fig. 2.40). The headdress, an onion-shaped turban, perhaps of ornamented silk, with a pseudo-Kufic inscription and a knobbed finial at the top, is a new style that prefigures Islamic headdresses known from later representations; only the finial has earlier parallels, in the 7th-8thcentury paintings at Panjīkant (T. T. Rice, p. 108 fig. 91; Azarpay, p. 66 fig. 31). The turban may, however, have had precursors in the Omayyad period: A conical cap of wrapped cloth is depicted in a late 2nd/early 8th-century wall painting at Qoṣayr ʿAmra (Almagro et al., p. 162, pl. XIVb).
Samanid buff-ware ceramics from Nīšāpūr, generally dated to the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries, also attest the Sasanian and Central Asian origin of garments worn in Persia during the early ʿAbbasid period. Decorated men’s caftans with stiff skirts and diagonal closings (usually from left to right) and lapels were worn over wide trousers and boots with pointed or upturned toes (plate lxxxvii; Wilkinson, 1973, pl. 2; The Arts of Islam, p. 35, pl. 4); sometimes there were also an overskirt and an undergarment. This costume is closely related to those shown on wall paintings at Qïzïl (Le Coq, 1926, p. 116; Wilkinson, 1973, pl. 2). The curious pointed boots are akin to those of the rider in the painting from Sabzpūšān and in one early representation at Čāl Tārḵān-ʿEšqābād (Wilkinson, 1973, pl. 2/62a; Thompson, p. 44, pl. IX/1). Possible Central Asian affiliations can again be cited, for upturned shoes of felt and leather are known from the late 2nd-3rd/8th-9th centuries at Mazar Tagh, east of Khotan (Whitfield, pl. 84). A unique feature of male dress depicted on Nīšāpūr buff ware is the bifurcated wing-like veils or sleeve attachments, which terminate in narrow points (plate lxxxvii; Wilkinson, 1973, p. 47 fig. 64, pl. 2; The Arts of Islam, p. 35, pl. 4). Judging from the ceramics, tight-fitting, decorated shirts and full, elaborate pantaloons, sometimes covered from ankle to knee with stiff leggings, were also popular at Nīšāpūr (Wilkinson, 1973, pp. 45 fig. 62, 47 fig. 64). Leggings, a distinctively nomadic accouterment, were first worn by Persian tribes in the Achaemenid period and continued to be worn through the Sasanian period (see ii-iv, above). The stiff version represented on the ceramics most closely resembles those of donor figures on the wall paintings at Qïzïl (Le Coq, 1913, pl. IV; T. T. Rice, p. 190 fig. 180).
There appear to be but few representations of early ʿAbbasid headgear other than helmets, and it is often difficult to distinguish caps from hairstyles. It seems, however, that at Nīšāpūr long, decorated head coverings with points were popular, in contrast to the pointed caps with ear flaps that were worn with stiff coats and boots in Mesopotamia (The Arts of Islam, p. 35, pl. 4; Atıl, p. 18 fig. 3; Grube, 1976, p. 77 fig. 38). A number of headdresses are also to be found on silver and gold ʿAbbasid medallions of the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries. The ruler may be shown in what seems to be a crenellated crown or in a rounded cap with beaded brim, tied at the sides with ribbons; the latter harks back to Sasanian styles (Sourdel-Thomine and Spuler, pl. 154d-e). A camel attendant wears a tall, conical hat and a lute player a small pointed cap with a brim (Sourdel-Thomine and Spuler, pls. 155b, 204c). By the 5th/11th century the ruler was depicted wearing not a cap or crown but an elaborate tulip-shaped turban (Sourdel-Thomine and Spuler, pl. 267b).
Literary and historical accounts contribute further information on male clothing in the early ʿAbbasid period. Waššāʾ described the fashionable footgear for men of rank: shoes and boots of black or red leather with fur trim. He approved of the use of fine silk and linen shirts worn with cloaks and hoods but decried the choice of saffron-dyed garments and those scented with musk and ambergris, as such trappings were more appropriate to dancing and serving girls (Serjeant, 1972, p. 214). Ebn Qotayba Dīnavarī (213-76/828-89) gave an account of the cloaks (borūd) of Baṣra in southern Mesopotamia, which were, according to an Arab informant, “sewn with blossoms of spring which caught the eye” (ed. Guirgass, I, p. 300; Serjeant, p. 90). This description recalls the elaborately decorated garments depicted at Samarra and Nīšāpūr. The stiff contours of many of the early illustrated caftans may be explained by the statement of Ṯaʿālebī (d. 412/ 1021) that for winter silk (ḵazz) robes were lined (mobaṭṭan) with silk and quilted raw silk (qazz; Ḡorar, p. 710; Serjeant, p. 68).
On a few polychrome-painted ceramic wine jars from the Jawsaq al-Ḵāqānī palace monks or priests are depicted (Herzfeld, pls. LXI, LXIII). Their habits consist of striped shawls or vestments worn over long, decorated robes; hoods like balaclavas cover their heads and necks. The garb of a figure represented on an approximately contemporary luster-painted jar from Mesopotamia, consisting of along robe with a pointed hood and long veil, has been interpreted as that of a priest (Atıl, pp. 20-21 no. 4), though the presence of earrings suggests that the figure may be female. (There is no doubt that a comparable image on a luster-painted bowl from Fatimid Egypt, probably of the early 6th/12th-century, is a priest wearing a long, decorated robe with wide sleeves and a pointed hood; Lane, pl. 26a.)
A particularly valuable source of information on Persian costume in this period is a manuscript of Ketāb ṣowar al-kawākeb al-ṯābeta (Treatise on the fixed stars) by ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān b. ʿOmar Ṣūfī, written in 355/965 for the Buyid ʿAżod-al-Dawla and copied by the author’s son in 400/1009. In the drawings of the personified constellations male and female clothing of the early 5th/11th century is represented in some detail. The basic male garment is a tunic similar in form to the caftan, with a diagonal closing from right to left and lapels, open in front below the waist to reveal knee-length trousers or long, loose pantaloons covering the heels. This tunic was worn over a shirt with longer sleeves (plate lxxxviii). It differs from the caftan in that it is shorter, has wider sleeves, and is made of soft material (Wellesz, pls. 2/3-4, 3/5, 4/7-8, 5/9). The most common male headdress represented in this manuscript is the soft, wound turban, flat in silhouette and set squarely on top of the head (Wellesz, pls. 2/4, 4/8, 5/9, 7/14). The personification of the constellation Cepheus, however, wears a tall hat, rounded at the top and covered with a lattice pattern (plate lxxxviii), probably representing the qalansowa ṭawīla (tall qalansowa). Richard Ettinghausen has identified the qalansowa as the official headgear of the Omayyad and early ʿAbbasid caliphs on the basis of historical and literary sources (1972, pp. 30-33), though no early pictorial representations survive, with the possible exception of the tall, rounded cap worn by a camel attendant depicted on a silver medallion of the caliph al-Motawakkel (232-47/847-61; Sourdel-Thomine and Spuler, pl. 154e). Ettinghausen traced its origin from the kyrbasía of the Achaemenids (see ii, above) through the 1st-century b.c.e. pointed hats represented at Commagenian Nimrud Dagh in southeastern Turkey and Parthian examples; tall, rounded caps were also current during the Sasanian period (Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 153-54 fig. 196, 169-170 fig, 212). By the beginning of the 5th/11th century the qalansowa had come to be worn by men who did not have royal status, even by non-Muslims. The taller version was probably of silk over a framework of reeds, whereas the shorter one may have resembled the modern fez and was most often worn wrapped in a turban. The use of the qalansowa ṭawīla is documented in illustrated manuscripts as late as the 8th-9th/14th-15th centuries (Ettinghausen, 1972, fig. 89; see ix, below).
Depictions of female dress in the 3rd-5th/9th-11th centuries are less numerous than those of male dress. A variety of styles is, however, depicted on the wall paintings from the Jawsaq al-Ḵāqānī palace at Samarra. In a particularly well-known example (plate lxxxix) two dancing girls are clad in long-sleeved hip-length tunics, long skirts, and soft shoes; the tunics are girdled at the hips with two strands of beads. Scarves are draped over the arms and across the front. On their heads the dancers wear rounded caps with gold diadems and strands of pearls in their hair, which is worn in long plaits. There are pearl drops in their ears. The pink garment on the left is patterned with “v”s, and the blue robe on the right has a broad, frilled collar. These bejeweled figures with their clinging robes and scarves are reminiscent of the dancers on Sasanian silver vessels (see iv, above, plate lxix). The broad collar and hip-length tunics are new features, however, probably derived from the costume of female entertainers like those on a post-Sasanian plate in the Hermitage (Survey of Persian Art IV, pl. 208A). A similar collar is also worn by male figures represented on post-Sasanian silver plates (pls. 208A, 218), and the caps of the Samarra dancers recall the round, filleted headdresses worn by male figures on still another vessel in the Hermitage (pl. 207B). Other dancers are also represented in the Samarra wall paintings; they are bare to the waist and wear brightly colored and patterned skirts girdled at the hips with corded sashes (Herzfeld, 1927, pls. XX-XXI), evoking the costumes depicted on Omayyad stuccos from Ḵerbat al-Mafjar and Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī (see above). Other female dress depicted at Samarra includes tightly fitted tunics with a variety of patterns and narrow short sleeves worn over long-sleeved undergarments, again resembling some male costumes (Herzfeld, 1927, pl. XVI). This type of tunic was also worn by both men and women somewhat earlier in Central Asia (Le Coq, 1926, p. 116).
Aside from the paintings at Samarra, depictions of women are rare from the Islamic world in the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries. Two women on a Samanid bowl are dressed like their male counterparts in heavy belted caftans with tight sleeves and simple undergarments; the caftans are wrapped diagonally from right to left and have lapels (Atıl, p. 24 no. 6). That such caftans were in fact worn by women is also clear from the donor figures on the wall paintings at Qïzïl (Le Coq, 1924, pl. 1; idem, 1926, p. 116). In the Ṣūfī manuscript already mentioned most of the female figures representing constellations are rendered as dancing girls. Two distinct types of costume are illustrated. One is a long, soft tunic with a diagonal closing; it is belted with a jeweled girdle over full trousers. Like the male tunics represented in the same manuscript, it has features in common with slightly earlier caftans but is of soft material and is worn with an undergarment with long sleeves and possibly a decorated skirt (Wellesz, pls. 3/6, 7/13): it lacks the lapels that usually appear on the male version, however. Female figures are frequently also represented wearing a more complex fashion. It consists of a close-fitting tunic with short scalloped sleeves and hem over an ankle-length dress with longer sleeves. A third skirt, short and open at the front, is held in place by a twisted scarf; sometimes tight, decorated trousers are worn beneath the dress as well (Wellesz, pls. 5/10, 6/11-12). All the female figures in the manuscript are adorned with jewelry: diadems with single composite jewels in front, necklaces, bracelets, hoop earrings, and anklets. The jewel on the diadem of one image of Andromeda is a rosette contained in a crescent, which is derived from elements of the Sasanian crown (Wellesz, p. 14, pl. 6/12). Although in general the jewelry and diadems are similar to those of dancers on Sasanian and post-Sasanian silver (e.g., Ghirshman, 1962, pp. 215-17 figs. 256-58), the dress is new and may reflect the actual attire of entertainers at the Buyid court.
The Saljuqs and the post-Saljuq period. The decorated caftan retained its popularity as a male garment into the 5th/11th century and can be seen in the wall paintings from one of the Ghaznavid palaces at Laškarī Bāzār in central Afghanistan, probably built by Masʿūd I (421-32/1030-41). On the inner faces of the piers in the throne room were painted friezes of richly dressed nobles, probably originally sixty of them, in stiff coats, which close diagonally from right to left and have lapels only on the right of the openings. The single lapel appeared at Balalyk Tepe in Sogdiana perhaps as early as the 5-6th centuries and occurs side by side with double lapels at Qïzïl (T. T. Rice, pp. 101 fig. 83, 97 fig. 112, 180 fig. 190). It seems that this Central Asian fashion was continued at Laškarī Bāzār. The caftans are worn over elaborate undergarments and are embellished with inscribed ṭerāz borders on the upper arms (Schlumberger, 1952, pls. XXI, XXII/1). They are belted with thonged girdles, from which small objects are suspended. Full trousers and high boots complete the outfit. Schlumberger (1952, p. 264) suggested that such inscribed garments were robes of honor presented by Muslim rulers to members of their retinues or to important allies. As details of the caftans, belts, and boots were apparently imported from Chinese Turkestan, he concluded (1952, p. 267) that these figures represent the Ghaznavid sultan’s Turkish bodyguard. A soft headdress resembling a turban in a wall painting from room IV in the same palace (Schlumberger, 1952, pl. XXXII/2) is also paralleled in Central Asia, in a wall painting at Bäzäklik of the 8th or 9th century (Bussagli, p. 110).
Few representations of either male or female dress seem to have survived from the period after the advent of the Saljuq dynasty (429/1038) in Persia through the early 6th/12th century. Illustrations in a manuscript of Ṣūfī’s treatise dated 525/1130-31 (Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, Ahmet III 3493) demonstrate some modernization of male dress in the century and a quarter since the Bodleian manuscript had been copied; although the basic forms of the turban and tunic remained the same, a belt with thongs for suspending weapons had been added (Wellesz, pl. 18/45). Silver belt ornaments from a Saljuq hoard said to have been found at Nehāvand (Gray, p. 75, pl. XXXII) attest that this type was still worn at the end of the 6th/12th century.
Continuity of dress styles between the two Ṣūfī manuscripts can, however, be assumed on the basis of representations on 11th-12th-century pottery, ivories, wall paintings, and woodwork from Fatimid Egypt, where Persian garments like the flat turban had a strong influence (Lane, pl. 26B; Atıl, p. 128 no. 57; Kühnel, 1971, p. 229 fig. 194; Ettinghausen, 1942, p. 123 fig. 23; Jenkins, fig. 6). It is shown, particularly on luster-painted pottery, along with the familiar embroidered caftan decorated with brassards and worn over boots. These garments differ from their Persian prototypes, however, in their wider sleeves and complex, polygonal necklines, a style peculiar to Fatimid Egypt (Lane, pl. 26B; Atıl, p. 128 no. 57; Ettinghausen, 1942, fig. 23). A taste for loose robes with wide sleeves seems to have had no parallel in Persia, though the surviving evidence is scant. Laborers and hunters in Fatimid art are shown wearing either short decorated tunics with sleeve bands and short underskirts or longer robes tucked up for greater freedom of movement (Kühnel, 1971, p. 229 fig. 194; idem, 1929, p. 408 fig. 404), costumes that may be traceable to styles depicted in the early 4th/11th-century Ṣūfī manuscript. A complex series of paintings on the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina at Palermo in Sicily, dated to about 534/1140, also attest the continuity of earlier styles of male dress: rounded turbans and long robes with sleeves and brassards worn with full trousers like those of the Fatimids (Ettinghausen, 1942, figs. 7-8; idem, 1962, p. 45). A three-pointed crown of reversed heart-shaped leaf forms is represented several times; it is reminiscent of ornate crowns depicted in the wall paintings from Panjīkant (Ettinghausen, 1962, p. 45; idem, 1942, fig. 7; Belenitsky, 1968, fig. 142).
Representations of women are also common on luster pottery and wall paintings of Fatimid Egypt. They, too, wear jeweled diadems and headdresses derived from Sasanian royal crowns or the fillets of dancers from silver vessels (Grube, 1968, p. 13 fig. 4; Philon, pl. XXIIA; D. T. Rice, p. 127 fig. 93). The women wear loose, decorated robes with wide sleeves banded with ṭerāz and polygonal necklines, similar to those worn by men. The robes may be girt with jeweled belts and worn over wide trousers (Grube, 1968, p. 13 fig. 4; Philon, pls. XXIIA, XXV; Robinson, pl. 3/1.7; D. T. Rice, p. 127 fig. 93).
The number of surviving illustrations of costume from the late 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries, the period of the small dynasties that succeeded the Great Saljuqs in Persia, is much greater, especially for men and women of high rank. Representations on ceramics and metalwork, as well as in wall paintings, manuscript miniatures, and stucco sculptures, permit a fairly comprehensive description of the clothing worn at court, among which new styles probably introduced by the Saljuqs were combined with older fashions.
Most characteristic for high-ranking men was a stiff, decorated caftan closing diagonally from right to left. D. S. Rice identified this garment as a qabāʾ (1953, p. 133; see xxvii, below), and L. A. Mayer suggested that the closing from the right was specifically Turkish, in contrast to the closing from the left, which he believed characterized “Tartar,” or Mongol, robes (p. 21). In fact, the closing from the right was typical of Persian caftans, worn with high boots, from the last decades of the Sasanian dynasty through the early centuries of Islam and also paralleled in Central Asian examples (see above). In the Turkish period the version with narrow sleeves and wide skirt was the single most important male garment. It is depicted in an early 7th/13th-century illustrated manuscript of Varqa wa Golšāh by ʿAyyūqī and on contemporary pottery without decoration other than gold arm bands, which appear to have been very common (Ateş, pls. 1/2-3, 5/13, 15; Atıl, pp. 82 no. 35, 92 no. 40, 100 no. 44). It sometimes closed vertically in front, with jeweled borders; the brassards were inscribed “the faithful” (al-moʾmenīn) or a similar expression; there might also be shoulder ornaments similar to epaulettes (plate xc), recalling late Sasanian and Central Asian embellishments at Ṭāq-e Bostān and Panjīkant (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pl. LXVI; T. T. Rice, p. 108 fig. 91).
Nevertheless, the most distinctive feature of late Saljuq and post-Saljuq male dress was the popularity of patterned textiles for these garments. On pottery simple patterns of dots or groups of three dots (also a conventional textile pattern on Sasanian silver vessels) appear, as well as more complex patterns of tiny scrolls or arabesques of palmettes and half palmettes, some of them even incorporating figures (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 640B, 642, 643A-B, 651, 653, 673B; Atıl, pp. 68 no. 28, 72 no. 30, 78 no. 33, 102 no. 45, 104 no. 46). Various stripes and overall geometric patterns were also common (Lane, pl. 68; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 652, 654, 656A, 657A, 666-68; Atıl, pp. 78 no. 33, 84 no. 36, 96 no. 42). That these patterns do not merely represent ceramic conventions is clear from the rendering of garments in fragmentary wall paintings and in illustrations from the copy of Varqa wa Golšāh already mentioned, as well as in frontispieces to the volumes of Abu’l-Faraj Eṣfahānī’s Ketāb al-aḡānī dated 614-16/1217-19 and to two copies of Ketāb al-deryāq (Book of antidotes) by Pseudo-Galen, dated 596/1199 and ascribed to the second quarter of the 7th/13th century respectively (Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 554A-B; Ateş, pls. 1/3, 6/16, 18; D. S. Rice, 1953, figs. 14-19; Ettinghausen, 1962, pp. 65, 85, 91). The last three manuscripts, all of them attributed to northern Mesopotamia, show that the stiff coat with diagonal closing and arm bands was also worn in that region from the end of the 6th/12th century. The wavy patterning on some garments represents a local convention for rendering folds. The same garment was also depicted on contemporary inlaid metalwork from the same area (Du Ry, pp. 116-17; Guest and Ettinghausen, figs. 11-16). A variant of this coat had wide sleeves, similar to the robes known from Fatimid Egypt and the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina. Versions made from decorated textiles and with ṭerāz bands are depicted on contemporary Persian ceramics and in the illustrated Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript (Lane, pls. 55A, 58B, 68A; Atıl, 102 no. 45; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 641B, 687; Ateş, pls. 6/18, 10/27). They also appear on late 6th/12th-century metalwork (Baer, figs. 3-4), worn open at the neck with two lapels; though made of undecorated textiles, they are adorned with arm bands.
The dress for men of high station included a variety of head coverings, some of them harking back to older styles, others clearly of Saljuq Turkish derivation. The turban, which had been the most characteristic headgear for Muslim men since the Omayyad period, continued to be worn by men of importance, its larger size and typical flat-topped silhouette echoing those of the turbans depicted in the early 5th/11th-century Ṣūfī manuscript (see above). Turbans constructed from either plain or decorated lengths of cloth are illustrated on pottery and metalwork of the late 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries (Atıl, p. 72 no. 30; Lane, pls. 52C, 55A, 58B, 63A; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 642, 643B, 672, 686, 693; Guest and Ettinghausen, figs. 12-16, 73). In illustrations from the autograph Persian translation of Ṣūfī’s text by Ṭūsī (597-672/1201-74), dated 647/1249-50 (Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, Aya Sofya 2595), the turbans are even larger and more elaborate, adorned with ṭerāz bands inscribed in Kufic (plate xci; Wellesz, figs. 46, 48). Although no pictorial depictions of turbans with ṭerāz bands have survived from before this period, it is mentioned in historical sources that the late 4th/10th-century Fatimid caliphs wore them (Serjeant, 1972, p. 158). Smaller, more rounded turbans, sometimes with long ends dangling, are depicted in the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript (Ateş, pls. 1/1-3, 6/17-18, 7/20, 10/27, 11/32, 13/38); this type seems to have been much more common in the Arabic-speaking countries, where it, too, grew larger with the passage of time. In fact, despite the continuing use of the turban in Persia at the end of the 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries, it seems not to have been as popular there as in Syria and northern Mesopotamia. In contemporary manuscripts from the latter areas a great variety of styles not known from Persia are illustrated (Ettinghausen, 1962, pp. 75-77, 79, 87, 97, 106-7, 113-14, 116, 118-19).
Plate xci. Illustration of the constellation Auriga from a manuscript of Ṣūfī’s Ketāb ṣowar al-kawākeb al-ṯābeta, dated 647/1249- 50, in the Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, Aya Sofya 259. After Wellesz, pl. 19 fig. 48.
In Persian art courtiers are also depicted wearing the winged crown. Although ultimately derived from the Sasanian royal ceremonial headdress and subsequently adopted by Omayyad rulers (see, e.g., the stucco figure from Qaṣr al-Ḥayr al-Ḡarbī), by the late 6th/12th century it had lost its royal connotations and become a decorative headdress for the nobility. In both ceramic and stucco representations it is shown as a pair of wings flanking a jewel in the shape of a lotus bud or placed above jeweled fillets (plate xc; Atıl, pp. 188 no. 52, 120 no. 53; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 687, 707C).
Among the new styles of headgear in Persia at this time were a variety of caps and hats of different shapes and sizes, ranging from small decorated creased or dented hats (Atıl, p. 68 no. 28) to flat caps with or without central knobs (Atıl, pp. 78 no. 33, 82 no. 35) to those with fur brims or made completely of fur (Atıl, p. 94 no. 41; Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 653). Flat hunting caps trimmed with fur are depicted on Saljuq wall paintings from Nīšāpūr (Wilkinson, 1986, fig. 28). Other headdresses were taller and slightly conical, with brims, or more similar to the modern fez, with finials (Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 643B, 646A, 688A; Atıl, p. 110 no. 50). Similar small hats with knobs and upturned brims were illustrated in wall paintings (Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 554) and in the illustrated Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript (Ateş, fig. 27), where fur-trimmed conical caps (plate xcii) and a tall forked headdress of curious shape (Ateş, pl. 1/3; İpşiroğlu, fig. 16) also occur. Tall, rounded caps with palmette-shaped cockades on the side or in front are also worn by courtiers in the frontispieces to the Ketāb al-aḡānī manuscript from northern Mesopotamia (e.g., Ettinghausen, 1962, p. 65). That these new types of headgear, rounded or pointed in outline, conical or brimmed, were introduced by the Turks is clear from earlier representations of similar forms at such Central Asian sites as Qïzïl, Dandan Öiliq, Bäzäklik, and Panjīkant (Grünwedel, 1920, pls. XXVII, XLIX; Le Coq, 1926, pl. 20; Whitfield, pl. 69; Belenitsky, 1968, fig. 144; Seyrig, pl. II).
The most distinctive headdress worn by rulers and courtiers was a conical cap with a wide fur band that also bordered a tall, rounded metal plaque in the front (plate xciii). It is illustrated on both glazed and unglazed ceramics from Persia and northern Mesopotamia (Lane, pls. 37B, 63A, 64B, 68A, 78A; Atıl, p. 96 no. 42; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 651, 672, 675, 688, 708). In the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript, on the other hand, the plaque is much taller than in the pottery representations, and the cap itself is often even taller, resembling the qalansowa ṭawīla (see above; Ateş, pls. 13/36, 14/39). In northern Mesopotamia and Syria this cap, as illustrated in the Ketāb al-aḡānī frontispieces and in the two copies of Ketāb al-deryāq already mentioned, as well as in several contemporary manuscripts of the Maqāmāt (Assemblies) by Ḥarīrī, was low and rounded, hidden by the taller plaque (Ettinghausen, 1977, pp. 65, 91; D. S. Rice, 1953, figs. 16-19; Buchthal, fig. 6). D. S. Rice (1953, p. 133) identified it with the šarbūš favored by the Zangids, a Turkish dynasty that ruled parts of northern Mesopotamia and Syria (521-619/1127-1222), and their successors (cf. Mayer, p. 28). It is difficult to trace the earlier history of this cap. Hats with rectangular plaques in both front and back, which may have been trimmed with fur (Le Coq, 1926, pl. 20), were depicted on the 3rd/9th-century wall paintings at Bäzäklik and may have been early versions of the Turkish šarbūš.
Finally, a characteristic fashion for rulers and men of high rank in the late 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries was tall boots, a natural choice of footgear for nomadic peoples, with a long tradition in Persia, from the Achaemenid period onward (see v, above). It is difficult to determine the form of the boots from post-Saljuq representations, as the tops are almost always hidden under the hems of the caftans. They were slim, close-fitting, with slightly pointed toes, and seem to have been made of soft leather (plate xciii). On pottery they are shown in a variety of colors: black, brown, red, blue, and green (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 668D, 686, 687, 705; Atıl, p. 100 no. 44), and some seem to have been patterned with scrolls, rosettes, and spirals (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 653, 651). In a few instances it is possible to glimpse the complete form of these boots, which rise to single points at the knees (Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 705), recalling the boots worn by servants in the Sasanian Boar Hunt relief at Ṭāq-e Bostān (Fukai and Horiuchi, I, pls. XXV, XLIII) and those depicted on post-Sasanian silver vessels (Harper, 1981, pls. 19, 27, 36). They were probably derived from Central Asian examples like those represented at Qïzïl, Dandan Öiliq, Fondukistan, Bäzäklik, and Panjīkant (Le Coq, 1928, pp. 116; Bussagli, pp. 57, 59, 80; Ghirshman, 1962, p. 32 fig. 430; Belenitsky, 1968, figs. 143-44) and on a Sogdian silver plate (T. T. Rice, p. 115 fig. 101).
On two ceramic pieces the pointed boot tops are elongated to form straps, which were apparently attached to inner belts in the manner of the leggings worn by the Parthians and Sasanians (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 672, 686; see v, above). That the boots illustrated in the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript were attached in this way is clear from battle scenes, in which the displacement of the coat reveals a broad thong reaching from the knee to an inner belt (plate xciii; Ateş, pls. 1/2, 2/4, 4/11, 5/13, 9/24; İpşiroğlu, fig. 17; Melikian-Chirvani, opp. p. 99, fig. 38). This method of securing boots was certainly of Central Asian origin and is represented in 6th-7th-century sculptures from Fondukistan, and 8th-9th-century wall paintings from Bäzäklik (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 321 fig. 430; Le Coq, 1913, pl. 22). Although the man’s caftan was almost always worn with trousers tucked into boots, the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript shows wide pantaloons worn outside (Ateş, pl. 11/32).
Male figures of lower social status are not represented wearing caftans and boots. In the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript the butcher and the baker are unshod and bare to the waist, wearing only loose white trousers (Ateş, pl. 1/1). Foot soldiers and attendants are shown in wrapped leggings or loose pantaloons and short jerkins (Ateş, pls. 8/21, 15/42). Varqa himself wears only loose pantaloons after being taken captive, apparently the usual garb for prisoners (Ateş, pl. 4/11; Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 692B; Grube, 1976, pl. 142). In the Ketāb al-deryāq manuscript of 596/1199 laborers and gardeners wear either knee-length trousers with bare torsos or short tunics without trousers (Ettinghausen, 1962, pp. 84, 85); on contemporary metalwork from the same region they wear short trousers with tunics tucked up and caught at the waist (D. S. Rice, 1949, p. 338 fig. D; idem, 1957, fig. 11). Although these workmen are often bareheaded, they also wear a variety of hats: tall conical bonnets with upturned brims (D. S. Rice, 1949, p. 338 fig. D), small pointed caps (D. S. Rice, 1957, fig. 11), and tiered caps (Ettinghausen, 1962, p. 85). One distinctive headdress that seems peculiar to northern Mesopotamia is a tall pointed hat with a broad brim, suitable for shading the face from the sun. It is seen on illustrations of gardeners and laborers on both inlaid metalwork and the later Ketāb al-deryāq manuscript (D. S. Rice, 1949, p. 338 fig. D; Ettinghausen, 1962, p. 91). In the same manuscript it is also worn as a traveling hat by horsemen wearing the decorated caftan associated with high rank (Ettinghausen, 1962, p. 91); on an inlaid ewer from Anatolia it is worn by a hunter (Allen, pl. 7, detail, p. 60).
A few figures are also shown clad in either loose or tight trousers of a richer sort, decorated with patterns and worn with elaborate short tunics. They include fallen enemies and fantastic winged creatures (Atıl, p. 112 no. 50; Lane, pl. 69A), as well as men engaged in enigmatic physical activities, perhaps acrobatics or dance (Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 712).
Representations of women in the 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries, though far more numerous than in earlier periods, are sometimes difficult to distinguish from beardless youths, as they also wear decorated, stiff caftans with narrow sleeves and diagonal closings from right to left (Atıl, pp. 99 no. 41, 96 no. 42, 104 no. 46, 120 no. 53; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 672, 689). These caftans are ornamented in the same way as those of their male counterparts, with arm bands and patterns of dots, scrolls, geometric, and figural designs. Robes with wide sleeves, recalling Fatimid examples (plate xciv), were apparently more popular for women than for men (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 641 B, 653, 693). Indeed, all female figures in the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript wear them, whereas the men almost always have narrow sleeves (plate xcii; Ateş, pls. 1/2-3, 5/15, 6/17-18, 7/19, 9/25-26, 10/28-29). These robes are sometimes worn under open, patterned coats with wide sleeves (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 651, 691 A, 720A). The woman’s caftan is sometimes shown open below the waist, revealing either wide white trousers or striped or plaid pantaloons underneath (plate xcii, plate xciv; Ateş, pls. 1/2-3, 5/15, 7/19, 10/28-29, 11/31, 14/39 and 41, 15/43; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 652, 664, 672), a garment that had first been adopted by women in the early years of the Omayyad period (see above).
Plate xciv. Bowl with polychrome underglaze decoration, Persia, 7th/13th century. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 57.61.16, Henry G. Leberthon Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Wallace Chauncey. Available at www.metmuseum.org.
Women of the court are depicted wearing small, pointed slippers in the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript (plate xcii; Ateş, pls. 1/2-3, 7/19, 10/28-29, 11/31, 15/43). On pottery one slipper may be worn while the other foot is shown bare with a tattooed or hennaed design and an anklet (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 651, 652, 653). Boots were seldom worn by female figures, though they do appear occasionally on ceramics (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 641, 672; Atıl, p. 10 no. 53).
Women of the court wore a variety of hair ornaments, crowns, and hats. Perhaps the most characteristic headdress, shown on pottery, on metalwork, and in manuscript illustrations, was a jeweled diadem ornamented in front with a round lotus bud or a trefoil-shaped jewel and sometimes bound with long, decorated ribbons (Atıl, pp. 94 no. 41, 104 no. 46; Lane, pls. 59 B, 84 A; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 641 B, 646 B, 651, 693; Grube, 1976, p. 183; Du Ry, p. 116). Such hair ornaments are worn by women in the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript (İpşiroğlu, fig. 16; Ateş, pls. 1/3, 13/38), the Ketāb al-aḡānī frontispieces, and the Ketāb at-deryāq of 595/1199 (D. S. Rice, 1953, fig. 17-19; D. T. Rice, 1965, pl. I, opp. frontispiece). They are very similar to those depicted on the female constellations in the early 5th/11th-century Ṣūfī manuscript (see above; Wellesz, pls. 3/6, 5/10, 6/11-12), which were ultimately derived from the diadems of dancers on late Sasanian silver vessels (Grabar, 1967, pls. 19-22).
A small flat cap adorned with a jewel or plaque in front or tied with ribbons was also a popular feminine style (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 653, 672; Lane, pl. 68A; Atıl, p. 96 no. 42). Other headdresses resembled those worn by men: round caps, flat hats with central knobs, and “fezes.” It is this similarity in particular that makes it difficult to distinguish between male and female representations (Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 641 B, 664, 666, 688, 703; Atıl, pp. 120 no. 53, 121); only when the figures are represented wearing the characteristic tiered and looped earrings is it certain that they are female (plate xcii; Survey of Persian Art V, pls. 641, 646, 652, 690, 691). These hats, which originated in Central Asia, are worn by female donor figures in wall paintings at Qïzïl (Grünwedel, 1920, pl. XXVII). The winged crown derived from Sasanian prototypes was also worn by high-ranking women. It is represented on ceramics, in the frontispiece to the 7th/13th-century Ketābal-deryāq, and in the Persian translation of Ṣūfī’s text (plate xciv; Atıl, p. 120 no. 53; Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 687; D. T. Rice, 1965, pl. I opp. frontispiece; Wellesz, pl. 20/49). In the Ṣūfī manuscript the constellation wearing the winged crown is Andromeda, represented as a dancer or court entertainer. She is dressed in a fitted tunic, closing from right to left and belted with a sash; wide, floating trousers; pointed slippers; and a wealth of jewelery, including a necklace with pendant, earrings, two bracelets on each wrist, and anklets. The richness of her ornaments links this figure to dancers on Sasanian and post-Sasanian silver vessels and in Omayyad and early ʿAbbasid representations, though in the late 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries such dancers were more fully clothed.
In illustrations winged figures unfurling canopies above the heads of rulers or shown in conjunction with important personages are also dressed as court dancers. On ceramics they are usually shown wearing the jeweled diadem, slippers, wide trousers, and decorated tunics (Survey of Persian Art V, pl. 686). In the frontispiece to the Ketāb al-deryāq of 596/1199 such figures are dressed in brightly colored tunics tied up with sashes in front to allow greater freedom of movement; these tunics are decorated with arm bands and scrolled patterns and are worn over loose trousers with flaring cuffs in contrasting patterned textiles (D. T. Rice, 1965, pl. I, opp. frontispiece). The figures also wear elaborate jewelry. The central seated figure in the frontispiece is clad in the same way, with the addition of an elaborate loose coat with little underneath. In the Ketāb al-aḡānī frontispieces similar winged figures are shown in rich tunics and pantaloons (D. S. Rice, 1953, figs. 16-19).
In this period women were sometimes represented wearing scarves wound round their heads and draped over their shoulders, as in an illustration of Cassiopeia in the Ṣūfī manuscript dated 647/1249-50 (Wellesz, pl. 20 fig. 51) and in the Varqa wa Golšāh manuscript, where it seems to characterize Golšāh’s mother and older women in general (Ateş, pls. 9/26, 10/29). In images on ceramics this scarf may be shown pulled up to veil the lower half of the face, especially during travel (Lane, pl. 62B); in one miniature from the 7th/13th-century Ketāb al-deryāq women traveling by camel are shown with their veils secured by headbands (Ettinghausen, p. 91).
It is clear from these examples that Persian clothing during the first six centuries of Islamic rule was strikingly conservative. Although new styles were introduced, especially after the advent of the Turks, innovative fashions in headgear and elaborate jewelry under the Saljuqs altered the basic form of Persian costume very little. There was also a definite trend toward a more androgynous mode of dress; in the 6/12th and 7th/13th centuries the caftan was worn as often by females as males, and women adopted such previously male accessories as boots and certain headdresses. Nevertheless, despite this shift, the traditional nature of Persian clothing remained fundamentally unchanged. The stiff, decorated caftan worn with boots and pantaloons, retained from late Sasanian and Central Asian fashions, continued to be worn by high-ranking men and women in Persia until the advent of the Mongols and even afterward (see vii, below).
J. W. Allen, Islamic Metalwork. The Nuhad es-Said Collection, London, 1982.
M. Almagro et al., Qosayr ʿAmra. Residencia y baños en el desierto de Jordania, Madrid, 1975.
The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, 1982.
A. Ateş, “Un vieux poème romanesque persan. Récit de Warqah et Gulshāh,” Ars Orientalis 4, 1961, pp. 143-52.
E. Atıl, Ceramics from the World of Islam, Washington, D.C., 1973.
E. Boer, “An Islamic Inkwell in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” in R. Ettinghausen, ed., Islamic Art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1972.
M. Belenitsky, Central Asia, Cleveland, 1968. Idem, Monumental’noe iskusstvo Pyandzihikenta, Moscow, 1973.
H. Buchthal, “"Hellenistic" Miniatures in Early Islamic Manuscripts,” Ars Islamica 7, 1940, pp. 125-33.
M. Bussagli, Painting of Central Asia, Geneva, 1963.
J. Du Ry, Art of Islam, New York, 1970.
R. Ettinghausen, “Painting in the Fatimid Period. A Reconstruction,” Ars Islamica 9, 1942, pp. 112-24.
Idem, Arab Painting, Geneva, 1962.
Idem, From Byzantium to Sasanian Iran and the Islamic World, Leiden, 1972.
S. Fukai and K. Horiuchi, Taq-i-Bustan, 2 vols., Tokyo, 1969-72.
R. Ghirshman, “Notes iraniennes V. Scènes de banquet sur l’argenterie sassanide,” Artibus Asiae 16, 1953, pp. 51-76.
Idem, Persian Art. The Parthian and Sassanian Dynasties, New York, 1962.
Idem, “Notes iraniennes XIII. Trois épées sassanides,” Artibus Asiae 26, 1963, pp. 293-311.
O. Grabar, Sasanian Silver. Late Antique and Early Mediaeval Arts of Luxury from Iran, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1967.
B. Gray, “A Seljuk Hoard from Persia,” The British Museum Quarterly 13, 1939, pp. 73-79.
E. J. Grube, The Classical Style in Islamic Painting, New York, 1968.
Idem, Islamic Pottery of the 8th to the 15th century in the Keir Collection, London, 1976.
A. Grünwedel, Altbuddhistiche Kultstätten in Chinesisch-Turkistan, Berlin, 1912.
Idem, Alt-Kutscha, Berlin, 1920.
G. D. Guest and R. Ettinghausen, “The Iconography of a Kāshān Luster Plate,” Ars Orientalis 4, 1961, pp. 25-64.
R. W. Hamilton, Khirbet al Mafjar. An Arabian Mansion in the Jordan Valley, Oxford, 1959.
P. O. Harper, The Royal Hunter. Art of the Sasanian Empire, New York, 1978.
Idem, Silver Vessels of the Sasanian Period I. Royal Imagery, New York, 1981.
E. Herzfeld, Die Ausgrabungen von Samarra III. Die Malereien von Samarra, Berlin, 1927.
Idem, Iran in the Ancient East, New York, 1941.
M. S. İpşiroğlu, Das Bild im Islam, Vienna and Munich, 1971.
M. Jerkins, “An 11th-Century Woodcarving from a Cairo Nunnery,” in R. Ettinghausen, ed., Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1972.
A. Jeroussalimskaja, “Le cafetan aux simourghs du tombeau de Mochtchevaja Balka (Caucase septentrional),” Studia Iranica 7, 1978, pp. 183-211.
T. S. Kawami, Monumental Art of the Parthian Period, Leiden, 1987.
E. R. Knauer, “Toward a History of the Sleeved Coat. A Study of the Impact of an Ancient Near Eastern Garment on the West,” Expedition 21, 1978, pp. 18-36.
E. Kühnel, Die islamische Kunst, Leipzig, 1929.
Idem, The Minor Arts of Islam, New York, 1971. A. Lane, Early Islamic Pottery, New York, 1948.
A. von Le Coq, Chotscho, Berlin, 1913.
Idem, Die buddhistische Spätantike in Mittelasien IV. Die Wandmalereien, Berlin, 1924.
Idem, Buried Treasures of Chinese Turkestan, London, 1926.
L. A. Mayer, Mamluk Costume, Geneva, 1952.
A. Melikian-Chirvani, “Le Roman de Varqe et Golšâh,” Arts Asiatiques 22, 1970, pp. 1-262.
E. H. Peck, “The Representations of Costumes in the Reliefs of Taq-i Bustan,” Artibus Asiae 31, 1969, pp. 101-46.
H. Philon, Benaki Museum Athens. Early Islamic Ceramics, 9th to Late 11th Centuries I, Westerham, Eng., 1980.
D. S. Rice, “The Oldest Dated "Mosul" Candlestick A.D. 1225,” The Burlington Magazine 91, 1949, pp. 334-40.
Idem, “The Aghani Miniatures and Religious Painting in Islam,” The Burlington Magazine 95, 1953, pp. 128-34.
Idem, “Inlaid Brasses from the Workshop of Aḥmad al-Dhakī al-Mawṣilī,” Ars Orientalis 2, 1957, pp. 283-326.
D. T. Rice, Islamic Art, New York, 1965.
T. T. Rice, Ancient Arts of Central Asia, New York, 1965.
B. W. Robinson et al., The Keir Collection. Islamic Painting and the Arts of the Book, London, 1976.
J. M. Rosenfield, The Dynastic Arts of the Kushans, Los Angeles, 1969.
B. Rowland, The Art and Architecture of India, Baltimore, 1954.
D. Schlumberger, “Les Fouilles de Qasr el-Heir el-Gharbi (1936-38),” Syria 20, 1939, pp. 324-73.
Idem, “Deux fresques omeyyades,” Syria 25, 1946-48, pp. 86-102.
Idem, “Le palais ghaznévide de Lashkari Bazar,” Syria 29, 1952, pp. 251-70.
R. B. Serjeant, Islamic Textiles. Material for a History up to the Mongol Conquest, Beirut, 1972.
H. Seyrig, “Armes et costumes iraniens de Palmyre,” Syria 18, 1937, pp. 1-53.
J. Sourdel-Thomine and B. Spider, Die Kunst des Islam, Propyläen Kunstgeschichte, N.S. 4, Berlin, 1973.
D. Thompson, Stucco from Chal Tarkhan-Eshqabad near Rayy, Warminster, Eng., 1976.
H. Weiss, ed., Ebla to Damascus. Art and Archaeology of Ancient Syria, Washington, D.C., 1985.
E. Wellesz, “An Early Al-Ṣūfī Manuscript in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. A Study in Islamic Constellation Images,” Ars Orientalis 3, 1959, pp. 1-26.
R. Whitfield, The Art of Central Asia. The Stein Collection in the British Museum, London, 1985.
C. K. Wilkinson, Nishapur. Pottery of the Early Islamic Period, New York, 1973.
Idem, Nishapur. Some Early Islamic Buildings and Their Decoration, New York, 1986.
CLOTHING ix. In the Mongol and Timurid periods
It is difficult to discuss clothing in Persia in the Il-khanid and Timurid periods with any certainty because very few garments, in fact, very few textiles, actually survive from these periods. Armor and military trappings will not be considered here.
Contemporary sources. Contemporary Arabic and Persian texts provide little information; most often textiles are named without description of garments made from them. The most frequent reference to clothing is to robes (ḵelʿa) and belts (kamar) awarded as honors on various occasions (e.g., Ebn Baṭṭūṭa, ed. and tr. C. Defremery and B. Z. Sanguinetti: Voyages d’Ibn Batouteh. Texte arabe accompagné d’une traduction … , Paris, 1857, III, p. 19, tr. Gibb, III, p. 549; Šaraf-al-Dīn, II, p. 426, ll. 16-17; tr. Thackston, p. 93; see xxvii, below).
European sources expand the picture somewhat. According to Ruy González de Clavijo, ambassador to Tīmūr from Henry III of Castile and Leon, in Rabīʿ I 807/October, 1404, on the same occasion mentioned by Šaraf-al-Dīn (II, p. 426, II. 16-17; tr. Thackston, p. 93; Clavijo, p. 236) he and a number of other ambassadors were presented by Tīmūr himself with robes, matching shirts, and hats of kincob (camocas among many other variants; better rendered as kamḵāb and understood as “gold brocade,” Pelliot, I, pp. 145-50; Wardwell, esp. p. 96 and n. 6). Clavijo also mentioned silk, wool, and linen cloth and furs—ermine, marten, fox, and sable; clothing with pleats and embroidery; velvets and quilting; and a close-fitting jacket with a marten collar (p. 276). He described Tīmūr at their first meeting as wearing a “cloak of plain silk without any embroidery, and … a tall white hat on the crown of which was displayed a balas ruby” (p. 220). Several weeks later he saw Tīmūr’s grandson Pīr-Moḥammad dressed in the Tartar manner, in a blue silk robe with gold embroidery, “which back and front covered his chest and shoulders and passed down the material of the sleeves” (p. 254), recognizable as the “cloud collar” (Chin. yün-chien/yun-jian) derived from Chinese prototypes, which in Il-khanid and Timurid Persia consisted of a large motif with four trefoils decorating the neck of a garment, extending front and back, as well as over the shoulders, either applied separately to the overgarment or embroidered directly onto it (see Cammann, 1951, and idem, 1972, p. 39). He also commented on the festive clothing of the Great Khanom on the same occasion: an outer robe of red silk embroidered with gold, high-necked but sleeveless, with a train so long it required the assistance of fifteen ladies, and a thin white veil attached to a towering headdress of gold-embroidered red stuff ornamented with gold, pearls, turquoises, balas rubies, and plumes of white feathers (pp. 258-59). Other European travelers, particularly the Venetian ambassadors to Uzun Ḥasan Āq Qoyunlū in the 870s/1470s, were far less informative about clothing than Clavijo, though they did note the places where certain textiles were manufactured (textile names derived from which are not necessarily considered definitive by modern textile historians; cf. Serjeant, p. 56; Bier, p. 5). An anonymous Venetian merchant described the dress of people he saw in Tabrīz during the reign of Uzun Ḥasan (Grey and Roy, p. 172): “Their dress is the same as has always been—the Persian costume—wearing it open at the breast, showing their bosoms … . All the Persian women, and particularly in Tauris … wear men’s robes, and put them on over their heads, covering them altogether. These are robes of silk, some of crimson cloth, woolen cloth, velvet, and cloth of gold… .”
Surviving textiles and clothing. The few Mongol and Timurid garments that survive almost all come from tombs; they reveal more about material and weaves, designs and colors, than about cut. For example, a silk-and-gold lampas fabric, the “ṭerāz of Abū Saʿīd,” used for the burial of Rudolf IV (Dom- and Diözesanmuseum, Vienna, Survey of Persian Art, pp. 2049-50, 2056, pl. 1003; Wardwell, pp. 108-9, fig. 45), was not made up into a garment before its export to the West. The pattern (compound stripes of staggered medallions and diamonds and running animals, alternating with inscriptions in Arabic) suggests that it may well have been intended for clothing like that worn by the seated king in a painting from a dispersed Šāh-nāma manuscript of about 770/1370 (Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, H. 2153, fol. 55r; Grube, 1980, pl. 10).
Textiles found in the tomb of Cangrande I della Scala (d. 1329) in Verona have been attributed to locales from China to the Middle East (Sangiorgi, 1922; Stoffe). Five of them (A, D, E, G, H; Stoffe, pp. 45, 76-91, 100-23, 130-62) have recently been subjected to technical analysis that places them among a group woven in Central Asia (Wardwell, passim and Appendix I); those made into garments (D, the cap; E, the tunic; H, the overvest) were made up in the West, and, like the “ṭerāz of Abū Saʿīd,” they thus provide no information about clothing made from such sumptuous fabrics in Persia or Central Asia.
Of Persian clothing from the 9th/15th century, only fragments of the burial garments of Tīmūr, Šāhroḵ, Oloḡ Beg, and Mīrānšāh remain. Although Oloḡ Beg was buried in the clothing in which he had been murdered, his burial garments appear to have survived more completely than those of the others. The turban was a finely woven, “delicate” stuff; the shirt was woven of mixed silk and cotton, very long, and tucked into “Uzbek-cut” trousers at the back and sides, falling to the knees in front and held in at the waist by a “broad, silk band ornamented with a checker pattern of white and light blue squares” (Gerasimov, p. 143; said to be kept in the Navoi Literature Museum of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Tashkent). Finally, a lavishly embroidered quatrefoil yoke, in the classical form of the cloud collar, with designs of winged peris against a floral background, has been reevaluated and published as Timurid (Lentz and Lowry, pp. 216-17 no. 116).
Manuscript illustration. The incomplete picture of what people wore in Persia in the Mongol and Timurid periods derived from documentary sources and surviving garments may be expanded by means of another visual source: contemporary manuscript illustrations and drawings by artists working in courtly ateliers (ketāb-ḵānas). Clothing, unlike rugs and carpets, is defined by cut, as well as by the composition of fabric, weaves, designs, and colors. Persian clothing surviving from the Safavid period and later (Survey of Persian Art, pp. 2069ff., pls. 1024, 1034, 1060, and 1088; Spuhler, pp. 163-64; Bier, pp. 41-45), as well as garments represented on Safavid figured textiles (Survey of Persian Art, pp. 2078-2108 passim), generally resembles clothing shown in paintings in the essential features of cut (cf. Persian and Mughal Art, nos. 55; 138; 142 iv, lii, v, or x), though not necessarily in colors or patterns (pace Scarce, p. 36). Furthermore, the actual designs, for clothing ornamentation were generated by artists of the ketāb-ḵāna, and some of their drawings have survived (Grube, 1974, fig. 127; Lentz and Lowry pp. 194-97 nos. 95-98, 216-18 nos. 114-16).
Nevertheless, as with carpets of the same periods (see carpets vii), the most stringent criteria of quality, purpose, and especially subject must be applied in using Mongol and Timurid paintings as a guide to clothing of a period in Persian history from which very few actual garments survive (Survey of Persian Art, pp. 2044-55, 2061-68, for example, should be read with great caution).
Mongol period. Illustrations: right half of a double-page composition, Tabrīz, ca. 700/1300, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Istanbul, H. 2153, fol. 148v, Grube et al., pl. 8 (plate xcvi); Rašīd-al-Dīn, Jāmeʿal-tawārīḵ, Tabrīz, 706/1306, Edinburgh University Library, Arab 20, fols. 122r, 139v, 117r, Rice and Gray, pp. 142, 170, 178; Bīrūnī, al-Aṯār al-bāqīa, Tabrīz, 707/1307-8, Edinburgh University Library, Arab 161, fol. 158v, Gray, p. 27; Ferdowsī, Šāh-nāma [“Demotte” Šāh-nāma, dispersed], Tabrīz, 730-40/1330-40, Sackler Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., nos. S86.0100, S86.0102, S86.0107, S86.0105, Lowry and Nemazee, pp. 78-85 nos. 8-11, and The Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., no. 38.3, Gray, p. 32 (plate xcv); Kalīla wa Demna, Tabrīz (?), ca. 760/1360, Istanbul University Library, F. 1422, fols. 11v, 24r, Gray, pp. 38-39; fragment from a dispersed Šāh-nāma, Tabrīẓ (?), ca. 770/1370, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Istanbul, H. 2153, fol. 65v, Gray, p. 42; single painting, Baghdad, ca. 780-800/1380-1400, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 57.51.20, Grube, 1968, pl. 14.
Plate XCV. “Shah Zav, son of Ṭahmāsb, enthroned,” from the “Demotte” Šāh-nāma, ca. 730-40/1330-40, opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper, 15 13/16 x 11 7/16 inches (40.2 x 29.0 cm). Smithsonian Institution, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Arts of the Islamic World Collection. Available at www.asia.si.edu.
It can be deduced from surviving garments, written sources, and contemporary painting that men in the Mongol period wore the qabā, a long sashed or belted coat either wrapped in front and fastened under the right armor closing in the center, with lapels (Schroeder, p. 124; figures represented in such coats are not, however, always Persian) and long or elbow-length sleeves. It was worn over a long-sleeved tunic or shirt, qamīz or pīrāhan, and trousers tucked into boots or low shoes. Overgarments included coats or cloaks, sometimes fur-lined and sometimes with slit sleeves. A square of ornament might appear on the chest of the overgarment of a man of rank, and the upper arms and shoulders of the qabā might also be decorated. This convention is common in early Il-khanid painting (Rice and Gray, pp. 142, 168, 170, 172; Lowry and Nemazee, pp. 84-85 no. 11). The question of whether or not the ornamented square was intended to represent the cloud collar (Lowry and Nemazee, pp. 82-83 no. 10) is but one example of the difficulties of relying on painting styles to interpret changes in fashion. Headgear appears to have been varied (Schroeder, pp. 120-21). Mongol “bonnets” had many shapes and were often adorned with feathers; presumably they went out of fashion after the fall of the dynasty in 736/1336. Other distinct types were hats with large brims, slit at the sides for flexibility, crowns of varying heights and shapes, decorated finials, and occasionally what appear to be fur brims; low-crowned hats with flat, shallow brims; and either large turbans wrapped around colored kolkās (caps) or medium-sized turbans. To judge from paintings, garments could be patterned in contrasting colors or gold, and contrasts between qabā and pīrāhan were fashionable, though again it is unclear how closely these features reflect reality. Women also appear to have worn long garments closing down the front, with sleeves of variable length and cut, over at least one, perhaps more, additional layer of clothing; the garment closest to the body was also called a pīrāhan. Sometimes women’s coats are also shown decorated with cloud collars or with squares or other ornament on the breast and shoulders. Depending on background and social status, the head was covered by a stiff white or transparent veil falling down the back or fashioned like a cowl or a hood, or a softer, dark-colored shawl was wrapped around the head, neck, and shoulders. Mongol women of rank wore the headdress called boḡṭāq, a tall construction of felt and willow (wood or bark), the cloth covered with ornaments (see Doerfer, I, pp. 210-12). It is curious (and symptomatic of the problems of using paintings to document no longer existent clothing) that this unmistakable headdress does not appear in the surviving paintings of the “Demotte” Šāh-nāma, despite Grabar and Blair’s recent interpretation of this manuscript as an Il-khanid court manuscript; Clavijo’s precise description leaves no doubt that it was still being worn in Timurid Central Asia early in the 9th/15th century.
Timurid period. Illustrations: single painting on silk, Samarqand or Herat, ca. 810/1410, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 57.51.24, Grube, 1968, pl. 16 (plate xcviii); anthology of Eskandar-Solṭān, Shiraz, 813/1410-11, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, no. LA 161, p, 125, Gray, p. 75; Kollīyāt-e tārīḵī, Herat, 818-19/1415-16, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Istanbul, no. B. 282, fol. 16r, Grube et al., p. 72; anthology of Bāysonḡor, Herat, 830/1427, Berenson Collection, I Tatti, Settignano (Florence), fol. 26v, Gray, p. 86; Kalīla wa Demna, Herat, 833/1429, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Istanbul, no. 8.1022, fol. 45r, Grube et al., p. 76; Neẓāmī Ganjavī, Ḵamsa, Herat, 849/1445-46, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Istanbul, no. H. 781, fols. 48v, 62r, Grube et al., p. 80, and Grube, 1980, pl. 31; Ẓafar-nāma, Herat, 872/1467-68 (miniatures up to twenty years later), Johns Hopkins University, Eisenhower Library, Baltimore, fols. 82v-83r, Lentz and Lowry, pp. 264-65; ʿAṭṭār Nīšāpūrī, Manṭeq al-ṭayr, Herat, 892/1487, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 63.210.28, fol. 28r, Lentz and Lowry, p. 279; Saʿdī, Būstān, Herat, 893/1488, Egyptian National Library, Cairo, Adab Fārsī 22, fols. 1v-2r, Lentz and Lowry, pp. 260-61; Neẓāmī Ganjavī, Ḵamsa, Herat, 900/1494-95, British Library, London, Or. 6810, fol. 39v, Lentz and Lowry, p. 277; portrait of Solṭān-Ḥosayn Mīrzā, Herat (?), ca. 900/1500, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, Mass., no. 1958.59, Lentz and Lowry, p. 243 (plate xcvii).
Plate xcviii. “Homāy and Homāyūn in a garden,” detached leaf from a manuscript of Rašīd-al-Dīn’s Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ, no. 57.51.20, colors and gilt on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, no. 57.51.20, bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956. Available at www.metmuseum.org.
Plate xcvii. Portrait of Solṭān-Ḥosayn Mīrzā, ink and gold on paper, Herat (?), ca. 900/1500. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.59, gift of John Goelet.
To the extent that paintings provide evidence of changes in fashion in the Timurid century, men’s qabās appear to have been less extravagantly patterned; they were sometimes buttoned down the front and more often shown with belts of leather and metal elements, instead of with a sash. Occasionally jackets are shown, with fuller, baggy trousers, still tucked into boots or shoes. Headgear appears to have included the cap with high, sectioned crown and slit brim, the flatter low-crowned decorated hat, and the turban, most often shown as white but sometimes striped in bold colors; the colored kolāh is sometimes shown. Both men and women are frequently shown with a cloak thrown over the shoulders; it is sometimes fur-lined and often decorated at knee and shoulder and down the front. Women might also wear coats with sleeves. Such coats appear to have opened down the front and sometimes to have had short, flat lapels, and sleeves of varying lengths. They were worn over the pīrāhan, still apparently closest to the body, which had a high neck but was sometimes apparently cut to expose the chest between neck and bosom. Belts or sashes kept all but the outermost garment close to the waist and are often shown as extremely long, with ends fluttering in extravagant ripples. Transparent veils and hoods appear to have given way to less voluminous headcoverings, but sometimes an additional shawl is shown; white or colored scarves appear to be fastened at the back of the head and to fall to the feet behind, or they are secured under the chin by a string of what appear to be beads or jewels. Sometimes a fan-shaped headdress, apparently held in a knot at the front and then falling down the neck, is shown. The number of women portrayed with golden crowns can hardly be taken as evidence that they were actually worn in such numbers; rather many of the stories illustrated in these paintings involve royal women.
C. Bier, ed., Woven from the Soul, Spun From the Heart. Textile Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran, 16th-19th Centuries, Washington, D.C., 1987.
S. R. Cammann, “The Symbolism of the Cloud Collar Motif,” The Art Bulletin 23, 1951, pp. 1-9.
Idem, “Symbolic Meanings in Oriental Rug Patterns. Part II,” Textile Museum Journal 3/3, 1972, pp. 5-41.
R. González de Clavijo, Embassy to Tamerlane, 1403-1406, tr. G. Le Strange, London, 1928.
M. M. Gerasimov, The Face Finder, tr. A. H. Brodrick, New York, 1971.
O. Grabar and S. Blair, Epic Images and Contemporary History. The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shahnama, Chicago, 1980.
B. Gray, PersianPainting, Geneva, 1961.
C. Grey and S. A. Roy, trs., “The Travels of a Merchant in Persia,” in A Narrative of Italian Travels in Persia in the 15th and 16th Century, London, 1873, pp. 139-207.
E. J. Grube, The Classical Style in Islamic Painting, n.p. [New York], 1968.
Idem, “Notes on the Decorative Arts of the Timurid Period,” in Gururājamañjarikā. Studi in onore di Giuseppe Tucci, Naples, 1974, pp. 233-80.
Idem, La pittura dell’Islam, Bologna, 1980.
Idem, F. Čağman, and Z. Akalay, Islamic Painting. Topkapi Sarayi Collection, Tokyo, 1978.
T. W. Lentz and G. D. Lowry, Timur and the Princely Vision, Los Angeles, 1989.
G. D. Lowry and S. Nemazee, A Jeweler’s Eye. Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection, Washington, D.C., 1988.
P. Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, I, Paris, 1959.
Persian and Mughal Art, London, 1976.
G. Sangiorgi, “Le stoffe e le vesti tombali di Cangrande I della Scala,” Bolletino d’arte del Ministero dell P. I., April 1922; repr. in Contributi allo studio dell’arte tessile, Milan and Rome, n.d., pp. 33-57.
Šaraf-al-Dīn ʿAlī Yazdī, Ẓafar-nāma, ed. and tr. M. ʿAbbāsī, Tehran, 1336 Š./1957.
J. M. Scarce, “Vesture and Dress. Fashion, Function, and Impact,” in C. Bier, ed., Woven from the Soul, Spun From the Heart. Textile Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran, 16th-19th Centuries, Washington, D.C., 1987, pp. 33-56.
E. Schroeder, “Ahmed Musa and Shams al-Dīn. A Review of Fourteenth Century Painting,” Ars Islamica 6, 1939, pp. 113-42.
R. B. Serjeant, “Material for a History of Islamic Textiles up to the Mongol Conquest,” Ars Islamica 9, 1942, pp. 54-92.
F. Spuhler, Islamic Carpets and Textiles in the Keir Collection, tr. G. and C. Wingfield-Digby, London, 1978.
Y. K. Stillman and N. A. Stillman, “Libās iii. Iran 2. The Īlkhānid and Tīmūrid Periods” EI2 III, pp. 748-49.
Le stoffe di Cangrande. Ritrovamenti e ricerche sul 300 veronese, Verona, 1983.
D. Talbot Rice and B. Gray, The Illustrations to the "World History" of Rashid al-Din, Edinburgh, 1976.
W. M. Thackston, A Century of Princes. Sources on Timurid History and Art, Cambridge, Mass., 1989.
J. Vollmer, “Technical and Ethnic Considerations of Costume Depictions in the Istanbul Albums H. 2153 and 2160,” Islamic Art 1, 1981, pp. 136-44.
A. E. Wardwell, “Panni Tartarici. Eastern Islamic Silks Woven With Gold and Silver (13th and 14th Centuries),” Islamic Art 3, 1988, pp. 95-173.
L. Wooley, “Mediaeval Textiles Excavated at Ghubayra,” Iran 27, p. 1989, pp. 51-56.
CLOTHING x. In the Safavid and Qajar periods
In the late 15th century the poet Neẓām-al-Dīn Maḥmūd Qārī (Neẓām Qārī) of Yazd devoted an entire collection of poems to the subject of dress, the Dīvān-e albesa (for an index of contemporary clothing terminology, see pp. 195-206). The continuing and even increasing importance of dress in the following centuries is reflected in the richness of available documentation on this subject from the Safavid and Qajar periods, compared with earlier periods. In spite of the vagaries of fashion, the basic approach to dress and the components dictated by social custom and the performance of religious duties, for example, the ḵalʿat (Ar. ḵelʿa; robe of honor; see xxvii, below), the turban, and the čādor, remained constant in Persia.
Sources. Contemporary textual and archival sources; illustrations and, in the later 19th century, photographic documentation; and surviving garments combine to illuminate the essential character of the dress of these periods. Persian sources, including literary and historical texts and court documents, provide information on robes of honor, turbans, terms for textiles and garments, centers of production, and the impact and range of European materials and styles. Especially for the Qajar period there is also considerable information on the social and political background that is so important for an understanding of the practical purposes of clothing and changes in fashion. Reports of European observers provide specific descriptions of both male and female dress, enriched by details that supplement those given in the Persian sources. Furthermore, aside from Europeans’ persistent emphasis on the Persian love of fashion and the expense involved in satisfying it, there are scattered references to class distinctions in dress, providing valuable insights into a little-documented aspect of Persian social history.
The limited range of surviving garments (compared to the numbers and variety of contemporary rugs and textiles), especially from the Safavid period, is owing in part to heavy wear (Du Mans, p. 191; Chardin, p. 2), the perishable nature of fine silks and cottons, the habit of burning court garments to recover the gold and silver used in them (Moḥammad-Hāšem, II, p. 212), and especially the destruction of the Safavid court wardrobes during the sack of Isfahan in 1135/1722. Introduction of European fashions and consequent disregard for traditional costume in court circles have also contributed to the scarcity. Furthermore, the dating of garments that have survived is often complicated by the fact that robes were sometimes recut and fine brocades reused after their initial use. Among the best represented survivals are men’s robes from all periods but especially the 17th century; sashes of the same period; and women’s jackets, as well as accessories and jewelry for both sexes, of the 19th century. Such garments were sent as royal gifts to European princes or collected by local agents and diplomats of the European powers in the 19th century and have thus been preserved primarily in European collections. Persian museum and family collections are another source that has so far been little used (see Ashmolean, pp. 28-30).
Pictorial sources for both the Safavid and Qajar periods provide a comprehensive survey of costume types and are thus an important tool, as long as it is remembered that Persian painting is often idealized and standardized (see ix, above). Nevertheless, in these periods it was usually correct in essentials, for great care was taken to render decorative details accurately. Paintings, beside being particularly important for documenting the dress of periods from which few garments survive, have a special usefulness in showing how various parts of the costume were worn together, for Persian dress consisted of an elaborate layering of different elements. Detailed and often quite frank rendering of women in their domestic costume is particularly useful in this respect, for, as women were usually veiled in public, few observers (at least until the late 19th century) were able to describe their dress at first hand. Furthermore, the importance of photographs, which provide a totally accurate record of costumes from the mid-19th century, cannot be underestimated.
The Safavid period (907-1135/1502-1722). Safavid costume in the 16th century can be described generally as comprised of layered garments in luxurious materials, cut close to the torso and then spreading out in loose, flowing lines and worn with a variety of headgear, jewelry, ornaments, and accessories. As Jean Chardin (p. 50) remarked a century later, after viewing the robes of Tīmūr (771-807/1370-1405) preserved in the royal wardrobe, early Safavid dress still reflected Timurid styles (see ix, above). The basic garments of men and women were almost interchangeable, except for the headgear: turbans and caps for men, veils for women. With the exception of such categories as grooms and dervishes, most of the available information is related to the dress of the upper classes. It can nevertheless be suggested that the same basic type of dress was worn by all classes, with varying degrees of simplification.
Many reports in Safavid texts provide clues to the social significance and unequaled richness of court dress in this period: for instance, the gold-embroidered or brocaded tāj (twelve-gored cap, symbolizing the twelve Shiʿite imams) and robe of honor sent by Shah Esmāʿīl (907-30/1501-24) to the Turkman amir of Iraq Bārīk Beg and the brocaded robes and cloaks, as well as čahār ḏaṛʿīs (robes 4 cubits long), given by Moḥammad Ḵodābanda (985-96/1578-88) to Amīr Khan Torkamān, who married his daughter in 988/1580-81 (Eskandar Beg, tr. Savory, I, pp. 54, 384). Ottoman sources confirm the great luxury of Persian court costume, as observed in the dress of Shah Ṭahmāsb’s ambassadors on the occasion of the coronation of Salīm II in 974/1566: There were 120 envoys clothed in silks, velvets, and gold weaves and others who wore polychrome state robes embroidered with birds, flowers, and animals; the turbans were of gold cloth. In 982/1574, for the coronation of Sultan Morād III, Ṭahmāsb’s envoys wore silks with designs of lions, tigers, horses, and human figures (Martin, p. 12). Anthony Jenkinson, an English merchant traveling in Persia in 969/1562, described the sumptuous dress of the khan of Šamāḵī (Shemakha) in the Caucasus. It included robes of silk brocade embroidered with pearls and jewels, a brocaded silk tāj “tolipan” (Turk. dülbent or tülbent < Pers. dūlband “rope”) a half-yard high, and a gold enameled aigrette set with plumes (pp. 367-68).
The reconstruction of 16th-century Safavid dress proposed here is based on the few surviving garments and, most important, the numerous richly illuminated manuscripts of the period (plate xcix). A typical man’s costume consisted of a collarless silk shirt, white or colored, fastened at the right shoulder, and loose trousers tapering to the ankles. Although little is known about the details of these undergarments, it is probable that in essentials they were identical with those worn in the next century (see below). Eskandar Beg Monšī mentioned that Shah Esmāʿīl donned a quilted ḵaftān (tunic) under his armor before the battle of Dīārbakr in 913/1507 (tr. Savory, I, p. 51). A shirt with painted talismanic inscriptions, now in a London private collection, has been attributed to Shah Esmāʿīl (Karīmzāda, pp. 1455, 1559 pl. 73). Over the shirt and trousers a jacket or long robe was worn; it either opened down the front or was fastened under the armpit (for reconstructions of this and other garments, see Scarce, 1987a, p. 36). A narrow velvet or leather belt with jeweled rosettes or a similarly narrow sash encircled the waist. At times a second sash was looped through the first. Finally, another long robe, either open at the front or V-necked, was worn over the entire outfit. This outer robe was of two types; one with wide, elbow-length sleeves, the other worn as a mantle with long, tapering sleeves dangling loose and slits at the shoulders through which the arms passed. The legs were covered in long stockings, which rose above the knee, and were fastened with cord. Peasants wore strips of cloth wound around the lower legs. Footgear consisted of pointed, flat-soled shoes, clogs, or short boots or riding boots. These boots were probably made of shagreen dyed red or green, as in the 17th century (Le Bruyn, p. 214; Chardin, p. 51, cf. 81).
Plate xcix. “Nighttime in a palace,” attributed to Mīr Sayyed ʿAlī, from a manuscript of Ḵamsa by Neẓāmī made for Shah Ṭahmāsb, 946-50/1539-43, opaque watercolor on paper, 28.3 x 20 cm. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.76. Gift of John Goelet, formerly collection of Louis J. Cartier.
In courtly dress robes were primarily of plain or brocaded silk or cotton. They were in bright colors (black was rarely worn; Herbert, pp. 232-33), and gold embroidery was also used for scalloped collars and as decoration around the neck or front opening. By the 940s/1530s sophisticated patterns of animals and figures were in use for decorating textiles (plate c). Surviving men’s garments include a magnificent silk robe (jobba) with long sleeves and a front opening, datable to the mid-16th century by the style of the repeat design of a young man throwing a rock at a dragon (State Armory Museum, Moscow, no. TK2845; Hayward Gallery, p. 107 no. 75; Survey of Persian Art, pls. 1024-25); similar, though not identical, motifs are known from manuscript paintings of that period (Treasures, p. 88 no. 56; for surviving fragments of velvets with comparable patterns, see Bier, pp. 198-99 no. 33, 250-52 no. 60, 252 no. 61). Another example of the same approximate date has a woven design of male and female figures wearing the contemporary layered robes; the women’s embroidered trousers (šalvār) are typical of the period (State Armory Museum, Moscow; for a detail, see Survey of Persian Art, pl. 1028). These garments reflect the high standards of design in the royal workshop, which provided the models used by the weavers for their figural textiles. Coats with gold braid across the chest and buttons covered in gold or silver thread were also worn. Robes and coats could be quilted or lined with contrasting materials for both warmth and beauty. Fur-lined outer robes and sheepskin mantles were worn in winter.
Plate c. Detail, Moḥammad Haravī, portrait of a prince wearing a mantle of gold brocade, Qazvīn, mid-16th century, colors and gold on paper, 19.5 x 10.5 cm. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., no. 37.8.
Aigrettes with gold chains and plumes were attached to turbans, and flowers could be tucked into their folds as well. Jeweled armbands and belts were worn, and penboxes, daggers, swords, kerchiefs, bags, seals, and rings were attached to the belts. The fine workmanship of these accessories is illustrated by an important belt of velvet with gilded openwork plaques made for Shah Esmāʿīl and a single armband in the same style signed by the craftsman Nūr-Allāh (Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, nos. 1842, 1843; Rogers, p. 206 nos. 115-16).
The most distinctive item of men’s costume was, of course, the headgear, which indicated not only gender but also religious and political allegiance (see, e.g., Schmitz, p. 110). The head was always shaved, though younger men retained a ponytail and light side-whiskers and older men sported well-trimmed moustaches and beards. The early Safavid turban (mandīl) was usually wrapped around a twelve-gored felt or brocade cap (tāj) with a tall, pointed finial (see Scarce, 1987a, p. 37, for construction of the turban), under which a flat skullcap (araqčīn) was worn. The cap was most often red, but other colors were sometimes worn to coordinate with the costume as a whole. It was sometimes decorated only by gold chains or plumes but usually covered with a turban, consisting of a long white sash wound in graceful folds and ending in a fan-shaped cockade. The material of this sash could be either silk or fine cotton, plain with patterned ends or covered all over with delicate embroidery. Sometimes striped brocade or colored fabrics were preferred. The most elegant shape was drawn up to a graceful point from which the finial emerged, but more globular versions were worn as well. Low, rounded turbans, pointed and rounded caps with fur linings, and caps with wide, slit brims were also worn in this period (see, e.g., Treasures, p. 110 no. 76).
Miniature painting reveals to the modern historian all the elegance of the Safavid lady in the privacy of the andarūn; in the 16th century her clothing was also composed of layers similar to those worn by men. Most distinctive was the long, loose shirt with an opening to the waist in front, edged with contrasting fabric and fastened by a brooch; in some miniature paintings the deep décolletage of this garment, which was practical for nursing, is clearly visible under the long robe, which fastened down the front with two or three loops or had a V neck (see plate ci). Trousers were often of diagonally striped material, either embroidered or woven. A mid-16th-century portrait of a princess clearly shows the transparent sleeves of her undergarments, her jewels and tiara, her embroidered collar, and the complementary colors of the different garments (plate cii).
Plate ci. Mīr Sayyed ʿAlī, “Nomadic encampment,” from a manuscript of Ḵamsa by Neẓāmī made for Shah Ṭahmāsb, 946-50/1539- 43, opaque watercolor on paper, 27.8 x 19.3 cm. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.75. Gift of John Goelet, formerly collection of Louis J. Cartier.
Plate cii. “Seated princess,” attributed to Mīrzā Sayyed ʿAlī, ca. 947/1540, opaque watercolor on paper, 24.5 x 17 cm. Cour tesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Univer sity, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.60. Gift of John Goelet, formerly collection of Louis J. Cartier.
The main differences from men’s costume, however, were to be observed in the headgear and in outdoor dress. The head was swathed in delicate veils, often folded and starched to flattering effect or looped under the chin. The veils might either be shoulder length or cover the chest completely. They were attached by means of brooches or pins to little caps tilted at an angle or held in place by a length of narrow fabric. Aigrettes, tiaras, plumes, necklaces of pearls or stones worn high under the chin, earrings, rings, and bangles completed the outfit. The hair was pulled back in long plaits with a few wisps around the face; the plaits were sometimes enhanced with decorative ropes, ribbons, and pearls, which hung down the back. Cosmetics included kohl for the eyes and henna for the hands and feet; the breast and hands were tattooed with small-scale designs (ḵāl-kūbī). The outdoor costume consisted of a floor-length, all-enveloping white čādor worn in conjunction with a white face veil or black horsehair visor, both of which ensured the required modesty and anonymity (Scarce, 1975a, p. 2).
The reign of Shah ʿAbbās I (996-1038/1588-1629) ushered in one of the most splendid centuries in Persian history, which was reflected in luxurious dress. Information from text sources is more plentiful and detailed; for instance, eyewitness accounts supply descriptions of undergarments previously unavailable. Shifts of delicate checked or striped fabric were worn by both men and women. Men wore them to the knees, tucked into drawers, to which loose stockings (čāqšūr) were attached. They also wore a cotton waistcoat (arḵāloq) under the robe (Du Mans, pp. 101-2). The women’s shift, worn only with attractive plain or striped drawers, reached the floor, and the neckline was sometimes embroidered with pearls (Herbert, pp. 232-33; cf. Chardin, p. 50).
Persian manuscript illustrations from this period are complemented by albums of portraits and paintings of typical local figures, mural paintings (see, e.g., Čehel Sotūn, Isfahan), and engravings from foreign travel accounts as corroborative sources for fashion innovations. A certain casualness and a perceived increase in sensuality of dress remarked by some scholars are owing rather to stylistic emphasis in miniature painting of this period, not to actual changes in fashion (pace Housego, p. 208 fig. 6; Stillman and Stillman, p. 749).
Men’s court costume was as sumptuous as in the 16th century. In 1038/1659 Moḥammad-Maṣʿūm b. Kᵛājagī Eṣfahānī described a set of royal ḵalʿat from the reign of ʿAbbās’s successor, Shah Ṣafī I (1038-52/1629-42), which consisted of an outer robe of gold-embroidered velvet, a coat of squirrel fur (pūstīn-e samūr-abrah wa maḵmal-e zarbaft), cloaks and other outer garments of gold and silver brocade and silk (qabā wa bālāpūš-e zarbaft-e ṭelābāf wa noqrabāf wa dārāyī bāf), gold-brocade turban material (mandīl-e tamām zar), and brocade and plain silk fabric for a čahār-ḏaṛʿī (pp. 46-47; reference owing to S. Babai). One surviving garment may have been included in the rich gifts sent by Shah Ṣafī to the Russian court in the 1630s. It is a short, fitted coat (nīm-tana) fastened at the side and ornamented with figural designs in velvet on a ground of gilded silver brocade; it was presented by Tsar
Michael to Queen Christina of Sweden in 1644 and is now in the Royal Armory, Stockholm (plate ciii). Equally fine is a long-sleeved silk court robe (qabā) of floral design (plate civ). Jean-Baptiste Tavernier recorded the components of a set of royal ḵalʿat given to him by Shah Solaymān (1077-1105/1666-94), which is realistically depicted in a portrait of him by Nicolas Largillière now in the Herzog-Anton-Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig, Germany (Schuster-Walser, 1971, p. 131; cf. Herbert, pp. 232-33).
As the 17th century progressed, new variations in the basic dress were adopted (plate cv). Men’s robes and coats became progressively shorter. The most striking change was in the cut of the robe, which was worn fitted over the torso, stiffened at the hips and cuffs with quilting, with a flaring, bell-shaped skirt. The sleeves had pointed cuffs (for the elegance of Persian cut and tailoring, see Chardin, p. 85). In describing the court costume current in 1035-36/1626-27 the English traveler Herbert noted that the “close coat nearly reaches to their calves and bears round” (pp. 232-33). Sayyed Ḥosayn b. Morteżā Ḥosaynī Astarābādī, who wrote in the early 18th century, attributed certain innovations to the reign of Shah ʿAbbās II (1052-77/1642-66): the introduction of čāqšūr (trousers) in English broadcloth, robes with skirts (qabā-ye dāmandār), and round or band (qalama “straight”) collars or lapels (p. 134). Further details of costume were provided by European travelers who visited Persia during the reigns of Shah ʿAbbās II and Solaymān (plate cvi). Chardin described a three-quarter-length robe (cabai = qabā) and two types of outer robe: a short sleeveless jacket resembling a waistcoat (courdy = kordī) and a long-sleeved jacket (cadebi = kātebī, p. 50; cf. Du Mans, p. 101: katteby). A type of short jacket with sleeves came increasingly into fashion in the early 17th century, replacing the long jobba; it was worn wrapped across the chest and fastened at the sides (portrait of Sir Anthony Sherley; Wheelock et al., pp. 154-55 no. 28; cf. Treasures, no. 95). Although these changes seem to date from the reign of Shah ʿAbbās I, they are not commonly seen in miniature paintings and albums until after mid-century (Ivanov et al., 1962, pls. 98-100).
Plate CV. Reżā ʿAbbāsi. "Bird and scene of lovers with an attendant," 1629-35, colors and gold on paper, 34.5 ⨉ 22.2 cm. The Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wash., no. 50.111, Gift of Mrs. Donald E. Frederick. Photograph Paul Macapia.
A number of sumptuous examples in gold- and silver-brocaded silk or taffeta survive in Western museum collections; some are also ornamented with gold and silver frogging. Fabrics were characterized by repeat floral or striped designs in rich pastel colors; the edges were trimmed in bands of stamped cotton (galamkār) and floral silk brocade. These examples include a silk robe with carnation design trimmed with contrasting material (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, no. 331-1920; Royal Academy, p. 82); another, also in the Victoria and Albert Museum, with a composite plant design and butterflies inwoven with the word rasūl (messenger; Los Angeles, no. 128); and a third in silver brocade with a repeat design of yellow carnations within a stamped lattice framework (Musée Historique des Tissus, Lyons, no. 31517; Musée du Louvre, p. 49 no. 25 and facing illustration; Philadelphia Museum, no. 67-30-48). Fur continued to be used for lining robes and jackets and as facing on the lapels. Marten and sable were imported from Russia; fox fur and sheepskin were also used (Chardin, p. 50).
A number of other fine garments survive from the latter half of the Safavid period; they have sometimes been dated well into the 18th century on the basis of the small scale of the repeat patterns in the design of the fabrics and linings, the increasingly stiff quality of the brocade, and other factors. In fact, linings may prove helpful in establishing more specific dating: Cotton was used throughout this period, but in the 16th and 17th centuries it was quite coarse and unpatterned. In the 18th and following centuries designs of floral būtas (lit. “bushes,” small pointed plant forms related to the familiar “paisley” motif) and stripes became increasingly common and were used to great effect in the sleeves and along the slits in the skirts of outer garments; it is not yet possible to say whether linings of this type were introduced earlier. A man’s sleeveless hip-length coat (kordī) of gold brocade patterned with būtas in the style of the 18th century and with lapels probably intended to be lined with fur is the only extant example of its type (Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin, no. I.8/69; Hauptmann von Gladiss and Kröger, pp. 277-78 no. 609; plate cvii). Also of the 18th century are two short jackets. One example is of wine-colored silk with a pattern of large lotuses on leafy stems in silver and gold and pastel-silk embroidery, a reflection of the bejeweled court dress of the period (Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 1935-1886; plate cviii). A velvet jacket cut in the later style but with a trefoil collar in a 17th-century floral silk brocade, in a private collection (Islamic Textile Design, p. 18 no. 39), exemplifies the rich materials and decorative silver frogging and buttons described in the sources. Hip-length or slightly longer jackets either fastening in front or with an additional front panel that wraps to a side closing (Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., nos. 1985.5.1, 1985.3.93, 1985.3.149, Bier, pp. 214 no. 41, 218-19 nos. 44-45; Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, no. 1772, Zaki, p. 78) are also generally dated to the 17th-18th centuries. Longer coats were also worn (Hauptmann von Gladiss and Kröger, no. I.8/73, pp. 279-80 no. 428; Textile Museum, nos. 3.94, 3.112, Bier, pp. 214 no. 42, 217 no. 43; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, no. L2100.132.57-4, p. 65 no. 146; Fundação Gulbenkian, nos. 85-88).
Belts were worn wider and longer, up to 8 m, and knotted in front. They were of rich fabrics, like gold and silver brocade with stripes or floral patterns (for surviving examples, see Survey of Persian Art, pls. 1073-74). Sometimes a second belt was added (Du Mans, p. 102). Light cotton shoes (gīva), slippers, shoes in various colors with heels of nails or iron, and boots were worn by the urban elite (Herbert, pp. 232-33; Chardin, pp. 50-51). Turbans were wider and more loosely tied, and the finial of the tāj no longer protruded. Although white continued to predominate for some time, by mid-century it had largely been superseded by colored brocades with flowers woven into the ends, pleated and wrapped over a new type of tāj with a protrusion in front (Moḥammad-Ṭāher Waḥīd, cited in Keyvani, p. 293) or rolled in a thick tube and coiled (Treasures, p.127 no. 100). Sometimes the cap beneath was made of leather, rather than the traditional felt. A variety of other headgear was also worn, usually in larger and more pointed shapes than in the preceding century. One distinctive cap worn by both sexes had a wide brim and was set well back on the head (Housego, p. 209 fig. 7).
The subject of various turban types and their terminology still needs clarification. A number of travelers commented on the variety of both turban types and belts, each associated with a different social group (Herbert, pp. 232-33; Du Mans, p. 101; Chardin, p. 51). Persian authors named some of the types of turban current at the courts. For example, Mīrzā Samīʿā, author of Taḏkerat al-molūk, a manual of Safavid administration written for the Afghan conquerors in the early 18th century (Dānešpažūh, p. 476), described a special headgear presented by the shah to his amirs as “of gold brocade on a gold base” (tāj-e wahhāj az zarbāft-e būm-e zar; ed. Minorsky, p. 66; cf. p. 136). Moḥammad-Hāšem referred to the ḵalīl-ḵānī turbans worn by the court officials of Shah Solṭān-Ḥosayn (1105-35/1694-1722; cited in Keyvani, p. 83). Contemporary research has suggested the introduction of a new turban style as early as the reign of Shah ʿAbbās I (Schmitz, p. 106), yet it seems premature to associate specific visual examples with those described in text sources.
Women’s court dress underwent changes similar to those in men’s dress (plate cix). The shorter robe was accompanied by short boots of brocade or embroidered velvet rising 8-10 cm above the ankle (Chardin, p. 6; Le Bruyn, p. 301; plate cx). Headdresses included a brocade pillbox cap and a triangular tiara in brocade fabric worn with a variety of veils. New styles of čādor also appeared. One version was tied at the top like a sack (Herbert, p. 48); another included a face veil of net (rū-band) attached at either side of the forehead (Chardin, p. 52).
The cosmopolitan atmosphere of Isfahan at mid-century was clearly reflected in dress. Some men’s robes were cut in the “Georgian” manner, opening in front with buttons and loops (Chardin, p. 50). New shoes (kafš) in the “Georgian” and European (be-kār-e farang) fashion were made in the bāzār (Keyvani, pp. 51, 267), and trousers, robes, and stockings were made of English broadcloth (Du Mans, p. 187; for a discussion of broadcloth, known as landara, see Keyvani, p. 57, n. 14). There was even a special guild of tailors and sellers of “London cloth” (Keyvani, pp. 220-21). Dandies dressed in European styles (plate cxi), and in the privacy of the harem ladies wore European tight bodices with décolletage and ruffled sleeves peeping from under long sleeves (plate cxii). Tight-fitting trousers under transparent gathered skirts in the Indian style were illustrated by miniature painters but are not otherwise attested (Titley, p. 120 pl. 20).
Textiles were used to make ecclesiastical robes for the European and Armenian communities, and sashes were made for export to India and to Poland, where local imitations were made (see, e.g., Textile Museum, no. 82.1; Bier, p. 233 no. 50). A woman’s robe of floral brocade in a lattice design is evidence of European influence on the cut of late Safavid elite dress; it may have belonged to an Armenian or Georgian lady (Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 1060-1906, unpublished; for a similar dress, see the portrait of Lady Sherley, a Circassian, by Van Dyck; Wheelock et al., pp. 154-55 no. 29).
Raphaël Du Mans (p. 247) provided a detailed description of peasant costume in the mid-17th century; it consisted primarily of heavy cotton clothes cut in the urban fashion. In winter peasants added thick felt cloaks or lambskin coats. They went barelegged or bound their legs with linen strips and wore flat shoes or green leather soles attached with cords (čāroq).
Because of the economic importance of raw silk and textile manufacture in the Persian economy and society, the production of textiles and clothing at the court in Isfahan, in the bāzārs of that city, and in provincial centers is frequently mentioned in the sources. Mīrzā Samīʿā (pp. 65-66) provided a great deal of information about the production of clothing and costume usage at the Safavid court in Isfahan. He described the royal wardrobe and the royal and amirial tailoring departments. The latter were responsible for ordering fabrics, sometimes from provincial centers; cutting the textiles for court dress; and preparing the royal ḵalʿat for distribution to the amirs. There is evidence for textile manufacturing in other cities as well (Keyvani, p. 8; Della Valle, III, p. 163). Du Mans (p. 103) mentioned the importation by Dutch merchants of cotton from Golconda in India for use as turban material. Mīrzā Moḥammad-Ṭāher Waḥīd, a poet active during the same reign, left a collection of poems in the genre šāhrāšūb (poems about shop apprentices), Dīvān-e Reżwān, inspired by the activities he observed in the bāzārs of Isfahan. He mentioned such elements of clothing as čāqšūr, časbān-qabā (fitted robe), pūstīn (fur), and kafš and such trades as soqorlāṭ-dūz (maker of scarlet robes), jūrāb-dūz (stocking maker), and tāj-dūz (turban maker; cited in Keyvani, pp. 263-95). Other sources yield additional terms, for example, šaʿr-bāf (brocade weavers, including weavers of luxurious čādors; see Keyvani, p. 50). A scroll of Shah Solaymān preserved in the British Library contains a record of the different sections of the bāzār, including those where landara, lambskin cloaks (pūstīn) from Khorasan, silk fabrics for sashes (šāl) and turban cloths (mandīls) from Yazd, and cloth for women’s veils from Ardestān were sold (Keyvani, pp. 236-38).
The early 18th century and the fall of the Safavid dynasty, with resulting interruption of commerce, were documented by only a few foreign travelers. Most important was the Dutch painter Cornelis Le Bruyn, who was in Persia in 1115/1704. He commented on the sharp class distinctions reflected in costume and voiced particular disapproval of the extreme luxury of clothing for men of the elite. As for women, his detailed description of their cloth headgear, bedecked with jewels and pearls and varied according to rank, is of great value (pp. 299-301). In fact, clothing for both sexes had not changed substantially since the reign of Shah Solaymān, except to become even more decorated and studded with jewels. In the mid-18th century, during the reign of Karīm Khan Zand (1163-93/1750-79; see below), Moḥammad-Hāšem Āṣaf, known as Rostam-al-Ḥokamāʾ, described the costumes of high-ranking courtiers on a ceremonial occasion in the time of the last reigning Safavid shah, Solṭān-Ḥosayn (cited in Keyvani, p. 83). Such luxury and refinement could be achieved only at great expense, an expense that would finally help to bankrupt the Safavid state.
The Afsharid (1148-1161/1736-48) and Zand periods (1163-1209/1750-94). The destruction of the Safavid empire by Afghan forces, the subsequent interruption of commerce, and the establishment of a modest regional government in Shiraz under the Zands in the latter part of the century are documented in only a few sources. Surviving garments are rare, and it is difficult to distinguish between Safavid styles and those of the ensuing decades (see above). The most important documentation is paintings, primarily album paintings and works in lacquer from the first half of the century and oil paintings produced at Shiraz in the latter half.
It can be suggested that dress under the Afsharids and Zands varied little in style from that under the late Safavids but was less luxurious. One sympathetic observer, the Englishman Jonas Hanway, who visited the country in 1157-58/1744-45, described it as practical, attractive, and of elegant yet simple taste (I, pp. 228-29). The French traveler Jean Otter, who was in Persia in 1148/1736, also commented on the elegant cut of men’s costume, noting its similarity to that of Europeans and contrasting it with the long, loose robes of the Ottoman Turks (1, p. 39).
Men’s headgear again provides a barometer of dynastic change. Nāder Shah (1148-60/1736-47), who was a Sunnite, introduced a new four-pointed cap (kolāh-e nāderī), usually in red, representing the first four Islamic caliphs; a silk šāl or scarf of delicate brocaded wool manufactured in Kermān was often wrapped around it (Otter, I, p. 39; Cook, I, p. 444; plate cxiii). According to Hanway (I, pp. 227-28), the kolāh-e nāderī reached as high as 10-12 inches and was quite effective against the cold. He also noted the use of expensive Kermān-wool šāls wound around it. It could also be worn without wrapping, decorated with jewels or aigrettes. Karīm Khan Zand replaced the kolāh-e nāderī with a tall cylindrical cap, which could be wrapped with turban materials or not (British Library ms. no. 4938 no. 1, Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia IV, pl. V, facing, p. 142; plate cxiv).
Despite a general decline in the quality of textile manufacturing and silk production, men’s court costume continued to be characterized by sumptuous display. Moḥammad-Kāẓem (II, p. 448) and Mīrzā Moḥammad-Mahdī Astarābādī (p. 167), historians of the period, recorded a rich variety of fabrics in the robes of honor distributed at the coronation of Nāder Shah; they supposedly numbered 100,000, doubtless an exaggeration. Abu’l-Ḥasan Ḡaffārī, an official and court scribe in the service of Karīm Khan Zand, provided an eloquent description of the robes distributed by the ruler to important amirs in Azerbaijan; he noted that they were as beautiful as when a garden takes a mantle of blooming flowers (fols. 110-16). Robes of brocaded silk, in less labor-intensive fabrics than previously, in plain weave or woven in smaller-scale floral and figural patterns, were still decorated with fur pelts and frogging with heavy almond-shaped buttons of precious-metal threads. The short fur-lined outer coat and the robe with long, pointed sleeves continued to be worn, and quilted silk and cotton materials were still in use for undergarments (Hanway, I, p. 228).
But there were innovations in style. By the late 18th century a triangular flap extended the entire length of the robe or jacket; the waistcoat had clearly defined front slits edged with patterned fabric. At home the silk robe or short jacket patterned with small flowers was the rule, worn over the traditional muslin shirt (for examples in bright red or blue, see Falk, pls. 5, 7). A change in production is indicated by the increasingly high value placed on Kermān and Kashmir (terma) brocaded-wool šāls, which came to replace patterned silks as the luxury materials for costume as well (see above). As for accessories, pencases and daggers were tucked into the sash at the waist; the pencase might also be worn in a pocket under the arm (Hanway, I, p. 228). Armlets, the finest made of jeweled and enameled gold, were commonly worn with plain or patterned robes.
Although the sumptuous court regalia of the Safavids had been destroyed during the Afghan invasion, Nāder Shah’s conquest of India in 1151/1738-39 provided an unprecedented supply of pearls and precious stones for his courtly adornment and that of his successors. Two aigrettes of jade, diamonds, and enamel, made in India and sent by the shah as gifts to the Russian empress Anna Yannova in 1154/1741, survive (State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, nos. V3-443-44; Ivanov et al., 1984, p. 212 nos. 90, 92). In portraits Nāder Shah is shown heavily bedecked with jewels, and his successor, ʿĀdel Shah, who reigned for only a year (1160-61/1747-48), was depicted in the same way (Godard, pp. 239-40 no. 45, 241 fig. 94; Bier, p. 91 fig. 4). According to Hanway, the stones decorating court robes were often uncut or in settings that he considered not in the best of taste (I, p. 173). The decorative possibilities of jewels were to be refined under the Qajars in the following century (see below).
Women’s costume in the 18th century also continued the basic late Safavid styles with some variations in the essentials. The English physician John Cook (I, p. 444) provided a particularly useful account of women’s silk shifts: “[F]rom a point immediately below the navel, they are embroidered down to the bottom with gold or silver figures forming a large triangle whose upper angle is acute.” These details seem to correspond to the decoration of a group of surviving garments usually dated to the 17th century: loose waist-length or full-length silk and taffeta shifts with inwoven or embroidered floral designs (Victoria and Albert Museum, nos. T333-1920, T332-1920, unpublished; cf. examples in the Art Institute of Chicago and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Survey of Persian Art, pl. 1086 and color pl. 1086 respectively).
The narrow-waisted jacket flared over the hips, popular in the previous century, was decorated with even more elaborate frogging and ribbons; the underarm slits were sometimes edged with gold lace or contrasting piping for decorative effect (plate cxv). By mid-century, the traditional long robe or three-quarter-length jacket worn over tapered trousers had been replaced by a more casual dress of wide trousers cut from stiff fabric embroidered or woven in diagonal floral designs worn over the transparent shirt (pīrāhan) open to the navel. It was accompanied by a short, loose, long-sleeved jacket in a complimentary striped or floral pattern (for illustrations from the early Qajar period see Falk, pls. 5, 7). Elegant ladies (as well as men) turned back their jacket cuffs to reveal linings chosen with great flair. Šāls of striped or plain fabric were draped across one shoulder or down the back. Complex headdresses or saucy caps with jeweled ornaments were worn, revealing to advantage hair styled in short lovelocks and bangs. Hanway (I, p. 230) provided details on the use of nose rings and gold amulets attached to the headdress with pearl and gold chains.
The Qatar period (1193-1342/1779-1924). The Qajar dynasty was established by Āqā Moḥammad Khan (1193-1212/1779-97), but it was during the reign of his successor, Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (1212-50/1797-1834), that the grandeur and formality of Safavid court dress prevailed once again. A revival of the silk industry provided sumptuous fabrics for the court, supplementing the delicate wools of Kermān that had been so popular in the previous century; Kermān wools were promoted in place of imports from Kashmir (Morier, 1812, p. 246). Foreign observers were particularly struck by the magnificence of men’s court costume and provided detailed descriptions (Ker Porter, I, pp. 324-26; Morier, 1812, pp. 192, 214), which are richly corroborated by the murals and oil paintings commissioned by the ruler for his new palaces (e.g., “Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah with His Entourage,” A. Soudavar collection; Bier, pp. 253-55; plate cxvi).
James Morier described Persian men’s dress in 1222/1807, introducing some current terminology, for example, zīr-jāma (undergarments), tekmeh (tokma, button), oymeh (perhaps < Turk. oyma, a kind of embroidery), and baroonee (bārānī). He also explained variations in the way that the mandatory Qajar kolāh, a tall black astrakhan cap angled at the top and covered along the angle with striped fabric, was worn (1812, pp. 245-46). A decade or so later Robert Ker Porter described the luxurious layered effects of Qajar court dress, similar to that of the Safavid period. His report that the Qajars generally wore darker colors (p. 439; cf. Morier, 1812, p. 243) is, however, contradicted by the evidence of paintings and surviving garments. Aside from the kolāh, the most noteworthy features of men’s clothing were the longer, ankle-length robe, worn over a short-sleeved waistcoat and under a three-quarter-length jacket, the continuing use of Kashmir brocades and locally woven imitations for waistbands and to wrap around the kolāh, and the jeweled armband (bāzū-band; Morier, 1812, p. 214). The shah and his grandees now cultivated luxuriant beards and moustaches painstakingly dyed black (Morier, 1812, p. 247).
Garments were cut from a variety of floral silks in large būta patterns or floral and trellis designs. Surviving examples are rare, but a dark-blue and gold silk-brocade robe with a large būta design is evidence for the evolution of this style, with a triangular flap from neck to hem (Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 962-1889, unpublished; cf. Textile Museum, 1972.24.3, Bier, p. 266 no. 69). Plain robes continued to be ornamented as before, with edging and frogging or lace. Complex piping in colorfully striped Kermān wool could be seen on every edge of the costume, especially cuffs, underarm vents, pockets, and side vents. A number of surviving men’s shirts with painted talismanic inscription, though not so far documented in literary or visual sources, have been dated generally to the 17th-19th centuries (see above) and warrant further research (Victoria and Albert Museum, nos. 943-1889, T59-1935, 281-1884, all unpublished; cf. Islamic Textile Design, p. 18 no. 39; Calligraphy, p. 29). Among men’s accessories were delicate silk or wool stockings woven in floral or calligraphic patterns, which were tucked into the traditional slippers with high heels, of which a number survive (The Brooklyn Museum, no. 34.1030AB; Hanway, p. 228; plate cxvii).
Women’s clothing was equally sumptuous in this period. When Lady Ouseley, wife of the British ambassador, visited Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah’s consort she found the latter wearing a headdress and turban so heavily bejeweled that she had difficulty in moving (cf. Morier, 1818, p. 175). The women’s ensemble consisted of the transparent pīrāhan bordered with pearls and jewels, now often with two slits in the front. It was usually visible to the navel, appearing seductive and sometimes scandalous to foreign visitors, but, as already noted, its primary function was to facilitate nursing. It was worn with full trousers (šalvār; e.g., National Museum of Scotland, no. 1890.407, described in Scarce, 1987a, p. 52; cf. idem, 1987b, p. 166 pl. 115) or a bouffant skirt, gathered at the dropped waist (plate cxviii). These garments were usually made of cloth with large floral and trellis patterns or embroidered cotton or velvet, but they could also be worn plain with a wide sash, sometimes knotted at the front to show the būta design on the ends, or with a jeweled belt. Straight trousers were worn under the skirts as well (see xxvii, below, s.v. dāman). The jacket was generally tight-fitting, with straight elbow-length or long sleeves ending in plain or pointed cuffs. The cuffs were still turned back to show the ruffled shirt cuffs and embroidered and jeweled cuffs of undergarments (plate cxix); the shorter-sleeved variety was particularly suited to this purpose. A varied range of such jackets has been preserved in Western collections (e.g., Victoria and Albert Museum, nos. 730-1-884, 286-7-1884, unpublished; Textile Museum, nos. 1964.26., 1975.3.2, 1983.68.5, Bier, pp. 260-61 nos. 64-65, 264 no. 67; The Brooklyn Museum, nos. x653.4,18.11; plate cxx). One major innovation in women’s clothing of this period was the embroidered brassiere (National Museum of Scotland, no. 1890.409; Scarce, 1975b), which could be worn either under or over the pīrāhan. For outdoor wear women continued to wear the white čādor with face veil, with or without wide trousers (čāqšūr); by mid-century, however, a darker čādor in black or dark blue, often with gold embroidery, had appeared (Falk, pl. 17; Treasures, p. 196 no. 185).
Plate CXX. Woman's jacket, compound silk with cotton lining, Persia, mid-1 9th century. The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, no. 18.11. Brooklyn Museum, Arts of the Islamic World Collection. Available at www.brooklynmuseum.org.
The wealth of Persia in the time of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah was represented, both literally and symbolically, in the elaborate pearled and jeweled decoration of men’s and women’s garments: ropes and tassels of pearls and armbands, collars, and hems encrusted with gems. Even cushions and carpets were decorated in this fashion, as illustrated in paintings of the period. Women’s jewelry included necklaces (ʿaqd-e rū) worn just under the chin (Negārestān Museum, Tehran, no. 75.4.1; plate cxxi); gold, bejeweled, and enameled pendant earrings (pīāla-zang); hair ornaments; and rings (e.g., State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, nos. V3-976, V3-406, V3-731, V3-836, V3-422, V3-839, Ivanov et al., pp. 211-12 nos. 60, 80-82, 84, 86). A large collection of 18th-19th century imperial crown jewels survives almost intact in the central bank in Tehran. It includes the royal crown, armbands, aigrettes (jeqqa), and belts (Meen and Tushingham, nos. 72-73, 78-83, 117, 126-27,130). Also in the collection are large numbers of pearls, both mounted and unmounted. Gold or gilt-metal plaques set with pearls in rosettes and pear shapes or along the curved edges are provided with loops through which they could be sewn onto fabric backing, a technique used in the so-called “jewel- and pearl-embroidered costumes” (Meen and Tushingham, pp. 76-77; plate cxxii). Amulet and Koran cases of jeweled enamel or steel inlaid with gold and precious stones are to be found in other collections (e.g., The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin; Regemorter, pl. 40).
A more sober approach to dress, particularly for men, marked the second half of the 19th century, owing in part to a decline in economic conditions and in part to the influence of Western taste in the period of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah and his successors. The tradition of distributing ḵalʿats for wear at court continued, as did the custom of treating as currency textiles and robes, primarily of Kermān and Kashmir brocaded wool, which had already increased in value in the preceding century (Polak, I, p. 153). Some court officials continued to wear the long-sleeved jobba in brocaded wool, with wide rolled-up sleeves, the functioning of which was described by C. J. Wills (pp. 318-19). In court dress generally, however, the brilliant and colorful garments of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah’s reign gave way to shirts, sometimes with cravats (Polak, I, p. 143); dark-colored coats of European civilian or military cut (kolīja; see xi, below); and wide, straight trousers, occasionally even with military stripes on the seams. By 1311/1893 the frock coat had become common, but the tight-fitting European style was deemed indecorous (Sykes, p. 65), and the Persian version was therefore based on Turkish models with pleats at the waist and wider sleeves (Wills, p. 318). J. E. Polak reported the role of European tailors in cutting European clothing for a Persian clientele (I, p. 155). An overcoat of wool brocade, cut like a frock coat, could be worn with or without a fur lining (see, e.g., Anon., p. 16; Victoria and Albert Museum, no. TN1955-2, unpublished; plate cxxiii). Notables wore an astrakhan cap in the shape of a pillbox and cut their hair short in the European style, though the lower and religious classes continued to wear traditional robes and turbans. The shahs continued to wear expensive jewelry; a complete set, including a diamond-and-enamel jeqqa, a gilded metal belt with enameled plaques, and a diamond rosette is in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (nos. 57.882-84; plate cxxiv).
European visitors in the late 19th century showed greater understanding than their predecessors of the Persian life-style and a generally sympathetic recognition of the rationale for traditional Persian cut and fabrics. Polak, for example, devoted a long chapter to men’s costume, including, beside the accessories already mentioned, jewel-studded leather belts, watches, rings, amulets, handkerchiefs, and tasbīḥs (prayer beads).
Women’s costume of the late 19th century was described by Polak and Wills, both physicians with access to the andarūn. At home women continued to wear the transparent pīrāhan with a drop-waisted skirt (jāma), leaving even more of the torso visible. Tight jackets (kolīja; Polak, p. 160) were worn with or without underdrawers (zīr-jāma), or “pantalettes,” as the Victorians quaintly referred to them. In mid-century there was a dramatic innovation: layered “miniskirts” (šalīta) with multiple petticoats worn with bare legs or white stockings. Skirts had become progressively shorter in the course of the 19th century, but this extreme version was apparently inspired by the tutus of ballerinas, which had attracted Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s attention during his European travels. This revealing costume was worn with a plain white headdress that covered the chest (for descriptions, see Wills, p. 324; Scarce, 1987a, pp. 55-56; idem, 1987b, pls. 119-20; Bishop, I, p. 215; Ḏokāʾ, p. 22; plate cxxv). The wonderful embroidered trousers that had gone out of fashion were cut up and sold to collectors (Benjamin, p. 332). English styles also were imitated in the andarūn. S. G. W. Benjamin, who was in Persia in the 1880s, described a čādor with a waistline (pp. 198-99), in contrast to the normal, flowing version worn with full trousers (čāqšūr). The čādor was little appreciated, even by otherwise sympathetic foreign observers; Wills compared the Persian woman clad in a čādor to a “living bolster” (p. 42; plate cxxv).
Aside from the European garments fashionable at court, traditional Persian dress continued to be worn into the 20th century; women might wear European garments at home but had to cover them with the čādor when going out (Bogdanov, p. 292). Detailed descriptions of the clothing worn by different social classes at the end of the Qajar period can be found in contemporary Persian sources. Kalāntar Żarrābī (pp. 248-50) described the clothing worn by clerics, nobles, and members of the lower classes in Kāšān; his work is an important source of information on clothing and textile terminology in the late 19th century but gives few details of cut. In a text sprinkled with proverbs, humorous and historical anecdotes, and gems of popular wisdom, profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, Jaʿfar Šahrī described the principal items of men’s and women’s clothing current in the capital in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (pp. 16-18, 455-603). This rich source provides information on the manufacture, prices, and styles of a variety of headgear (felt caps, hats, turbans); robes both made to measure and ready-made; frock coats and suits for men; the čādor, čāqšūr, pīča (face veil), and wedding dress worn by women; and shoes and gīva. A statistical report of 1301 Š./1922 provides details on eight types of headgear and the limited use of the kepi hat, frock coat, and Western-style trousers (Baladīya, p. 88).
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Mīrzā Moḥammad-Mahdī Khan Astarābādī, Tārīḵ-enāderī, Bombay, 1849.
Baladīya (Tehran), 1301 Š./1922.
S. G. W. Benjamin, Persia and the Persians, Boston, 1896.
C. Bier, ed., Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart. The Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran, 16th-19th Centuries, Washington, D.C., 1987.
I. Bishop, Journeys into Persia and Kurdistan, New York and London, 1891.
L. Bogdanov, “The Home and Life in Persia,” Islamic Culture 5, 1931, pp. 407-21; 6, 1932, pp. 290-306, 468-85.
Calligraphy and the Decorative Arts of Islam, London, 1976.
J. Chardin, Voyages de monsieur le chevalier Chardin, en Perse, et autres lieux de l’Orient II, Amsterdam, 1711.
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J. Cook, Voyages and Travels through the Russian Empire, Tartary, and Part of the Kingdom of Persia, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1770.
M. Dal Farra, “A "Safavid" Coat in the Collection of The Royal Ontario Museum,” unpublished ms., Toronto, 1984.
M.-T. Dānešpažūh, “Dastūr al-molūk-e Mīrzā Rafīʿa wa Taḏkerat al-molūk-e Mīrzā Samīʿa,” MDAT 15/5-6, 1347 Š./1968, pp. 475-504.
P. Della Valle, Viaggi di Pietro della Valle il pelegrino descritti da lui medesimo in lettere familiari, 3 vols., Rome, 1658.
Y. Ḏokāʾ, Lebās-e zanān-e Īrān, Tehran, 1336 Š./1957.
E. B. Donnell, “Costumes of Isfahan,” International Studio 80, February 1925, pp. 358-62.
R. Du Mans, L’estat présent de la Perse en 1660, ed. C. Schefer, Paris, 1890; repr. Westmead, Eng., 1969.
S. J. Falk, Qajar Paintings, London, 1972.
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, L’art de l’Orient islamique, Lisbon, 1963.
Abu’l-Ḥasan Ḡaffārī Kāšānī, Golšan-e morād, British Library, London, ms. Or. 3592. Y. A. Godard, “Un album de portraits des princes timurides de l’Inde,” Athār-é Īrān 2/2, 1937, pp. 179-275.
H. Goetz, “The History of Persian Costume,” Survey of Persian Art, pp. 2227-56.
J. Hanway, An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea, 2nd ed., 2 vols., London, 1754.
A. Hauptmann von Gladiss and J. Kröger, Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Museum für Islamische Kunst II. Metall, Stein, Stuck, Holz, Elfenbein, Stoffe, Mainz, 1985.
Hayward Gallery, The Arts of Islam, London, 1976. T. Herbert, Travels in Persia, 1627-29, New York, 1919.
J. Housego, “Honour Is According to Habit. Persian Dress in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Apollo 93, March 1971, pp. 204-9.
Islamic Textile Design, London, 1983.
A. A. Ivanov, T. V. Grek, and O. F. Akimushkin, Al’bom indiĭskikh i persidskikh miniatyur XVI-XVIII vv. (Album of Indian and Persian miniatures, 16th-18th centuries), Moscow, 1962.
A. A. Ivanov, V. G. Lukonin, and L. S. Smesova, Yuvelirnye izdeliya Vostoka. Drevniĭ i srednevekovyĭ periody. Kollektsiya osoboĭ kladovoĭ otdela Vostoka Gosudarstvennogo Èrmitazha (Jewelry from the East. Ancient and medieval periods. Collection of the special treasury, Oriental department, State Hermitage), Moscow, 1984.
A. Jenkinson, A Compendious and Briefe Declaration of the Journey from London into the Land of Persia, in Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Discoveries and Traffiques of the English Nation etc., London, 1589; repr., Cambridge, Eng., 1965.
ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm Kalāntar Żarrābī (Sohayl Kāšānī), Tārīḵ-eKāšān (Merʾāt al-Qāšan), 3rd ed., ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977.
M.-ʿA. Karīmzāda, Aḥwāl wa aṯār-a naqqāšān-e qadīm-e Īrān III, London, 1991.
R. Ker Porter, Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, Ancient Babylonia … 1817-1820, 2 vols., London, 1821-22.
M. Keyvani, Artisans and Guild Life in the Later Safavid Period. Contributions to the Social Economic History of Persia, Berlin, 1982.
C. Le Bruyn, Travels into Muscovy, Persia, and Part of the East Indies … , 2 vols., London, 1737.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Woven Treasures of Persian Art. Persian Textiles from the 6th to the 19th Century, Los Angeles, 1959.
T. Mankowski, “Influence of Islamic Art in Poland,” Ars Islamica 2, 1935, pp. 93-117.
F. R. Martin, Die persichen Prachtstoffe im Schlosse Rosenborg in Kopenhagen, Stockholm, 1901.
V. B. Meen and A. D. Tushingham, Crown Jewels of Iran, Toronto, 1968.
Moḥammad-Hāšem Āṣaf (Rostam-al-Ḥokamāʾ), Rostam al-tawārīḵ, tr. B. Hoffman as Persische Geschichte 1694-1835 erlebt, erinnert and erfunden, Das Rustam al Tawarikh in deutscher Bearbeitung, 2 vols., Berlin, 1986.
Moḥammad-Kāẓem Marvī, Tārīḵ-eʿālām ārā-ye nāderī, ed. M.-A. Rīāḥī, 3 vols., Tehran, 1364 Š./1985.
Moḥammad-Maʿṣūm b. Ḵᵛājagī Eṣfahānī, Ḵolāṣat al-sīar, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1368 Š./1989.
J. Morier, A Journey through Persia, Armenia, and Asia Minoṛ … 1808 and 1809, London, 1812.
Idem, A Second Journey through Persia … 1810 and 1816, London, 1818.
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Maḥmūd Neẓām Qārī, Dīvān-e albesa, ed. M. Mošīrī, Tehran, 1359 Š./1980.
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J. E. Polak, Persien. Das Land und seine Bewohner, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1865.
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J. M. Scarce, “The Development of Women’s Veils in Persia and Afghanistan,” Costume 9, 1975a, pp. 4-14.
Idem “A Persian Brassiere,” Art and Archeology Research Papers 7, June 1975b, pp. 15-21.
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Idem, Women’s Costume of the Near and Middle East, London, 1987b.
B. Schmitz, “On a Special Hat Introduced during the Reign of Shāh ʿAbbās the Great,” Iran 22, 1984, pp. 103-12.
S. Schuster-Walser, Das safavidische Persien in Spiegel europäischer Reiseberichte (1502-1722), Baden-Baden and Hamburg, 1970.
Idem, “Ein Ehrengewand vom Safavidem Shah,” Der Islam 54, 1977, pp. 126-32.
Y. K. Stillman and N. A. Stillman, “Libās iii,” EI2 V, pp. 747-50.
E. C. Sykes, Persia and Its People, London, 1910.
N. M. Titley, Persian Miniature Painting, Austin, Tex., 1983.
Treasures of Islam, Geneva, 1985.
J. M. Upton, “Notes on Persian Costumes of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Metropolitan Museum Studies 2, 1929-30, pp. 206-30.
E. S. Waring, A Tour to Shiraẓ … , London, 1807.
J. Wearden, “A Synthesis of Contrasts,” Halı 59, 1991, pp. 102-11.
S. C. Welch, Royal Persian Manuscripts, London, 1976.
A. Wheelock et al., Anthony Van Dyck, New York, 1990.
C. J. Wills, In the Land of the Lion and Suṇ … 1866 to 1884, London, 1891.
H. M. Zaki, Moslem Art in the Fouad I University Museum, 2 vols., Cairo, 1950.
CLOTHING xi. In the Pahlavi and post-Pahlavi periods
Pahlavi period. The clothing of Persians during the early years of the Pahlavi dynasty was generally similar to that of the Qajar period, reflecting differences among tribes, villages, and regions, as well as among classes. In the late 19th century there had been some effort to reform the dress, most notably of government officials (Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, p. 154; Ādamīyat, pp. 451-52; see x, above). Particularly after the Constitutional Revolution (1324-27/1906-9) many Persian men who had traveled abroad had begun to adopt European dress, wearing suits, neckties, and bow ties. Most of these men lived in the capital and a few large cities in the north and northwest; they did not constitute a large group (see Frontispiece to Volume V). On 29 Bahman (Dalw) 1301 Š./18 February 1923 parliament ratified a bill requiring all civil servants, cabinet members, and parliamentary deputies to wear Persian-made clothing during business hours (see Frontispiece to Volume V). This dress requirement was extended on 1 Mīzān 1302 Š./23 September 1923 by the order of the minister of war Sardār-e Sepah (later Reżā Shah), to include military personnel as well (Yaḡmāʾī, pp. 326-27, 557; Masʿūdī, p. 44; Šafā, I, pp. 23, 26-27).
Office workers and other urban residents who favored modernity gradually adopted the sardārī (a frock coat reaching below the knees), trousers, and even on occasion Western suits. Among Europeans photographed at the ceremonies inaugurating telegraph service (bīsīm-e Pahlavī) in Tehran on 5 Ordībehešt 1305 Š./26 April 1926 were women wearing jackets, skirts, and hats and engineers wearing brimmed hats (Maḥbūbī, Moʾassasāt II, p. 231; Yaḡmāʾī, p. 216). The Persians attending the ceremony wore the sardārī, European trousers, and brimless hats of ovoid profile (kolāh-e toḵm-e morḡī “egg-shaped hat”); no one appeared wearing a traditional ʿabāʾ.
On 4 Mehr 1307 Š./26 September 1928 the cabinet resolved that all male Persians dress uniformly in Western style. Traditional outer garments like shawls (šāl), cloaks (qabā), sardārīs, labbādas/lobbādas (quilted or felt coats), and ʿabāʾs were to be replaced by coats; trousers (tonbān) traditionally made from black twill (dabīt) or similar fabric and tied at the waist with a cord (band-e tonbān, nīfa) by Western trousers and belts; footwear like gīva, malakī (kinds of cloth slippers), and čāroq (hide sandals) by leather shoes with heels. All government workers, as well as schoolboys, were to wear cylindrical hats with bills (known as kolāh-e pahlavī, “Pahlavi cap”; plate cxxvi) instead of the customary fur hats, turbans, or ovoid hats. Only the clergy, including instructors at religious seminaries, and leaders of other officially recognized religions were exempt from this decree, which went into effect on 1 Farvardīn 1308 Š./21 March 1929 in the towns and a year later in villages and rural areas (Adīb Heravī, p. 262; Yaḡmāʾī, p. 558).
The imposition of the Pahlavi cap and the prohibition of traditional headgear aroused strong opposition, especially among two groups. The first included traditionalists, who considered turbans a sign of distinction, and tribesmen, who identified themselves by the styles and colors of their headgear. The second comprised the proprietors of textile factories, who were brought to the brink of bankruptcy by the new regulations. Furthermore, trained jurists and similarly educated men objected to the new regulations on the ground that punishments stipulated by the cabinet for noncompliance, including cash fines and detention for up to a week, were unconstitutional. As a result, on 6 Day 1307 Š./27 December 1928 the seventh parliament passed a law ratifying the cabinet decree and making the clothing regulations both legal and compulsory (Masʿūdī, pp. 43, 44; Šafā, I, p. 73).
Gradually men became accustomed to the Pahlavi cap, though opposition continued to be voiced, mainly by the Muslim clergy, particularly among the lower and less educated ranks, whose members, as local religious leaders, often wielded substantial influence in local affairs. Eventually, however, the state managed to win the consent of the high-ranking clerics in Qom, arguing that the honor and pride associated with the turban should not be endangered by permitting illiterate or unworthy individuals to wear it (Hedāyat, p. 382).
In Ḵordāḏ-Tīr 1313 Š./June-July 1934 Reżā Shah visited Turkey, where he was much impressed by Kemal Atatürk’s programs for modernization. He became determined that Persians, too, should dress as Europeans did (Hedāyat, p. 407; Kāẓemī, p. 343), and, while still in Turkey, he issued an order to the prime minister that all Persian workers were thenceforth to wear European-style brimmed hats. His express justification was that the full brim of the hat would protect outdoor laborers from sunburn. On 16 Tīr 1314 Š/8 July 1935 a cabinet decree made wearing of this hat obligatory for all men, thus replacing the Pahlavi cap. The change, which was rigorously enforced, aroused considerable resistance, particularly in the provinces. In a famous incident a group of Muslims, led by an outspoken mullah named Shaikh Taqī Bohlūl, took refuge (bast) in the Gowharšād mosque in Mašhad, where they were attacked by security forces and a number of people were killed (Adīb Heravī, pp. 261ff. Dawlatābādī, Ḥayāt-e Yaḥyā IV, p. 431; Ṣadīq, pp. 307-8; Wilber, pp. 160, 166-67; Šafā, I, pp. 127-28). Such resistance only increased the shah’s resolve (Masʿūdī, p. 139). Although the brimmed hat continued to be worn until the last years of Reżā Shah’s reign, Persian men gradually gave up wearing headgear altogether, despite the traditional Persian view that it is unseemly to appear in public uncovered (for the Qajar period, see, e.g., Šahrī, pp. 228-29). Among urban men only military personnel and clerics, who consider that covering the head is encouraged by Islam, continued to wear headgear.
Before the Gowharšād incident Reżā Shah had not personally stressed the necessity for change in women’s dress. Some educated women had already begun to appear at private functions wearing hats, rather than the veil (čādor; Dawlatābādī, Ḥayāt-e Yaḥyā IV, pp. 432-34; Masʿūdī, pp. 145-46). Some members of the court who had been educated abroad favored abolishing the veil entirely and endorsed the participation of women in social gatherings. One proponent of such views was the powerful court minister ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Teymūrtāš, who, in a cabinet meeting in 1312 Š./1933, proposed that importation of ladies’ hats from abroad be legalized (Hedāyat, pp. 379, 407).
Eventually, in 1314 Š./1936, Reżā Shah did abolish the veil, the first ruler in the region to do so (Atatürk had not banned the veil; see Keddie, pp. 108-9). Once confident of his power after the crushing of Shaikh Bohlūl’s rebellion, the shah appeared with his wife and daughters unveiled at a graduation ceremony at the government normal school (Dāneš-sarā-ye moqaddamātī) on 17 Day 1314 Š./8 January 1936. In a speech addressed to the predominantly female audience, which had been ordered to attend unveiled, he ordered all women to dress thenceforth in the European manner (Hedāyat, p. 408; Ṣadīq, pp. 310-14; Wilber, pp. 173-74; Šafā, I, pp. 131-32; Savory, pp. 97-98). The occasion was celebrated in every city but particularly in Tehran, and all military and civilian government personnel were ordered to appear with their wives, unveiled, at the celebrations.
These measures also met with resistance and the use of force. The great majority of Persian women had been brought up to consider the veil indispensable and to believe that exposing the head and neck was a sin. Furthermore, Persian men considered abandonment of the veil outright evidence of unchastity. Among men literacy was limited to the privileged elite and the clergy, whereas among women illiteracy was almost universal; even the few who had attended traditional schools (maktabs) knew only how to recite prayers and the Koran and could hardly write at all. Such a traditional and highly patriarchal society was ill prepared for a sudden ban on the time-honored čādor, and coercion by the police was the inevitable result. Women were beaten, their čādors and headscarves torn off, and even their homes forcibly searched (Fāṭemī, p. 178). Often, on the pretext of enforcing this law, officials harassed and extorted money from the public. Gradually, however, popular resistance was overcome, and by the last three or four years of Reżā Shah’s reign women appeared in public wearing plain long dresses (or jackets and skirts in Tehran), thick stockings, and full-brimmed straw hats. In some villages and small towns, however, women simply did not leave their houses until Reżā Shah was forced to abdicate in Šahrīvar 1320 Š./September 1941.
After the abdication many women resumed the veil, but most of the educated did not; in fact, encouraged by the extensive presence of foreigners in Persia and closer ties with the outside world, they actively followed the Western fashions of the day, particularly during the last two decades of the reign of Moḥammad-Reżā Shah Pahlavi (1320-58 Š./1941-79). Furthermore, as prosperity increased with the oil boom, men also began to adopt Western styles more eagerly, and a large proportion of family income was thus spent on fashionable clothing.
Post-Pahlavi period. The situation was abruptly transformed by the Revolution of 1357 Š./1978-79. At first the revolutionary forces considered smart—or even clean—clothing a sign of estekbār (ostentation) and neckties an indication of religious laxity. Unshaven members of Ḥezb-Allāh (party of God) wearing soiled shirts with open collars and rubber slippers harassed men dressed in Western style in the street. Some even adopted the headband (ʿeqāl) in imitation of leftist Arabs, but it was unpopular, and they soon abandoned it.
For women the situation was far more difficult. In the mid-1970s many rural families had migrated to the major cities, particularly Tehran, in search of employment. Most were unskilled, uneducated, and traditional in their outlook and convictions. After the Revolution, encouraged by religious leaders who had become government officials, women from this group harassed women who were not wearing the veil in public. Many educated women, particularly university students, had adopted traditional dress associated with Islam as a symbol of opposition to the Pahlavi regime, and the mass demonstrations during the Revolution had included large numbers of such women wearing black čādors (plate cxxvii). But they had not expected to be forced to wear them after the Revolution; they staged a few brief protests, which, however, were met with insults and physical threats. As the state gradually consolidated its power, all women were forced to adopt the “Islamic” mode of dress in public. It consists of a loose gown covering the entire body in such a way that all curves, including the breasts, waist, and calves, are hidden. Only the hands, from fingertips to wrists, and the face are not covered by this garment. The head and neck are to be entirely covered either by a black čādor or a thick scarf (meqnaʿa). If the distance between the ground and the hem of the dress is greater than ten inches the calves of the legs, already swathed in thick black stockings, must be further hidden under full trousers. These requirements have been met with the same reluctance and resistance that greeted Reżā Shah’s enforced ban on the same kind of clothing.
Plate CXXVII. Women wearing cadors in Tehran during Revolution of I35S Š./1979. After Yād-nāma-ye awwalin sālgard-e enqelāb-e eslāmi-ye Iran 22 Bahman 1358, Washington, D.C., 1980. Detail of photograph by J. Rostami.
Many men still wear jackets and trousers, though most omit neckties.
F. Ādamīyat, Andīša-ye tarraqī wa ḥokūmat-e qānūn. ʿAṣr-e Sepahsālār, Tehran, 1351 Š./1973.
ʿA. Āḏarī, ed., Tārīḵ-emoṣawwar-e Reżā Šāh-e kabīr, Tehran, 1345 Š./1976 (useful for illustrations).
M.-Ḥ. Adīb Heravī, Ḥadīqat al-rażawīya, Mašhad, 1327 Š./1948.
Moḥammad-Ḥasan Khan Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, Čehel sāl tārīḵ-e Īrān dar dawra-ye pādšāhī-e Nāṣer-al-Dīn Šāh I. al-Maʾāṯer wa’l-āṯār, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984.
M. Farroḵ (Moʿtaṣem-al-Salṭana), Ḵāṭerāt-e sīāsī-e Farroḵ, ed. P. Lavāšānī, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968, pp. 388, 391, 395.
N. Sayfpūr Fāṭemī, “Reżā Šāh wa kūdetā-ye 1299,” Rahāvard 7/23, 1368 Š./1989, pp. 160-80.
M. Moḵber-al-Salṭana Hedāyat, Ḵāṭerāt o ḵaṭarāt, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1344 Š./1965, p. 407. M. Kāẓemī, Rūzgār o andīšahā, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971.
N. Keddie, Roots of Revolution. An Interpretive History of Modern Iran, New Haven, Conn., 1981.
ʿA. Masʿūdī, Eṭṭelāʿāt dar yak robʿ-e qarn, Tehran, 1950 Š./1971.
ʿĪ. Ṣadīq, Yādgār-e ʿomr II, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.
Š. Šafā, Gāh-nāma-ye panjāh sāl šāhanšāhī-e Pahlavī I, n.p., n.d.
J. Šahrī, Gūša-ī az tārīḵ-e ejtemāʿī-e Tehrān-e qadīm I, Tehran, 1357 Š./1978.
R. M. Savory, “Social Development in Iran during the Pahlavi Era,” in G. Lenczowski, ed., Iran under the Pahlavis, Stanford, Calif., 1978, pp. 85-127.
F. Stark, The Valley of the Assassins, London, 1934, tr. ʿA.-M. Sākī as Safar-nāma-ye Alamūt, Lorestān wa Īlām, Tehran, 1364 Š./1985.
D. Wilber, Riza Shah Pahlavi, The Resurrection and Reconstruction of Iran, Hicksville, N.Y., 1975.
E. Yaḡmāʾī, Kār-nāma-ye Reżā Šāh-e kabīr, Tehran, 2535 = 1355 Š./1976, pp. 170, 178, 216, 499.
E. Žozef, “Rokn-al-Dīn Moḵtāṛ … ,” Rahāvard 7/23, 1368 Š./1989, pp. 274-75.
CLOTHING xiii. Clothing in Afghanistan
The medley of tribal and ethnic populations in the diverse landscape of Afghanistan live mainly in rural towns and villages and nomadic camps. Hardly 5 percent lead urban lives. Traditional clothing reflects these geographic and residential variations and also serves to express individual and group identity, social and economic status, stages of the life-cycle, and changing sociopolitical trends, which ultimately lead to new styles, as well as to exchanges of clothing types (L. Dupree, pp. 238-47). Although terminology for all items of Afghan clothing varies widely, the central role of dress in Afghan culture is clear from the fact that new garments are essential for family, religious, and seasonal celebrations.
Headgear. The most diagnostic item of clothing is headgear; and even the ubiquitous turban (Pers. langōtā, dastār, Pashto paṭkay, pagṛi), which can vary in length from 3 to 6 m, takes on distinguishing characteristics, depending on the arrangement of folds (L. Dupree, pp. 71, 162). White cotton is the most common turban cloth, though certain Pashtun groups prefer black and prestigious silk turbans tend to be woven in muted grays, browns, and pinks (plates cxxviii, cxxix). Whatever the material, the longer the turban, the more fashionable the man. A young boy signals the coming of manhood by ceremoniously donning a turban. The easily recognizable shapes and decorative designs of the caps (Pers. kolāh, Pashto ḵōlay) worn under turbans are also distinctive indicators. Cylindrical silk-embroidered caps distinguish the Uzbek and Tajik (see xv, below), fitted skullcaps of quilted chintz and felt (barrak) the Hazāra (see xiv, below), and the famous cylindrical caps embroidered with gold and silver thread (golābatūnī) the Pashtun of Qandahār; foldable caps encrusted with shiny colored-glass beads (marīdārā) are also made in Qandahār (N. H. Dupree, 1977, p. 286). The Baluch set round mirror fragments (šīša) into their designs (see xviii, xix, below). Conical caps of wheat straw (druzaw ḵōlay) are unique among the Šīnwārī eastern Pashtun, as are the small, round felt caps found in the high mountains of the northeast. Other male headgear includes busby-like shapes (tīlpak) made from sheepskin, worn by the Turkmen (L. Dupree, p. 182; see xxvi, below), round fur-trimmed hats and quilted hats with earflaps worn by the Kirghiz (Dot and Naumann), and flat-topped woolen caps with rolled rims worn in Nūrestān (pakōl generally; śukokuṛ in Kāmvīrī; Michaud, 1980, ill. 91). The modified cylindrical hat made from Persian lamb (qarakolī), which had distinguished all educated urban men since the beginning of the 20th century (Charpentier, 1977), is currently out of fashion.
Head coverings for all women are prescribed in Islam. Most women in traditional Afghan communities, therefore, wear variations of large or small rectangular headscarves, commonly called čādar (see čādor), with or without small hats similar to the men’s kolāh. The čādar is made of soft cotton, often but by no means always in a solid color. Among certain Pashtun tribeswomen the čādar is an ankle-length mantle resembling a cape, bordered with heavy gold embroidery (Michaud, 1980, ill. 67). In contrast to the čādar, the čādarī is composed of a close-fitting cap from which finely pleated colored silk or rayon falls, completely enveloping the figure, with only an openwork embroidered or crocheted grid over the eyes (Nicod, ills. 57, 59). Another style, with a separate see-through face veil, is called bōqrā (< Ar. borqoʿ; Herat) and paranjī (Kondūz). All čādarīs are primarily urban garments (N. H. Dupree, 1978). The most spectacular headgear is worn by Turkmen women. Although the shapes of these tall (up to 45 cm) headdresses (Turkic bojmāq, Pers. qaṣabā) differ from group to group, as do the silk wrappings, silver studs, and festooned ornaments that decorate them, all mark major stages in the lives of their owners. The exuberant creations worn by brides are replaced by more modest versions once they become mothers, and after menopause the silver ornaments are set aside entirely (Stucki, 1978). Uzbek bridal headdresses, though similar, are not as elaborate (P. Centlivres). Individual creativity is also expressed in the decoration of baby bonnets with a profusion of pompoms, feathers, baubles, and beads.
Garments. The basic costume for men, women, and children is made from lightweight cotton and consists of loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts worn outside wide trousers (Pers. tanbān, ezār, Pashto partōg) gathered on a drawstring (ezārband). The length of the men’s shirt (perān, korta), which is typically collarless and buttoned at one shoulder (N. H. Dupree, 1977, p. 388), varies from region to region, from knee to mid-calf or even lower. The finely embroidered Qandahāri shirt fronts (gaṛa, ganḍa) are renowned.
Waistcoats (waskat) are universally popular and may be made of black and red velvet decorated with gold braid or embroidery, as found in Qandahār (called sadrī) and among some Pashtun nomads, or fashioned from local materials, like barrak (see barak) in the Hazārajāt. Many men, however, prefer Western vests purchased, along with Western coats and jackets, from second-hand clothing bāzārs. Indigenous types of outer garment are also worn. They include dressed-sheepskin coats worn with the fleece inside, with sleeves (pōstīn) or without (pōstīṇča), and often embroidered, a specialty in the Pashtun area around Ḡaznī. Throughout the north full-length, quilted or single-weight collarless robes, striped in multiple colors and with long sleeves covering the hands (jīlak and čapan respectively); worn with a cloth sash (kamarband), are made of silk and handwoven cotton (karbās; N. H. Dupree, 1977, p. 341). A typical Uzbek type of padded coat, of brown or dark-red cotton, slips over the head and fastens at one side of the neck (gopīča). Elaborately embroidered short-sleeved felt coats (kūsay) are worn by the Pashtun in Paktīā. Woolen shawls (čādar, Pashtu patū) are also popular with men in winter.
Nūrestāni dress is the most distinctive in Afghanistan. Men wear white woolen trousers, reaching just below the knee (viṭ in Kāmvīrī, spoken in Kāmdeš), over long black leggings like puttees (pātaw), which, aside from the knitted wool stockings decorated with traditional designs of the Hazāra, are the only leg coverings made in Afghanistan. Prized silver-studded belts (mālāa niśte) for daggers (kātra) are also unique to Nūrestān (L. Dupree, p. 143). Nūrestāni women sometimes wear leggings under long, full skirts or robes (bāźü) gathered at the waist with woven belts (niśte) and embellished across the back of the shoulders and down the sleeves with a combination of red and black embroidered appliqués found nowhere else in Afghanistan (L. Dupree, p. 234).
Elsewhere, although women’s dress styles conform to an overall pattern similar to that of men, differences in the length of the dress; the cut, drape, and fullness (up to 20 m) of the voluminous trousers; the width of the sleeves at the wrists and the trousers at the ankles; and fabrics—prints, textures, and decoration—are matters of great consequence to all women (plates cxxx, cxxxi). In contrast to men’s clothing, which is generally tailored in bāzārs, most women’s clothing is hand- or machine-stitched at home. Especially among the eastern Pashtun the high-waisted bodices of the dresses, the flaring elbow-length cuffs, and deep borders on the hems of skirts containing as much as 12 m of flowered cotton or velvet are covered with exquisite embroidery. Red, green, and royal-purple velvet are favored by the wealthier nomads, the māldār.
In the cities, especially among the educated middle and upper classes, Western styles have predominated since they were introduced early in the 20th century as part of government efforts to modernize (N. H. Dupree, 1988). Fashions have closely followed European models through the years, and, for women, Western dress came to symbolize emancipation (Rahimi, 1977). After the leftist revolution of 1357 Š./1978 and during the subsequent years of Soviet occupation Western dress continued in vogue in Kabul. On the other hand, Afghan refugees in Pakistan, both men and women, wear traditional garments as symbols of their adherence to Afghan culture and Islam.
Footgear. Plastic shoes of every hue and style are popular throughout Afghanistan, but a variety of stout leather sandal (čaplī, Pashto čaplay), often soled with rubber cut from old tires, is also worn in many areas. Straw sandals (mazarī čaplay) are found in Paktīā. Also distinctive are the ankle-high moccasins of Nūrestān (vācó) and the knee-high leather boots, high-heeled (čamūs; Nicod, ill. 29) or soft-soled (māsī), worn by northern Turkic speakers. The stout rubber overshoes (kalawš) worn to cover the magi outside the home are also commonly worn alone (plate cxxviii).
Jewelry. Jewelry, mostly of silver, is an important item in every woman’s wardrobe, and generous sprinklings of silver beads, disks, coins, fastenings, and amulets (taʿwīḏ) are sewn onto clothing. Among some nomads, the eastern Pashtun in particular, these silver ornaments are typically combined with mirror work, gold and silver filament and braid, and elaborate beading, in addition to the fine embroidery described above.
M. and P. Centlivres, “Calottes, mitres et toques,” Bulletin annuel du Musée et Institut d’Ethnographie de la Ville de Genève 11, 1968, pp. 11-46.
P. Centlivres, “Les Uzbeks du Qattaghan,” Afghanistan Journal 2/1, 1975, pp. 28-36.
C.-J. Charpentier, “The Making of Karakul-Caps,” Afghanistan Journal 4/2, 1977, pp. 76-78.
R. Dor and C. Naumann, Die Kirghisen des afghanischen Pamir, Graz, 1978.
L. Dupree, Afghanistan, Princeton, N.J., 1980, pp. 238-47.
N. H. Dupree, An Historical Guide to Afghanistan, Kabul, 1977.
Idem, “Behind the Veil in Afghanistan,” Asia 1/2, 1978, pp. 10-15.
Idem, “Victoriana Comes to the Haremsarai in Afghanistan,” in P. Bucherer-Dietschi, ed., Bauen und Wohnen am Hindukush, Liestal, Switz., 1988, pp. 111-49.
J. Graham and H. Sandys, The Decorative Arts of Central Asia, London, 1988.
A. Janata, “Ikat in Afghanistan,” Afghanistan Journal 5/4, 1978, pp. 130-39.
C. M. Kieffer and G. Redard, “La fabrication des chaussures à Bamyan,” Acta Orientalia 31, 1968, pp. 47-53.
A. Legat, “Changes and Continuities in Women’s Status and Clothing in Urban Afghanistan,” in D. G. Hatt, ed., Ethnicity. The Role of Group Identification in Social Change, Calgary, Can., 1978.
A. Leix, “Trachten der Nomaden Turkestans,” CIBA-Rundschau 54, Basel, 1942, pp. 1986-2001.
R. and S. Michaud, Caravans to Tartary, London, 1978.
Idem, Afghanistan, London, 1980.
M.-L. Nabholz and P. Bucherer-Dietschi, eds., Textilhandwerk in Afghanistan, Liestal, Switz., 1983.
M. R. Nicod, Afghanistan, Innsbruck, n.d. F. Rahimi, Women in Afghanistan, Liestal, Switz., 1986.
K. E. Seraj and N. H. Dupree, The KES Collection of Vintage Photographs, New York, 1979.
A Stucki, “Horses and Women,” Afghanistan Journal 5/4, 1978, pp. 140-49.
CLOTHING xiv. Clothing of the Hazāra tribes
Hazāra clothing has not been studied systematically; only sporadic evidence can be found in literature, photographs, and major museum collections. Much of the information given here is based on the author’s ethnographic work among the Hazāra in 1953-55 and in the Danish National Museum collection in 1948 and 1953-54.
The 19th century. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the father of Afghan ethnography, is apparently the earliest source on Hazāra clothing. He published one illustration (Elphinstone, pl. XII, facing p. 483; plate cxxxii) with the brief comment “the dress of the meṇ … is distinguished by the rolls of cloth which they twist round their legs like the Uzbeks. The women wear long frocks of woollen stuff, and boots of soft deerskin, which reach to their knees” (p. 483 ). In the 1830s Alexander Burnes reported that Hazāra women of rank “go unveiled, and wear two or three loongees [lungies] on the head, like a tiara” (p. 175). He added that the Hazāras manufactured a fabric called “burruk” (see barak) from the wool of sheep.
The American general Josiah Harlan, who was also in Afghanistan in the 1830s, gave more detail. According to him, the manufacture of “berrick” was common throughout the Paropamisus mountains and among the pastoral tribes of Central Asia, but the best was made in Dāy Zangī in the southern part of Hazārajāt (p. 116). Of the Hazāra in particular he reported (pp. 128-30) that “the clothing of the poor or laboring class consists of a long frock made of the berrick i burrie and pantaloons of the same material fitting tight near the ankles. They wrap their legs with strips of the same material, about two and a half inches wide … commencing at the ankle … . This arrangement is commonly adopted by couriers and other foot men who have occasion to perform long journeys … . Their feet are usually protected by sandals of straw. The higher orders use shoes of Cabul or Bulkḥ … . During winteṛ … those of Tatar proclivity use boots, or mashee [mašī] as they are called in "Toorkie." But for all pedestrian purposes at this season they use a most serviceable contrivance for the protection of the feet called sooklies [soḵlī “lambskin”], which effectually and economically secure the wearer immunity from the influence of cold, frost, and snow! This sooklie is prepared from the fresh skin of a horse, bullock or camel… . These sooklies should be laced tightly … . The sooklie, however, is generally made and fitted from the recent skin and mostly at the moment when it is desirable … on the line of a march and in the midst of a snowstorm. The people live under bare polls, except the gentry, who use either a closely fitting chintz padded cap or one of sheepskin and the turban of Khorasan; the head-dress is modified with the season. The women are habited like the men, except that they wear their hair in long braids and pendant locks.” With reference to “the leading chiefs and their confidential followers,” Harlan mentioned that “their dress assimilates either to the Uzbek or Persian” (p. 131). A detailed description follows, including mention of the Persian qabā and long lungies both wrapped round the loins and folded round the head. The Hazāra chiefs generally wore no shirt, an Uzbek custom; those who did wear shirts preferred the Persian qamīṣ of silk or cotton. The outermost wrap was the čūḵā, a long cloak with sleeves, a version of the Turkestan caftan.
The 20th century. Hazāra clothing has changed very little since Harlan’s time. The Hazārajāt is receptive to cultural influences from outside but retains distinctive features. Two excellent photographs taken in 1916-17 were published by Oskar von Niedermayer and Ernst Diez. In one (pl. 185) four Hazāra men from the “central mountain area” appear, all wearing conical cloth caps edged with sheepskin. One has no shirt but wears two barrak caftans, one over the other; two wear cotton shirts, one with a barrak waistcoat and short barrak caftan, the other with a long barrak caftan the front corners of which are caught up in his cloth waistband. One or two wear cotton trousers, the others possibly woolen trousers. Two or three have the special Hazāra shoes, kāpī, with a heavy sole and a vamp of a single piece or two pieces stitched together along the instep, and one wears “moccasins” of raw-hide (čarāḵ soḵlī; see below) with tapes wrapped around the ankle and foot to hold them on. Two have bound their trousers below the knees (where puttees would start), a feature not encountered elsewhere. These mountain Hazāras evince many of the features described by Harlan and observed by the author in the 1950s. The second photograph (pl. 186) depicts two Hazāra porters from Kabul. They are somewhat more citified, with their turbans and traditional shoes with toes turned up. Both wear cotton trousers, one with puttees, and cotton shins with narrow neckbands, which Bruno Markowski designated “Parsiwān and Hazāra” (table XXV, fig. 21a; cf. the same type in Ferdinand, p. 31, fig. 12).
In the 1950s Hazāra women made all the family clothing, and they also wove barrak on a horizontal loom of a type common in Afghanistan. Cotton is cultivated in the warmer southern part of Hazārajāt, for example, in Šahrestān (formerly Sepāy) in Dāy Zangī and farther south in Orūzgān and Jāḡūrī; professional male weavers make the traditional cotton cloth called karbās on a loom of a type found extensively in southern and western Asia (Wulff, Crafts, p. 201 fig. 280).
In 1954 the author met in the central Hazārajāt only two men wearing the traditional dress of Šahrestān. It consisted of skin caps (as in Niedermayer and Diez), trousers, waistcoats (waskat), and coats (mačew) similar to British military frock coats, all of barrak; cotton shirts; and the solid Hazāra kāpī. Although the land is 2,600 feet above sea level, it was summer, and these men were clad much more warmly than necessary. The typical summer dress of a farmer consisted of a shirt (perān, perō) and trousers (pāyjāma, tambān, Hazāra tambō, ezār) of locally made karbās or imported cotton cloth, a barrak waistcoat, imported rubber sandals (čaplī-e robbar), and a very specific kind of cylindrical cap (kollā) with a crown of four or eight quilted pieces (čār or hašt-tark), the lower part (gerd-e kollā) edged with scallops (palta). It can thus be concluded that the south-central Hazāra typically wore the cap and waistcoat and, when weather and circumstances demanded, the short barrak caftan (čakman) and frock coat. A belt (Hazāra kamarī or memand) or cloth sash was often wrapped around the waist. Puttees (pāypēč) were no longer much worn in Šahrestān, as stockings had been introduced from Jāḡūrī about thirty years earlier. Wealthier people were more influenced by styles from Kabul, preferring imported cloth; they invariably wore the turban (Hazāra lungota, Pers. destār) over the cap and a shoulder blanket or shawl of cotton (šāl) or a soft fulled woolen material (šāl-e hazāragī), depending on the season. The shawl was also commonly worn while traveling.
Among the northern Hazāra, the Šayḵ ʿAlī and others in the upper Ḡōrband valley and near the Šebar pass, male dress was still quite traditional in the 1950s. Both short and long barrak caftans were common, and woolen trousers, puttees, and kāpī were generally worn. In winter men wore turbans and wrapped woolen scarves round their necks and faces as protection against the cold.
Among women hardly any element of the traditional dress described by Harlan remained. The author saw no women’s caftans at all; in cold weather the only wraps worn for outdoor work (e.g., weaving, in Ḡōrband) were large headcloths or short shawls (čādor), made exclusively of imported cloth. Dresses were plain and unadorned, usually long red or dark-blue gowns (Hazāra perō, Pers. perān < pērāhan) with neckbands and front openings with buttons, worn over trousers (Hazāra tambō) in the same colors and sometimes supplemented by small waistcoats. Ordinarily a cap (kollā) was worn with a dark-colored headcloth over it. Shoes, though rarely worn, were either kāpī or imports from Kabul.
Bright-red gowns were considered “modern”; in contrast to traditional gowns with long, full sleeves very wide at the wrists (Ferdinand, p. 27 fig 10; Figure 64), they had narrow cuffs and were embroidered along the edges of the front openings. The headcloth was folded in a thick, flat pad on top of the head, with the ends forming a sort of veil at the back of the neck; this headdress may be the “tiara” mentioned by Burnes (p. 175; see above; for a dark gown with narrow cuffs, see Ferdinand, p. 29, fig. 11).
Children’s clothes followed the same pattern as those of adults. Boys wore caps, cotton shirts, trousers, barrak waistcoats, and rubber sandals. Girls wore more colorful clothing, often long red gowns and red trousers, as well as caps and sandals. Very small children of either sex wore no trousers under long shirts or gowns. In summer children usually went barefoot. At puberty girls began to wear the headcloth. In southern Dāy Zangī the cap was worn on top of the headcloth to secure it.
In the collection of the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen there are the following items of Hazāra clothing: E. 1432 a-b: heavy-soled shoes (čarāḵ Hazārajāt); Punjab, Hazārajāt, 1948. E. 1433 a-b, 1434, 1435: cowhide moccasins (čarāḵ soklī), hair side outward, with tapes along the edges for tying onto the feet (cf. Harlan, above); Kabul and Hazārajāt, 1948. E. 1647: fulled woolen blanket; Hazārajāt, 1948. E. 1795: man’s cap (kollā); Šahrestān, 1953. E. 1796 a-b: girl’s cap (kollā) with silver pendant; Šahrestān, 1953. E. 1797 a-b: woman’s cap (kollā) with pendant; Šahrestān, 1953. E. 1800: woman’s gown of locally made cotton cloth, cut in “modern” style with narrow cuffs and embroidery; Šahrestān, 1953. E. 1837: man’s short barrak caftan (čakman); Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1838: man’s long caftan (čakman); Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1839 a-b: leather-soled men’s shoes (kāpī); Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1840: woman’s gown, worn; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1841: woman’s cap; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1842: girl’s cap; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1843 a-b: leather-soled women’s (?) shoes (kāpī); Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1847: white woolen men’s trousers; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1848: man’s cap; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1849 a-b: knitted woolen stockings; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1850 a-b: puttees (pāypēč); Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954. E. 1851: child’s cap; Ḡōrband-Šebar area, 1954.
Because Hazāra clothing is poorly documented, it has been possible to provide only a glimpse of its historical development and present character. It is noteworthy that the greatest changes seem to have taken place among women, in contrast to much ethnographic evidence from other groups. Paradoxically change has been least among the northern Hazāras, who live in a more easily accessible area. The complex developments in Hazārajāt are perhaps to be explained by the exploitative trading activities of the Pashtun nomads.
A. Burnes, Cabool. A Personal Narrative of a Journey to, and Residence in That City in the Years 1836, 7, and 8, 2nd ed., London, 1842; repr. Lahore, 1961.
M. Elphinstone, An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and Its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India, 2 vols., London, 1815; repr. Graz, 1969.
K. Ferdinand, Preliminary Notes on Hazāra Culture (The Danish Scientific Mission to Afghanistan, 1953-55), Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Historisk Filosofiske Meddelelser 37/5, Copenhagen, 1959.
J. Harlan, Central Asia. Personal Narrative of General Josiah Harlan 1823-1841, ed. F. E. Ross, London, 1939.
B. Markowski, Die materielle Kultur des Kabulgebietes, Leipzig, 1932.
O. von Niedermayer and E. Diez, eds., Afganistan, Leipzig, 1924.
CLOTHING xv. Clothing of Tajikistan
Female dress. The most common traditional garment is a straight dress, widening at the bottom, worn over trousers. The long, full sleeves generally cover the hands, though in some mountain regions sleeves are closely fitted to the wrists. Another type of dress is cut straight, with a yoke and inset sleeves. Older women wear either dress full length with a high collar, whereas younger women wear a shorter, narrower version with a narrow collar. Although normally women wear only one dress at a time, in cold weather they may wear more, one on top of the other, and on festive occasions as many as seven, with sleeves of graduated lengths to permit the embroidered ends of all to show (plate cxxxiii, plate cxxxiv). The common undergarment is a short white shirt with a high collar and buttoned cuffs (Ershov and Shirokova, pp. 11-12). The trousers of mountain women are long and straight, falling loosely around the ankles. Until this century women from mountain regions did not consider outer garments necessary, preferring instead to wear several woolen dresses, but now quilted coats are worn outdoors (Narody Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana, p. 599). In fact, at the beginning of this century quilted caftans became common throughout the Tajik highlands (Shirokova, 1976, p. 46). Plainswomen wear short, tapering trousers. Outerwear consists of various types of caftan, a lighter one often worn under a heavier type; a long coat fitting the body to the waist, then flaring into a full skirt, with inset sleeves tapering to the wrists; and a version with a tight-fitting bodice attached to a skirt gathered at both sides, also with long sleeves tapering at the wrists. At the end of the 19th century clothing in the southern and central regions—Darvāz, Qarategin, Kolāb, Karatag, and Bukhara—was usually trimmed with embroidery, whereas in the upper Zarafšān valley and the northern plains it was untrimmed (Shirokova, 1976, p. 145).
The traditional headdress was a large kerchief. That worn in the plains (Samarkand, Bukhara, Ḵojand) is a large square or rectangle (plate cxxxiii, above), whereas in the mountains (Kolāb, Darvāz) it more closely resembles a stole, with embroidered ends (plate cxxxiv, above). For festive occasions the young and middle-aged women of Qarategin and Darvāz have recently taken to wearing the kerchief over a skullcap (Tadzhiki, p. 170). On the plains elderly women also occasionally wear skullcaps (tuppī) with tubes attached to hold their plaited hair; they wear the kerchief or sometimes a turban over this arrangement (Ershov and Shirokova, p. 8). In addition, young women in each region wear distinctive head coverings, especially during the first days after a wedding. In Darvāz and the Pamirs they tie embroidered fillets over the kerchiefs. In Kolāb and Qarategin a silver diadem constructed of alternating stars and pendants is preferred (plate cxxxiii). In Bukhara fillets embroidered with gold thread are worn over the forehead. The diadem worn by women in Ura-Tyube, Ḵojand, and Samarkand is crenellated and encircled with turquoise fillets from which are suspended numerous pendants encrusted with semiprecious stones (plate cxxxiv; Ershov and Shirokova, pp. 8-9).
Female footgear is diverse. Historically the most common type was a wooden overshoe, often turned up at the toe and painted in stripes or sometimes blackened with soot (Tadzhiki, p. 170). Nowadays, plainswomen, when outdoors, wear high boots of soft leather, into which they tuck their trousers, and leather overshoes. At home they wear shoes with small heels. The finest shoes of this kind are embroidered with silk and gold or made entirely of dyed morocco leather. Mountain women wear leather shoes or wooden clogs on three pegs. In the winter they, too, wear soft high boots, made of rawhide.
The traditional features of cut and choice of cloth are most fully preserved in ceremonial dress, which reflects a broad range of folk belief. Bridal dress, for example, consists of three separate complexes corresponding to the three phases of the transition from unmarried girl to married woman. For the wedding ceremony itself a simple white dress is worn without jewelry. For the removal to the groom’s house the bride wears numerous kerchiefs and mantles, so that her entire person is protected from the eyes of strangers. Finally, for several days she receives guests in her new home, wearing her finest clothing and elaborate jewelry. These phases are also signaled by more subtle changes, as in the shape of the collar, the hair style, the covering of the head, the type of cosmetics worn, and the jewelry.
Except for Darvāz, Qarategin, Kolāb, and some valleys in the Zarafšān region, mourning dress is worn everywhere. It is usually of light- or dark-blue or black cotton, cut in more traditional fashion than is now common in daily wear. It is worn without jewelry. Even in those regions where specific mourning wear is not known, grief is expressed through the setting aside of jewelry and cosmetics (Shirokova, 1976, p. 148).
Male dress. The traditional clothing of Tajik males is less diverse than that of women. The undergarments consist of loose trousers and a shirt worn over them; it is belted when worn without an overgarment. Details of the neck opening and collar decoration vary regionally. For example, the neck opening can be horizontal (along the shoulder), vertical, or wrapped. In the Pamirs the shirt has a high collar and is fastened at the side, a type known in Central Asia since antiquity (see v, vi, above).
Over the shirt men wear a wrapped caftan, sometimes several at once. Again each region is characterized by specific details of this garment. The version worn by Tajiks in Farḡāna is narrow and fitted, with narrow sleeves, usually of black, blue, or green cloth. At Heṣār and in the Zarafšān valley it is full and has wide sleeves (plate cxxxv), and the men of Samarkand, Heṣār, and Kolāb prefer brightly colored textiles. Bukharans are distinguished by their pink and black striped robes. High-ranking officials in the service of the former amirs of Bukhara wore caftans embroidered with gold (Goncharova). In the plains these textiles are of silk and cotton or sometimes blends of the two. Brocades, velvets, and textured silks are particularly popular. Mountain men prefer easily obtainable woolens and very seldom wear cotton (plate cxxxvi). Linen is not used for Tajik clothing.
The cap worn by men is also regionally distinctive in both shape and ornament. Among northern Tajiks the crown can be flat, boxed, or conical, whereas mountain dwellers and plainsmen in the southeast wear a skullcap. In the winter men wind small turbans around the caps or put on fur hats (Ershov and Shirokova, p. 11).
Shirts and overgarments are girdled with long, narrow sashes or twisted kerchiefs with embroidered corners. Sometimes two such sashes are worn, one used as a repository for personal belongings. Formerly princes and wealthy men wore wide embroidered or assembled belts with massive buckles. Footgear is similar to that worn by women: high leather boots with soft soles and leather overshoes or similar boots with heels. Peasants wear welted boots or a type of soft shoe made from a single piece of leather, folded in half and held together by a cord laced through holes in the edges and tied around the ankle. In the mountain and the foothills men also wear clogs on three pegs. In the lowlands shoes and boots are worn with inner cloth wrappings or stockings. In the mountains colorful woolen stockings are the rule. Men in the Pamirs bind the calves of their legs with long strips of cloth before undertaking long journeys.
Minority clothing in Tajikistan. The dress of other Tajik-speaking groups differs little from that described here. Central Asian gypsies (lūlī) now wear mainly European dress, but until recently those in the Kaška-Daryā region were distinguished by an extremely large turban (dorra). The women were commonly tattooed and preferred bright-colored clothing and abundant jewelry.
The Persians of Bukhara and Samarkand are not an ethnic but a Shiʿite religious minority. The women do not wear the caftan or the Tajik shawl (lačak) or turban (salla) but only a kerchief (pīšānaband) and an outer headcloth (sarband). The most distinctive feature of male dress is a black turban (salla). Probably because so many forms of traditional dress were lacking in this group, its members have been more receptive to new styles like the jacket with sleeves and the sleeveless vest (Lushkevich, 1989).
The clothing of Bukharan Jews generally resembled that of the Tajiks, with some exceptions. Before 1911 Jews were required by the government of the amir to wear caftans of black or dark-brown cotton tied with a simple cord. In the summer they wore a distinctive type of cylindrical velvet cap, in the winter a conical hat of astrakhan fur or velvet. The Bukharan Jew wore a turban, wrapped around a skullcap, only once in his life, at his wedding. Jewish girls also wore a distinctive type of headdress, a gold-embroidered cap (tūpī, tos). Women wore shawls appliquéd with metal plaques (Lushkevich, 1989; Kalantarov).
N. N. Ershov and Z. A. Shirokova, Al’bom odezhdy tadzhikov (Album of Tajik clothing), Dushanbe, 1969.
P. A. Goncharova, Zolotoe shit’ye Bukhary (The gold embroidery of Bokhara), Tashkent, 1986.
F. D. Lushkevich, Ètnograficheskaya gruppa ironi. Zanyatiya i byt narodov Sredneĭ Azii (The Ironi ethnic group. Occupations and way of life of the peoples of Central Asia), Trudy Instituta Ètnografii 97, Leningrad, 1971.
Idem, “Odezhda tadzhikskogo naseleniya Bukharskogo oazisa v pervoĭ polovine XX v.” (The clothing of the Tajik inhabitants of the Bukhara oasis in the first half of the 20th century), Sbornik Muzeya Antropologii i Ètnografii 34, 1978, pp. 123-45.
Idem, “Odezhda ètnicheskikh grupp naseleniya Bukharskogo oazisa i prilegayushchikh k nemu raĭonov. Pervaya polovina 20 v.” (Clothing of ethnic groups among the population of the Bukhara oasis and neighboring regions. First half of the 20th century), in Traditsionnaya odezhda narodov Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana (Traditional clothing of the peoples of Central Asia and Kazakhstan), Moscow, 1989.
G. Maĭtdinova, Kostyum rannesrednevekovogo Tokharistana po pamyatnikam iskusstva i arkheologii (The costume of early medieval Tokharistan, as shown in monuments of art and archeology), Ph.D. diss., Dushanbe, 1991.
A. K. Pisarchik, “Materialy k istorii tadzhikov Nurata. Starinnye zhenskie plat’ya i golovnye ubory” (Material for the study of the Tajiks of Nur-ata. Traditional women’s dresses and headdresses), in Kostyum narodov Sredneĭ Azii (Costume of the peoples of Central Asia), Moscow, 1979, pp. 119-22.
Z. A. Shirokova, “Traditsionnye zhenskie golovnye ubory Tadzhikov. Yug i sever Tadzhikistana” (Traditional women’s headdresses of the Tajiks. Southern and northern Tajikistan), in Traditsionnaya odezhda narodov Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana (Traditional clothing of the peoples of Central Asia and Kazakhstan), Moscow, 1969, pp. 182-203.
Idem, Traditsionnaya i sovremennaya odezhda zhenshchin gornogo Tadzhikistana (Traditional and contemporary dress of the women of mountain Tajikistan), Dushanbe, 1976.
Idem, “Traditsionnyĭ kostyum zhenikha u gornykh Tadzhikov” (The traditional bridegroom’s costume among the mountain Tajiks), in Kostyum narodov Sredneĭ Azii. Samarkand (vtoraya polovina XIX v.—nachalo XX veka) (Costume of the peoples of Central Asia. Samarkand [first half of the 19th—beginning of the 20th century), Moscow, 1979, pp. 123-27.
O. A. Sukhareva, “Opyt analiza pokroev "tunikoobraznoĭ" sredneaziatskoĭ odezhdy v plane ikh istorii i èvolyutsii” (Cuts of the "basic tunic" in Central Asian dress from a historical and developmental point of view) in Kostyum narodov Sredneĭ Azii, Moscow, 1979, pp. 77-103.
Idem, Istoriya sredneaziatskogo kostyuma. Samarkand (vtoraya polovina XIX v—nachalo XX veka), Moscow, 1982.
“Tadzhiki” in Narody Sredneĭ Asii i Kazakhstana (The peoples of Central Asia and Kazakhstan) I, Moscow, 1962, pp. 599-604.
Tadzhiki Karategina i Darvaza (The Tajiks of Qarategin and Darvāz), 2nd ed., Dushanbe, 1970.
CLOTHING xvi. Kurdish clothing in Persia
Kurds can easily be recognized by their dress, which has quite distinctive features, though there are significant variations among regions and social classes (see xvii, below). The Kurdish population of Persia is concentrated in four main regions (Żīāʾpūr, p. 13): western Azerbaijan (see xxi, below), Kurdistan, Kermānšāh, and Khorasan (see xx, below).
Female dress. In western Azerbaijan Mahābād is the main urban center for the Kurds (plate cxxxvii, plate cxxxviii). Women wear balloon-shaped trousers (darpe), 4-6 m wide, fitted at the ankles, and a long pleated dress (kerās), 4-5 m wide, with a round neckline and long sleeves that terminate in triangular projections (sorānis) at least a meter long, which are wrapped around the wrists. Over the dress a short jacket (kavā) is worn. A cotton sash (peštand) 3-6 m long is wound loosely around the hips. Finally, there is a kind of cylindrical cardboard hat (tās-kelāw) covered with velvet and wrapped in a long triangular scarf (dasmāl). The dasmāl is often of printed cloth or ornamented on both sides with gold embroidery and sequins.
Farther south, in Kurdistan, the main city of which is Sanandaj, the basic female dress varies somewhat from that of Azerbaijan (plate cxxxix). The trousers are only about 3 m wide and worn under a long bell-shaped dress, 3-4 m wide, with a round neck; the sleeves terminate in sorānis. The jacket is similar, but it is supplemented by a long mantle (sāya) worn open in front. The traditional head covering in this region is the kalāḡī, a cap decorated with sequins and wrapped with one or two scarves. In recent years young city girls have ceased to wear this headdress or have eliminated the scarves and retained only the cap.
Still farther south, in Kermānšāh, women wear the trousers under a long, full dress, cut straight with an open neck and no sorānis on the sleeves. Over the dress are a waist-length bodice or vest and a long mantle (qabā), closed at the bodice but open from the waist to the ankles. A sequined cap is wrapped with one or several scarves.
In Qūčān, a city in Khorasan with a Kurdish population, the Kurdish costume is completely different from those of other regions. Its basic elements include a knee-length dress with a round neck and sleeves without sorānis, worn under a hip-length tunic and a skirt (šalīta); long thick stockings and a scarf about 1.5 m square complete the outfit (see xx, below).
Male dress. Kurdish male costume varies little from region to region, except for that of Khorasan around Qūčān. In Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, and Kermānšāh Kurdish men generally wear a shirt (kerās) with a round neck and sleeves ending in sorānis at the wrists; a buttoned vest like those of military uniforms (kavā; plate cxl) or an unbuttoned version (čūka; plate cxli) with an open neck; and baggy trousers (pāntol) fitted at the ankles. The fullness at the bottom of these trousers decreases from Mahābād to Kermānšāh. A cotton sash (peštand) 60-70 cm wide and 3-4 m long is folded in half lengthwise and wrapped tightly around the torso from waist to chest. The normal headdress consists of a turban (pač) 2-3 m long, usually of fringed cloth, except for a kind of muslin called āḡābānū; it is wrapped around a cap (kelāw), which can also be worn without the turban.
The clothing of the men of Qūčān is entirely different: It consists of a red or white collarless shirt with sleeves that do not have sorānis, narrow trousers, a knee-length mantle, a kind of legging (patāva) 20 cm wide and 1 m long, a narrow leather belt, and a felt or fur hat.
Variations. There are many small variations in Kurdish clothing, reflecting differences in age, designed for special occasions, or adapted to the changing seasons. For example, young people tend to wear lighter and brighter colors. Their clothes are also generally less bulky than those of their elders; at Mahābād the length of the peštand is 3 m for girls and 6 m for older women. The tās-kelāw, which was the traditional headdress of Mahābād, is worn today only by older women; others wear a simple dasmāl on their heads or wrap it around their shoulders. Girls choose finer fabrics for the dasmāl, whereas the majority of elderly women wear thicker fabrics in white.
Everyone wears darker and less vivid colors for mourning, however. On the other hand, for celebrations the brightest and most festive colors are chosen, and the fabrics are finer and often quite expensive. For a wedding a virgin bride wears a very fine red veil (tārā), the symbol of purity; a widow wears white or yellow when remarrying. Upon returning from the pilgrimage to Mecca both men and women briefly don an orange scarf (kašida).
Clothing does not usually differ in type according to the seasons, but its weight does vary with the temperature. Men of the Harkī tribe in western Azerbaijan do wear a summer suit consisting of wide, straight trousers and a vest open at the neck. Children traditionally wear scaled-down versions of adult dress (plate cxlii).
Ī. Afšār Sīstānī, Moqaddama-ī bar šenāḵt-e īlhā, čādornešīnān wa ṭawāyef-e ʿašāyerī-e Īrān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1366 Š./1987.
ʿĪ. Behnām, “Lebās-e kordhā,” Naqš o negār 3/7, Tehran, 1339 Š./1960, pp. 5-11.
T. Bois and V. Minorsky, “Kurds, Kurdistan,” in EI2 V, pp. 438-79.
W. Eagleton, The Kurdish Republic of 1946, London, 1963.
H. Hansen, The Kurdish Woman’s Life. Field Research in a Muslim Society, Iraq, Copenhagen, 1961. A. Ḥasanī Fard Sayyed, Lebās dar Kordestān, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977.
V. Minorsky, “Sāwdj-Bulāḳ,” in EI1 IV pp. 186-92.
J. de Morgan, Mission scientifique en Perse II/2. Études géographiques, ed. E. Leroux, Paris, 1895.
B. Nikitine, Les Kurdes. Étude sociologique et historique, Paris, 1956.
M. Ṣamadī Sayyed, Ādāb o rosūm dar Mahābād, Mahābād, 1364 Š./1985 (dactylograph).
A. Šarīfī, Kordestān-e Mokrī wa Mahābād, Mahābād, 1354 Š./1975.
Z. Şewket, L’habillement des Kurdes, Paris, 1935.
H. Tābānī, Barrasī-e awżāʿ-e ṭabīʿī, eqtēṣādī wa ensānī-e Kordestān, 2nd ed., Mahābād, 1358 Š./1979.
K. Tawaḥḥodī, Ḥarakat-e tārīḵī-e Kord be Ḵorāsān dar defāʿ az esteqlāl-e Īrān, 2 vols., Mašhad, 1359-64 Š./1980-85.
J. Żīāʾpūr, Pūšāk-e īlhā wa čādornešīnān, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967.
All the information concerning western Azerbaijan is based on fieldwork.
In Kermānšāh province, toward the Iraqi frontier, the southern group of Kurds use a generally distinct vocabulary. Thus the women’s shift is known not only as kerās but also as korvās, šev, and šovī; the trousers, buttoned at the ankle, as šovāl jāfī and the shorter underdrawers as `er-šovāl, šovāl-kol, toneka, or tanka; and the plain velvet waistcoat, trimmed with braid, as jelezqa or soḵma. The velvet jacket, usually black, worn over the waistcoat in winter, with straight sleeves, small collar lapels, front pockets at the waist, and side vents, is salta or yal, and the long, lined, sleeved coat worn over it in winter, with braid or coins trimming the collar, is koter or qevā. An alternative form of topcoat, which may be worn over the first, is of black velvet, waisted, and buttoned at the chest below the collar lapels; this is called kavā, zebūn or zavūn, or kamaṛčīn. The women’s headdress is based on a hemispherical cap (kelāw, kolū, or kelū), which for younger women and girls is embroidered and for older women of plain velvet; both have a chain of silver coins sewn to one side, to be passed under the chin and hooked to the other. Unmarried women wear a white gauze headscarf (dasmāl) up to 2 m long. Married women wear their hair in plaits, which are either knotted on the cap, leaving the sides of the face free, or thrown back over the shoulders. A headband (sarvan, sarūvayn) is folded from a rectangle of dark silk, centered over the brow, with the two ends tied behind the head, then brought back and tied again over the brow. Over this a large colored kerchief (golvanī) with tassels is wrapped around the head from right to left so that the tassels hang down all round. In some areas a different kerchief is used instead of this; it is called dastmāl-sar, meškī, or boyama. When going outside women cast a rectangular black silk shawl (māšta) over their shoulders and knot it below the throat. In this region the sash is not an essential part of everyday dress. In the mid-1960s stockings (jūro) were still used mainly by richer and more educated women, though shoes (koš) were already of an urban type. Women did not traditionally change their clothes or undress when going to bed, except to take off the turban and cover their heads with a cloth. Men’s costume in the same region, around Qaṣr-e Šīrīn and Šāhābād-e Ḡarb, has a very similar terminology; thus korvās, šev, or šovī is the man’s collarless shirt, with three buttons at the front opening and side vents; `er-korvāsī, `er-kerās, or `er-ševī is the undervest; and šalvār jāfī are the broad trousers caught close at the ankles. The upper garments are a plain, coarse waistcoat (soḵma), of urban cut; a coarse brownish jacket (salta); or a plain collarless jacket (zebūn) worn open in front without buttons. The sleeve pendants (faqyāna) are separate from the shirt, though in principle as before, 1 m long and of white linen or silk, wrapped between wrist and elbow. The sash (šāl-pešt) is wrapped with a series of knots in front. The headdress is a kelāw and turban cloth (sarvan) of black-and-white silk rolled diagonally and wound around the head several times from right to left, so that one end hangs to the side and the other is concealed in the folds, with the fringes hanging all round. As with the women, there was traditionally no distinction between daytime and nighttime clothes.
B. Kelkī, “Dehkada-ye Čeqāzard,” Honar o mardom 51, 1345 Š./1966, pp. 12-13.
M. Ṣadīq, “Pūšāk-e zanān o mardān-e Šāhābād-e Ḡarb o Qaṣr-e Šīrīn,” Honar o mardom 21, 1343 Š./1964, pp. 22-27.
CLOTHING xvii. Clothing of the Kurdish Jews
The following description of the clothing worn since the beginning of this century by the Jews of Persian and Iraqi Kurdistan is based on field observations and interviews among the immigrant community in Israel and on a visit to northern Persia in 1974-79 (Shwartz-Beeri, pp. 71, 96, 147).
In general the Jews of Kurdistan wore the same clothes as the rest of the population (see xvi, above; xxi, below). The restrictions imposed on Jews in Islamic countries in earlier centuries continued to affect their dress in the present century. As the economic position of the Jews was often higher than that of most of their neighbors, they generally wore garments of better quality.
Fabrics. Everyday men’s clothes were made from handwoven sheep’s wool (amra). Suits for weddings and other festive occasions were of handwoven mohair (marʾaz). These suits were embellished with embroidery and worn for many years. According to informants, expensive fabrics for women’s and children’s clothes were also handmade of wild silk, from worms that feed on oak trees in the region (cf. Hyde). Everyday dresses were of cotton. After World War I factory-made textiles of natural fibers began to penetrate the region, mainly from Aleppo via Mosul, gradually replacing local handwoven fabrics. Since World War II synthetic fabrics have begun to replace natural ones in the markets.
Traditionally women made the clothing for themselves and their families. With the introduction of the sewing machine, however, male tailors took over this work.
Dress. The women’s costume in Iraqi Kurdistan (Figure 65) was composed of four principal parts, which were generally uniform throughout the region, whereas such accessories as handkerchiefs, belts, and jackets differed according to district. The principal garments included, first, a long, wide underdress (sudra) with long sleeves flaring to a large triangle at each wrist. These triangles were folded and tied together behind the neck. A similar dress was found in Syria. Because of its fullness, this dress is suited to a woman’s needs at every stage in her lifetime. Second was a short, close-fitting sleeveless waistcoat (helake). Over it a long, narrow coat (kurtak) with narrow sleeves was worn open in front. This outfit was completed by a pair of wide, long trousers worn under the dress. Similar components are known from a wide geographical area, ranging from Central Asia throughout Persia, Turkey, and the Middle East. Bright colors, especially violet and green, were preferred by young women, but older women wore black. On their heads women wore scarves tied in various ways, with pendant tassels.
In Persian Kurdistan the typical Jewish women’s dress was fitted at the waist, in contrast to the normal bell-shaped style worn by Kurdish women (see xvi, above). The skirt was gathered, the bodice open in front with lapels and buttons, and the sleeves long and narrow. The fabric was cotton or silk, and the most characteristic color violet. The very wide trousers (šarwāla) were visible below the skirt hem. Over the dress a short velvet jacket striped with many colors was worn, along with a wide girdle of cotton or silk. In the southern part of the region older Jewish women still wore the traditional costume: dresses in dark colors without embroidery and square black cloaks over their shoulders. They also wore two kerchiefs, one with the ends tied behind and the second knotted round the forehead. In the northern area, on the other hand, it was customary to wear a sort of crown embroidered in gold thread, over which a transparent kerchief was draped to the shoulders and fastened under the chin with a metal brooch.
In Iraqi Kurdistan men wore a type of suit (šalla šappikta) consisting of two parts: a short jacket and wide trousers in the natural white, black, and brown colors of the wool (Figure 66). The same clothes were worn summer and winter, but in cold regions woolen mantles (ʿabayye) were added. Like the women men kept their heads covered, wearing caps around which scarves were wrapped as turbans. In town leather shoes were worn, but in the villages, if shoes were worn at all, they were homemade, with soles constructed from several layers of cloth and knitted or fabric uppers.
In Persian Kurdistan most Jewish men wore wide trousers only at home. A common type of belt was made of material woven in several colors 6 m long, which was wrapped repeatedly around the waist and interlaced in front. Outside the home the accepted costume was a suit of modern Western cut.
N. Hyde, “Silk—The Queen of Textiles,” The National Geographic, January 1984, pp. 3-48.
O. Shwartz-Beeri, Yehudei Kurdistan, orah hayim, masoret veomanut (The Jews of Kurdistan, daily life, customs, arts, and crafts), Jerusalem, 1982.
CLOTHING xviii. Clothing of the Baluch in Persia
1. Traditional Baluch embroidered dress
The area traditionally known as Baluchistan comprises the large southeastern portion of the Persian plateau and portions of southwestern Afghanistan and western Pakistan. The Persian province of Baluchistan is inhabited mainly by nomads and a settled rural population. This region is particularly noted for a distinctive type of richly embroidered women’s costume, which is still commonly worn in the villages. The embroidery, traditionally produced in cottage industries, is even now, despite inevitable changes, particularly in the color combinations of the needlework, one of the popular handicrafts for which an active market exists.
The basic garments are variations of the traditional and tribal costume characteristic of Persia as a whole: a long, loose robe with a round neckline, a slit down the center of the bodice, and long, wide sleeves tapering toward the wrists (plate cxliii), worn over a chemise and wide trousers narrowing at the ankles and with a drawstring at the waist. The fabric used today is synthetic. The material maybe plain or printed with an all-over design. Either black or solid bright colors, predominantly red, plum, and orange, provide fitting backgrounds to set off the very fine and colorful embroidery. As the available fabric comes in narrow widths, numerous seams cunningly fitted together are necessary for the wide chemise. Occasionally, the dress is made up of wide satin pieces in a variety of colors patched together in orderly stripes. The costume is completed with a long, rectangular headscarf of transparent fabric, usually black, colorfully embroidered all around.
Baluch embroidery is worked on a base fabric of loosely woven cotton in panels, which facilitates detailed needlework. The embroidered panels are sewn onto the dress, covering the wide, square bodice entirely (zī; plate cxliv); the long rectangular panel down the center front of the skirt (jīb) comes to a point at the top, where it touches the bodice. The cuffs of the trousers and sleeves in particular are also provided with wide bands of embroidery. Nowadays, however, the trouser cuffs are generally embroidered with a simple machine-made motif. The vertical seams of the robes can be ornamented with either narrow bands of machine-made motifs or gilt edging, and an unusual feature is a square patch of embroidery appliquéd on the back of the shoulders. The borders of the neckline, cuffs, and bodice closing are neatly finished in a distinctive fashion. In some areas of Baluchistan mirror work is also incorporated into the embroidery, anchored by buttonhole stitching; alternatively sequins are scattered over the embroidery, a type of ornamentation favored in Pakistani Baluchistan (see xix, below).
Embroidery is worked in strictly compartmentalized repeat geometric and angular designs; stylistic differences in the patterns and colors reflect different geographical areas within the province. The motifs may be stylized versions of flowers and plant forms.
The colorful and opulent ornamentation of Baluch dress may be a response to the harsh environment. Traditionally embroidery was worked in lustrous mercerized cotton thread, in a rich range of orange, red, and plum shades, crisply set off with touches of dark green, maroon, royal blue, and black and flecks of white; now it has generally been replaced by nylon thread. The embroidery itself is very fine, intricate and detailed. The stitches consist of large double back stitches (ṣarrāfī-dūzī), double braid stitches forming ridges, eyelet-hole stitches, running stitches, buttonhole stitches, ladder stitches, satin stitches sometimes forming a chevron design (ẓarīf-dūzī), fine interlacing stitches (perīvār-dūzī), and small blocks of satin stitches forming geometric shapes (balūčī-dūzī).
It is relevant to add a word about the traditional jewelry invariably worn by Baluch women with their embroidered costume. The wrists are ornamented with pairs of wide silver bracelets with raised designs. There may also be a choker of semiglobular gold roundels with granulations, topped with alternating red and turquoise stones and surrounded by a double border of plastic gold beads, the whole composition sewn on a band of black material. A profusion of different silver rings worn on the fingers and in the nostrils completes their adornment.
In contrast to the women, men traditionally wear sober white clothing consisting of long, very loose shirts over extremely full trousers (approximately 2.2 m wide), which fall between the legs in folds and taper only at the ankles. The headdress is a white turban with protruding ends.
This article is based on personal observations. See also I. A. Firouz, “Needlework,” in J. Gluck and S. Gluck, eds., A Survey of Persian Handicraft, Tehran, 1977, pp. 256-58.
Idem, “Countering the Anonymity of Daily Routine. Embroidery in Iran,” Asian Culture 34, 1983, p. 22.
2. Baluch clothing and embroidery today
Today the Baluch, while maintaining their traditional styles of clothing, work with an expanded palette of colorfully patterned commercial fabrics and threads. Local demand is increasingly satisfied by machine embroideries produced by men, who have introduced intricate stitches and new motifs. The increasing demand among urban and foreign connoisseurs for hand embroideries, which take months to produce, has led women to specialize in this work for the marketplace
Traditional men’s costume. The traditional costume worn by Baluch men is usually of white, cream, khaki, or light-gray cotton. The trousers are extremely wide, hanging in folds between the legs (plate cxlv). They are drawn in to a waistband and are tapered at the ankles. A loose shirt reaches to the knees or even lower and is worn over trousers. The older style has a round neckline with a buttoned opening on one shoulder. The more modern neckline has a collar and a buttoned opening down the front to the waist. Until the 1920s men in colder regions used to wear fully embroidered jackets over this basic costume. The material, woven by the men themselves, was of lamb’s wool or goat hair and was at most 40 cm wide. The women sewed these pieces into jackets, which they then embroidered with traditional motifs and colors. The headgear of men consists of a piece of cloth wrapped as a turban, which is gradually becoming less popular.
Traditional women’s dress. The women wear a straight, loose robe of cotton or light wool, extending to mid-calf. The simple round neckline is slit to the breastbone in front. Sleeves are long and loose and slightly tapered at the wrist. This robe is worn over loose-fitting trousers of a different color; the trousers are gathered at the waist with a drawstring and tapered at the ankles (plate cxlvi).
The most striking feature of the women’s costume is the hand embroidery covering the front of the dress and the cuffs of the sleeves and trousers. These embroidered pieces are prepared separately and later sewn onto the dresses. The piece for the front of the bodice (zī) is square and extends across the entire front from shoulders to waist. Another rectangular piece (koptān) extends from the waist to the hem of the dress and comes to a point at the top; the sides of this piece are left unstitched for approximately 30 cm, so that it can function as a large pocket. Two trapezoidal pieces 25 cm wide and 45 cm long are stitched onto the sleeves as cuffs, and two similar but slightly smaller pieces decorate the trouser hems.
A century ago silk thread was used for this fine needlework; the women raised the silkworms themselves; made the thread locally, then dyed it with vegetable dyes. Within the past century, however, cotton thread has been imported for this purpose, at first mostly from neighboring provinces of India and subsequently from Pakistan. The traditional colors used in the needlework were limited to six, the most important of which were two shades of red (a dark crimson and a lighter vermilion or orange); black and white were used to a lesser degree, with a few specks of green and blue. The material for these embroidered pieces was of a simple weave with clearly visible warp and weft threads, usually in a dark color.
The traditional embroidery technique remains the same. Initially the outline of each motif is sewn onto the back side of the material, a process called sīahkār. The outlines are then filled in with the various colors, each of which has its specific place in the design. The whole piece is worked from the back side, an arduous and lengthy process. When it is completed, the embroidery completely covers the base material (plate cxlvii).
There are approximately fifty to seventy motifs in Baluch embroidery (čakan-e balūčī), each with its own name, though the names may differ slightly in different regions and simpler versions are identified by the names of the localities where they are made. In Persia this type of embroidery is practiced only by Baluch women and is still very much alive among the settled populations in Persian Baluchistan, especially in the villages of the central region and in the Āhorrān mountains. Within the last thirty years innovative techniques and about 390 new colors have been introduced.
Until recently women’s headgear consisted simply of a rectangular piece of thin material (sarūk), embroidered on the edges with a simple pattern, which fell to a point just above the knees in back. Since the Revolution of 1358 Š./1979 women have been forced by the government to wear the čādor, which covers their beautiful embroidered clothing entirely. Although economic conditions in Baluchistan are harsh, jewelry is accumulated by a woman and her family as a form of displayable wealth. Most pieces are crudely fashioned of silver, though gold is worn by those who can afford it. They are usually decorated with semiprecious stones, glass, or even plastic imitations. The jewelry, which resembles that of the Turkmen and the women of Pakistan, includes headbands, chokers, necklaces, bracelets, earrings of various types, and nose ornaments.
[The author of this article first became interested in the textile arts of Baluchistan in 1960, and subsequently, in the course of numerous trips to that province, she acquainted herself with the traditional embroidery of Baluch women. She became a champion of this art, striving to make it better known outside Baluchistan. She also perceived areas in which the embroideries could be made more appealing, in terms of the variety of colors, designs, and materials. With her assistance, many Baluch women were able to find new outlets for their work in Tehran and abroad.]
CLOTHING xix. Clothing of the Baluch in Pakistan and Afghanistan
In contrast to the stark landscape of much of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the clothing of the Baluch is distinguished by colorful embroidery patterns that serve as ethnic markers, helping to differentiate Baluch from Pashtuns (Pathans), Punjabis, Sindhis, and other ethnic groups in these highly pluralistic areas (see xviii, above). The garb of the Brahui, another ethnic group of central Baluchistan, is almost indistinguishable from that of the Baluch, their close neighbors. Although linguistically quite distinct—Brahui is a Dravidian language and Baluchi (see baluchistan iii. baluchi language and literature) Iranian—in recent years the two groups have joined politically, economically, and in other ways, in order to compete more successfully with the numerically dominant Pashtuns of northern Pakistani Baluchistan and southern Afghanistan.
Baluch apparel, which is loose-fitting and made of many meters of lightweight material, is well suited to the harsh and dusty desert and mountain environments that the Baluch inhabit. The emphasis here is primarily on the garb of the Pakistani Baluch, who live in the province of Baluchistan (now officially Balochistan) in western Pakistan, and, to a lesser extent, of the Afghan Baluch, who are found in the extreme southwestern section of Afghanistan. Among the major tribal groupings in Pakistan are the Rend, Raḵšānī, Marri-Bugti (Marī-Bogṭī), Mangal (Mengal), Lashari (Lāšārī), and Ghitchki (Gīčkī); in Afghanistan such groups as Madatkhan (Madadḵān), Mashkel (Maškēl), Shorawak (Šōrāwak), Adraskhan (Adrasḵān), and Mushwari (Mūšwārī) are found. All these tribes have a nomadic history, and today a large proportion persist in a transhumant life-style; the majority of the Baluch are, however, agriculturalists or town dwellers.
There is some variation in apparel among tribes, especially in specific embroidery designs and in the terminology applied to garments and embroidery patterns. Geographic nuances are also apparent: The northern tribes in both Pakistan and Afghanistan wear heavier clothing as protection in the colder climate. Despite these differences, however, there is a basic style of clothing that can be identified as that of present-day Baluch (Figure 67). Only a few decades ago the shirts or dresses (pašk) were considerably fuller and reached to the ankles; the loose trousers, or pajamas (pādak), were also longer; and men’s hair was not cut (Janmahmad, p. 53). This version can still be seen in Afghanistan and in isolated rural regions of Pakistani Baluchistan, especially among the Marri-Bugti; nevertheless, owing to increasing contact with urban centers and subsequent sedentarization, these traditional styles are undergoing change. At the same time, however, both political and economic competition among various ethnic groups in the region is growing more intense, and identification with one’s tribal group can be most clearly expressed through traditional dress.
Embroidery designs and techniques. Most characteristic of Baluch costume is embroidery of a beauty and intricacy that contrast strongly with the simplicity of the remainder of Baluch material culture (Konieczny, p. 11). The designs, of which there are many, are composed primarily of geometric shapes suggestive of flowers and leaves arranged in symmetrical patterns. Women’s dresses and men’s hats provide the best examples of such careful handwork; the colors of both textiles and embroideries are vibrant, with shocking pink and parrot green among the most popular for both female and male. Certain specific embroidery patterns are very common in Pakistan: hapt-rang (seven colors; Figure 68a), kōṭrō (bungalow; Figure 68b), mīṛčūk (pepper; Figure 68c), and ḵām-kār/zūrattō (raw work; Figure 68d). Use of a single pattern is most common, though sometimes more than one are combined on a single garment. One of the most popular embroidery compositions is the “frame design” (Azadi and Besim, p. 63), in which medallions, or flowers (pūll), of complex shape—some complete (ṭīk) and others truncated (kapp)—fill an assigned rectangular space of field and borders (Figure 68a, d-e). Similar frame designs are also quite common on Baluch flat-weave and pile rugs (see baluchistan v. baluch carpets), as well as on classic Turkman rugs from farther north in Afghanistan.
Figure 68. Patterns embroidered in cotton thread on Baluch women’s dresses. a. Hapt-rang, blue, pink, green, yellow, red, black, and white with šīša work, part of a frame design on turquoise silk, Quetta, northern Baluchistan, Pakistan, b. Kōṭrō, blue, green. red, purple, white, and black on dark-green cotton, Mastung, northern Baluchistan, Pakistan, c. Mīrčūk, black on pink and white printed rayon, Sibi, central Baluchistan, Pakistan, d. Ḵām-kārizūrattō with kōṭrō edging, part of a frame design in blue, pink, green, yellow, red, black, and white on beige rayon, Quetta. e. Marri-Bugti pattern, part of a frame design in blue, green, orange, and purple on white cotton, eastern Baluchistan, Pakistan, f. Madadkān, yellow, red, green, purple, orange, black, and white and šīša work on red silk, southwestem Afghanistan. Drawings P. Hunte.
In some pieces of embroidery only cotton thread in a multitude of colors is used, whereas in others small circular mirrors (šīša) are also incorporated into the designs (Figure 68a, f). Among the Baluch such work is part of an ancient tradition, in which small pieces of mica were used before thin mirror glass became available. Intricate mirror work is also common in neighboring Sind province in Pakistan and the adjacent region of Rajasthan. The designs of the Marri-Bugti tribes (Figure 68e), an isolated population in the eastern portion of the province (Yacopino, p. 32), are generally considered the most detailed of Baluch embroidery designs. The Afghan Baluch use bolder and heavier patterns than those of Pakistan (Figure 68f), reflecting in both colors and stitches the influence of their more numerous and powerful Pashtun neighbors; indeed, Baluch garb is often influenced by that of neighboring groups, especially in the south, where designs from nearby Sind are incorporated (Janmahmad, p. 54).
Most Baluch women know how to embroider, but some are more skilled than others or take more interest in such work. They do not use charts or diagrams but instead create extremely complex designs from memory, often with assistance and suggestions from family members or neighbors. Many women set aside a few hours after completing their daily household tasks for embroidery work in the afternoons, either alone or in groups. Straight needles and commercial thread produced in Pakistan are most commonly used, though hooked needles are required for some patterns. The ground cloth may be of a solid color or a print; some of the cloth is produced in Pakistan, but some is imported from Japan and other countries. Once the embroidery is finished, the garment is assembled by a local tailor or by the woman herself if she is fortunate enough to own a sewing machine. Making clothing fulfills important family needs, but it also provides much enjoyment and recreation for women, who take great pride in their handiwork and consider it the essence of being Baluch. Most women labor for years embroidering fine works of art for their daughters’ dowries (j[ah]āz, dāj). Little girls begin to learn basic stitches and patterns at about the age of six or seven years. Extremely skilled embroiderers, or those who are quite poor, may also sell their work to other community members. The prices for their work vary considerably (e.g., $1-$75), depending on the difficulty of the pattern and other factors. Money earned from such transactions usually remains part of a woman’s own budget and is used for household expenses or for her children (Hunte and Sultana).
Women’s clothing. An outfit covered with detailed embroidery is everyday attire for the Baluch woman (Figure 67). She usually possesses at least two sets of matching dress and pajamas, which are worn until they are threadbare. The back of the Afghan Baluch dress often consists of a large square of cheap unembroidered cotton, which can be replaced when worn out without sacrificing the embroidery on the front of the dress. The woman may make a special costume for weddings, which, with the passage of time, becomes her everyday work dress. The embroidered pieces of the dress usually include a fully embroidered bodice (jīg/jēg) containing a central patterned strip (tōī), embroidered sleeves (bānzārī), and a large pocket (las, paddō/pandōl), stitched to the skirt of the dress, extending from waist to hem in front. This pocket is the major ethnic marker of Baluch female garb, a handy receptacle for the nomadic woman and more recently for the sedentary town dweller as well. It usually holds embroidery thread, small change, snuff (nāswār), medicines, and the like. The skirt is gathered at the waist on each side.
In accordance with the basic tenets of Islam, women must keep their heads covered; a Baluch woman wears a large scarf (čādar, sarēg), usually of light flower-printed cotton. Probably as a result of their nomadic history, strict veiling (parda) is not as common among the Baluch as among the Pashtuns, but most Baluch women do draw the corners of their scarves across their faces when unknown adult males are near. Most Baluch women today wear bright plastic sandals imported from Persia and sold at any town or city bāzār in Pakistan. Only a few decades ago, however, females wore the same shoes of heavy leather and old car tires or, in the hotter southern areas, of date-palm leaves that men wear (see below).
The Baluch woman’s everyday garb is completed by jewelry, which serves as an indicator of economic standing. Most characteristic and most impressive are earrings, which typically consist of thirteen or fourteen small rings inserted along the rim of each ear from the top of the ear to the bottom of the lobe (kārī). The weight of these rings causes the upper flap of the ear to fall forward, which is considered a sign of beauty. The earrings are most often of silver, though base metal and gold are also used; they are produced by Baluch silversmiths (zargar). A female baby’s ears are usually pierced for such a series of small earrings shortly after birth. After marriage a woman may add huge earrings made of thick pieces of gold (tong), which are gifts from her husband. In addition, nose rings (būl) and nose pins (pūllī “flowers”) are very popular, as are heavy necklaces (tawk) and bracelets (dastē kangar). These pieces are usually made of metal, which is commonly believed to be a “strong” substance, helpful in counteracting evil spirits (jenn). In addition, all females braid their long hair and tie the bottom of each braid with a single multicolored tassel (sāgī) made of hundreds of small glass beads and yarn pompons.
Men’s clothing. Although less colorful than women’s attire, men’s clothing is also characterized by special features that immediately identify the wearer as Baluch. Most important is the cap (tōpī), which has a characteristic blocked shape with a scalloped cutout in the front for ventilation (Figure 67). Women embroider these caps for their husbands and sons, using bright pink, orange, or red thread and gold or silver filament; in addition, a number of small, glittering pieces of mirror are incorporated into the intricate designs. Boys and young men wear only these caps, whereas older men add huge white turbans (pāg), each of light cotton cloth many meters long. The specific method of wrapping these turbans further serves to distinguish one tribe from another.
In addition to the loose shirt and pajamas men wear a tight-fitting vest (giḍḍī, jēkaṭ) embroidered on the edges of the front and pockets, usually in the ḵām-kār/zūrattō pattern (Figure 68d). The work is normally done by hand, though the dark-blue, brown, or black Marri-Bugti vest is machine-embroidered all over in floral and vine patterns. Historically only a white shirt and pajamas were worn, but today these garments are indistinguishable in color and cut from those worn by the Pashtuns, usually of such muted solid colors as beige, white, or gray, with which the colorful embroidered vest makes a striking contrast. Young men may wear bright blue or green garments, however.
Perhaps the best-known type of Baluch footwear is the heavy sandals (čabbaw) produced by men in hundreds of small shops throughout Baluchistan; the tops are of heavy leather and the soles cut from old automobile tires, which are excellent for walking on rough desert or mountain terrain and are comfortable in town as well. There are a score of different arrangements of straps and braids associated with various regions. In the hot south traditional footwear made from palm fronds is still to be seen, though it is no longer common.
Children’s clothing. From birth to the age of six months infants are tightly swaddled in large pieces of cloth (bandūmī/bandōk) tied with colorful woven rope (čeṭṭ) that women make by hand. Attached to the end of the rope and serving as a fastener is a huge stuffed triangle colorfully embroidered in the ḵām-kār (Figure 68d) or another pattern. Swaddling is said to prevent the infant from crying and also to keep him or her warm. The infant’s head is covered with a multicolored bonnet edged with brilliant embroidery. Toddlers of both sexes are allowed to wander near home wearing frocks without pajamas. According to legend, boys cannot be killed in tribal feuding before they have begun to wear trousers, which is usually at the age of three or four years (Baluch, 1977).
The clothing of older children is simply a miniature version of adult garb. For example, as soon as a little girl is six months old she is fitted with a small frock covered with heavy embroidery and with a large front pocket. Small boys wear heavy sandals in styles similar to those of their fathers. Amulets (taʿwīḏ) are commonly worn by all infants and children, who are thus protected from evil spirits; the amulets may be small leather packets holding extracts from the Koran and strings of turquoise beads, fish bones, and the like worn round the neck.
S. Azadi and A. Besim, Teppiche in der Belutsch-Tradition/Carpets in the Baluch Tradition, Munich, 1986.
M. S. K. Baluch, A Literary History of the Baluchis, Quetta, 1977.
P. Hunte and F. Sultana, Women’s Income Generating Activities in Rural Baluchistan, Quetta, 1984.
A. Jamāldīnī, “Baločī doč”/“Balochi Embroidery,” in J. Elfenbein, An Anthology of Classical and Modern Balochi Literature I. Anthology, Wiesbaden, 1990, pp. 410-19.
Jānmahmad, The Baloch Cultural Heritage, Karachi, 1982.
M. G. Konieczny, Textiles of Baluchistan, London, 1979.
F. Yacopino, Threadlines Pakistan, Islamabad, 1977.
CLOTHING xx. Clothing of Khorasan
Owing to different climatic regions and the existence of various tribes in Khorasan, the province is distinguished by a broad variety of clothing styles, recognizable in design, color, and decoration. Although at present traditional and local dress has largely been supplanted by modern, Western-influenced styles, particularly in the cities and neighboring villages, in the recent past, and even now in the more remote villages, it has been possible to record the older traditions. In different parts of the province both clothing and the related terminology (see xxviii, below) are influenced by those of neighboring areas and populations. In northern Khorasan, for example, the influence of the Turkmen on the clothing of other ethnic groups is clear (Lukasheva, pp. 42-43, 64-77; see xxvi, below).
The Kurds. The Kurds of Khorasan, known as Kormānj, live in the northern part of the province (see “Ālbom-e Kormānjī” in Tawaḥḥodī, III, pp. 456-64). The typical male costume includes one of several types of headgear: a tasseled black cap, around which a shawl is wrapped; a hood woven of black lamb’s wool (Figure 69), which covers the head from above the eyebrows to the neck; a traveling hood, which covers the face, with an opening for the eyes; and an expensive hat made of lambskin. The traditional man’s shirt is of red or white silk, without a collar and with either a front opening or a slit on the shoulder, fastened with buttons and loops. Over it a jacket (nīvtana, panjak) is worn. The full trousers, of calico or other cotton, are constructed with a gusset. The ankle-length overcoat (čoḵ) is made of brown or black lamb’s wool, with a wide collar and an opening in front. On their feet men wear woolen stockings and wrap their ankles and calves with bands (patāva) 1.5-2 m long and 20 cm wide. The finer shoes (čāroḵ) are made of good red leather, fastened with laces and decorated with tassels. Ordinary shoes (čāroḵ-e ḵām) are made of untreated skins from the heads of cows.
Among women four tribal groups can be distinguished by their clothing. First are the border Kurds, especially those in Čenārān, Daragaz, and north of Qūčān, Šīrvān, and Bojnord as far as the Russian border. Women of this group wrap a large scarf (čārqad, gavn, šār[l]) around their heads, with one end brought across to cover the mouth and the other trailing down the back to the ankles. A colorful silk kerchief with coins sewn to the edges is tied around the head over this scarf. The traditional dress, of red silk patterned with other colors, closes with three buttons on the chest; the skirt is slit at the sides for ease of movement, and the long sleeves are trimmed with braid at the cuffs. At home a woman wears a pair of full trousers, similar to those worn by men, often taking as much as 12 m of coarse blue calico. When she goes out she dons over these trousers a second, longer pair, in a floral print, so full as to resemble a skirt, the hem trimmed with a kind of lace called medāḵel or jak. A simple velvet or felt jacket with inset sleeves (yal), most commonly in blue, red, or black, is normally worn over the dress. A more decorative type (kollaja, kolla) is covered in front from neck to waist with coins, sequins, and silver ornaments. Over the jacket women wear a jelesqa, cut like the yal but sleeveless and worn open in front. Knitted stockings of soft white wool dyed different colors are somewhat longer than those worn by men. Women’s shoes (čāroḵ) are made of single pieces of red calfskin turned up at the toes and decorated with silk tassels and a buckle on top. In the house women wear a kind of slipper called komoḵt.
The Qaramānī Kurds live south of Qūčān between the foothills of the Šāh Jahān, Bīnālū, and Alādāḡ mountains and the region of Esfarāyen and Sabzavār. The women’s clothing differs from that of the border tribeswomen mainly in the trousers: Instead of the inner pair they wear shorter drawers (tonoka), and the floral outer trousers extend only to below the knee. The dresses are generally embroidered. The kerchief (šāmī) tied over the čārqad is black.
The third group, the Kurds of the plain, live around Qūčān, in Fārūj, and south of Šīrvān. This group is particularly poverty-stricken, and the clothing is thus simple in both material and workmanship. Beneath a single pair of trousers, which are very full, like a skirt, and do not reach the knees, women wear shorter black or blue drawers (darpa), narrow at the hems (Figure 70).
Lāyenī Kurdish women wear two large scarves, a red one over a black one, the ends trailing to the feet in back. Over them a wide, silver-studded ribbon called a rūsar is tied around the head and under the chin. The traditional Lāyenī kollaja has wide sleeves and is made of silk, with coins sewn on the front. The dress, also of silk, is longer than that of other Kormānj women, and instead of the yal they wear a shorter, undecorated jacket (nīvtana) of felt or velvet. The trousers are similar to those of border Kurdish women.
Daragaz. The city of Daragaz is located northeast of Qūčān near the borders of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Typical headgear for men of Daragaz is an ovoid lambskin hat (šopūrma, borūk). Another type is of black cloth or velvet (qazzāqī, būḵārāʾī) with decorations of black or brown lambskin on the rim. Men may also tie a wide white, yellow, or green (for sayyeds, descendants of the Prophet Moḥammad) shawl around a skullcap. The typical men’s jacket (don) is also wrapped with a shawl, over which a long, full coat is worn. The loose trousers are made of black twill or blue cotton. Leather shoes are worn or more often sandals (čāroq) made from single pieces of red leather folded and laced together by leather thongs, which are tied around the ankles; the latter are more suitable for agricultural work and herding. The outfit is completed by leggings (pālīk) and a long, heavy cloak (čūḵā) of coarse wool or goat hair worn over the shoulders.
The traditional garb for women of Daragaz is a knee-length dress (kovnak), the hem and collar decorated with black or red ribbon and coins. Over it they wear a jacket (yal, kūlaja) and under it pleated ankle-length trousers or underskirts (šalīta) of floral chintz, calico, or other cotton fabric. The scarf (yāleq, bāšloq) or shawl is of floral-patterned cloth. A black silk kerchief (yāšmāq) is tied around the head under the chin, with its point trailing in back. The tanned rawhide shoes have turned-up toes, and the tops are embroidered with red, yellow, black, and green silk thread. Stockings are made of floral-printed wool or cotton. When going out women wear over the entire outfit a long čādor of black chintz or homespun cloth patterned with small blue checks.
Torbat-e Jām and Tāybād. In this area clothing more closely resembles that of adjacent Afghanistan (see xiii, xiv, above). In particular, the shirt worn by men is extremely full, requiring about 5 m of fabric, usually white or blue, and reaches to the knees, with two side slits. One type (čeltelīz) is fitted through the torso with flaring pleats (telīza, parak) at the bottom on the back and sides. The collar is also pleated. The shirt buttons over the chest, and the buttoned cuffs are decorated with telīza and embroidery. This version is worn by older men, whereas younger men wear unpleated shirts. Trousers, wide at the top and tapering toward the ankles, where they end in embroidered cuffs, require 6-7 m of material. They are gathered at the waist on a spun-cotton drawstring (līfand). Velvet caps (qors) are decorated with embroidery and mirror work; felt caps are also worn. Over the cap men wrap a shawl (langūta) 7-10 m long with tassels. Shoes were formerly made from single pieces of sheepskin or cowhide, but subsequently rubber was adopted for the soles, and nowadays Western-style leather shoes are worn.
On their heads the women of this region wear a shawl, sometimes fringed, under a diagonally folded black kerchief with red and green borders, which in turn is topped by a small cloth cap (sarrīza) with a string of silver coins and sequins tied around it. Their dresses somewhat resemble men’s shirts, fitted to the waist and worn over trousers or skirts. The bodice is decorated with embroidery or sequins, and the sleeves are wrist-length with buttons. The trousers are similar to those of the men, with cuffs embroidered and decorated with sequins and gold thread. Heavily pleated ankle-length skirts, each requiring about 20 m of cloth, are also gathered on drawstrings at the waist. The lower part of each skirt is ornamented with bands of ribbon.
Sabzavār. In the part of Khorasan bordering on Semnān men wear simple, often cotton shirts with round collars under black sleeveless V-necked vests. Their trousers (tembū) are full, tapering toward the ankles. In winter they don cloaks of heavy cotton or other materials, slit at the sides and under the arms for freedom of movement. They wrap shawls (mendīl) around their waists over the cloaks and often also around their heads. Traditional shoes (čāroq) made from single pieces of leather are expensive and thus have been largely supplanted by handwoven cotton slippers (gīva) and rubber shoes. Farmers and herdsmen wear felt caps and in cold weather bulky felt mantles (kapank), with sleeves cut straight at the shoulders. They wrap their ankles with woolen strips (peytava) 1 m long and 10 cm wide.
Women wear scarves of cotton cloth, sometimes fringed, over which they wrap a small black silk kerchief (sīā-dīsmāl), with two corners tied at the forehead. One type of čādor (čeršaw) is made of blue checked material; the other has a border around its semicircular hem. The center of the straight edge is placed over the head. The simple knee-length dress has long sleeves and is slit at the sides. The collar is round with a buttoned opening over the chest, and the trousers like those worn by men. In warm weather a sleeveless vest (jalīzqa) is worn over the dress; when it is cooler a version with sleeves, embroidered with silk thread at the wrists and hem, is worn instead. Younger women wear red vests, whereas older women wear black ones with V-necks. The jacket (yal) is often made of velvet, with two pockets and embroidery at the closing and cuffs. The skirt is constructed of a broad band of cloth fitted to the hips and closing with two buttons in front, which is sewn to a second, heavily pleated piece reaching to the knees; the pleats require about 10 m of fabric. As women grow older they tend to wear their skirts longer. In winter they wear woolen stockings with designs at the ankles and heels and pointed leather shoes with tassels (čoqqī). They also wear rubber overshoes (gāleš).
Central and southern Khorasan
Dress for both men and women is similar to that of Sabzavār, with variations. In Gonābād, for example, men wear a felt cap sometimes wrapped with a white shawl. The shirt is loose and reaches almost to the knees; instead of a collar it has buttoned openings on the shoulders. Trousers (tonbān) are made of about 5 m of locally produced blue cotton and are gathered at the waist on a drawstring. The standard outer garment is a loose cloak slit on both sides. Women wear filmy scarves of locally produced materials (yak-naḵī). Their everyday dresses are usually short and worn over long, full trousers (qadak). At feasts and celebrations, however, women wear tight trousers (neẓāmī), colorful short printed dresses decorated with sequins, and brightly colored short, pleated skirts (šalīta). The čādor, known as afendī, is typically made from cotton fabric.
In Bīrjand, at the southern tip of Khorasan, men wear skullcaps or felt caps around which white, yellow, or black shawls (lambūta) are wrapped; the shawls are tied under the chin and on top of the head. A long, loose shirt is worn under a vest (jelesqa) and over the vest a collarless coat. Trousers for men and women are the same. Stockings (jorow) are made of wool in different colors, and the calves are wrapped with strips as elsewhere in this part of the province. A piece of cloth (močpīč) is worn at the wrists for work. Shoes are of leather or rubber, the latter known as čaplīt or čappat. Shoes with wooden soles (katrāk) are worn in the fields. Women knot scarves under the chin or fasten them with pins under a silk kerchief. Their dresses, of plain, dyed cotton, reach to just above the knees and are worn over skirts so long that they sometimes trail on the ground. At weddings and other festive occasions they wear shoes called orsī.
For clothing of the Turkmen of Khorasan, see xxvi, below.
Based on personal observation and interviews. B. R. Lukasheva, Torkamānhā-ye Īrān, tr. S. Īzadī and Ḥ. Tāḥwīlī, Tehran, 1359 Š./1980.
S. ʿA. Mīrnīā, Īlāt wa tawāyef-e Daragaz, Mašhad, 1362 Š./1983.
R.-ʿA. Šākerī, Atrāk-nāma. Tārīḵ-e jāmeʿ-e Qūčān, Tehran, 1365 Š./1986.
E. Šakūrzāda, ʿAqāyed wa rosūm-e ʿāmma-ye mardom-e Ḵorāsān, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1365 Š./1986.
K.-A. Tawaḥḥodī, Ḥarakat-e tārīḵī-e Kord ba Ḵorāsān, 10 vols., Mašhad, 1364 Š./1985.
J. Żīāʾpūr, Pūšāk-e Īrānīān az čahārdah qarn-e pīš, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967.
CLOTHING xxi. Turkic and Kurdish clothing of Azerbaijan
In Azerbaijan as a whole, including both Persian and Soviet territories, the traditional costume, now worn largely in a tribal context, retains the form of garments much as they were at the end of the 19th century; it is maintained primarily by women, and it is only among Kurdish, rather than Turkic, men that elements have survived the reforms of Reżā Shah (see xi, above) in everyday wear.
The Azeris. The Turkic dress of Azerbaijan has much in common with clothing in the Caucasus. That of women is based on a full-sleeved shirt (könyäk) with straight-cut shoulders and a breast opening fastened with a clasp, worn over a full lower garment reaching the ground; this consists either of very wide cotton drawers (tuman, jüt-tuman) of six layers of cloth, cut as a skirt divided by a gusset and gathered with a drawstring, or of much narrower drawers (darbalaq), also cut straight. Undergarments are thus called tuman-köynäk. Over these drawers are worn one or more full skirts (tuman), of equal length and cut; there might be four or five underskirts (ara tumanı), each of ten to twelve widths of material. In the Nakhichevan (Naḵjavān)-Ordūbād region skirts are only calf length. Normal clothing is completed by a jacket, again cut with straight seams at the shoulders. The čäpkän, lined throughout, is close-fitting to the waist, where there is a rounded projection (čapıq) over each hip, forming a vent down to the hem some 20 cm below the waist; the sleeves, attached only to the upper parts of the armholes, hang behind the arms as loose flaps to the wrists (sometimes with buttons), where they end in spade-shaped extensions (älčäk), as if to cover the hands. The two sides of the čäpkän are cut to converge as a V to the waist. In the arḵalıq, once the most widespread form of jacket (see xxvii, below), there are true sleeves, either cut plain, or plain to the elbow and then slit as far as the wrist, or, in the type called lelüfär (Pers. nīlūfar), flared from the elbow like the bell of a lily and trimmed with an extra 4 cm of lining from the inside. The sides of the jacket are generally cut to form a wide opening over the breast, displaying the shirt, and are then buttoned to the waist, though they sometimes button from the neck down. In most instances the short skirt of the arḵalıq is gathered or pleated, but in some it is plain, with the same rounded projections at the hips. Other types were formerly known as nimtänä, don, and zıvın. All were belted with a frequently elaborate girdle (kämär) of gold, silver gilt, or silver-mounted leather. Occasionally the arḵalıq is cut as a full-length coat. The range of materials used reflects the former wealth of the textile crafts in Azerbaijan, in wool, silk, and cotton. Sometimes jacket and upper skirt would be of matching brocade, and others would contrast. Cut velvet (güllü mäḵmär), gold brocade (zärḵara), and a striped woolen twill cloth (tirmä) were characteristic of the finer garments, all trimmed with decorative braids (bafta) and often with silver or gold lace (zänjirä, šahpäsänd) at the cuffs. Velvet is still popular for jackets, though lurex and other artificial silks have replaced brocades and satins.
True coats reaching to the knee also take several forms. These are little used nowadays. The küläjä, made of twill or velvet, is tailored at the waist, where the flaring skirt is gathered; the straight sleeves are complete but open at the armpits. There are no buttons, but both sides of the straight front opening, the cuffs, and hem are trimmed with gold lace and a deep border of floral embroidery. The katibi corresponds to the čäpkän in having open sleeves with älčäk, but closes above the flared skirt with a button at the waist, and may be trimmed with fur at the collar. Sometimes the čuḵa, a coat with elbow-length sleeves, was worn; the baḵari was similar, but usually shorter, with no buttons, quilted inside, and often trimmed lavishly with gold lace and gilt embroidery. A läbbadä was even shorter, reaching barely below the waist, with the rounded hip projections and side vents, short sleeves, and an open front tied at the waist; it was also quilted inside and richly trimmed. The ešmäk is very similar, but lined with fur, whereas the kürdü, also fur-lined, is simply an open, sleeveless waistcoat. Woolen socks (jorab; Pers. jūrāb) are knitted with a characteristically sharp fold all round the foot, either ankle or calf length, and in a wide variety of colorful motifs. The typical footwear, before the advent of mass-produced shoes, was an open-heeled slipper (bašmaq) with a sole in the shape of a figure 8, the front heavily embroidered or covered with beadwork ending in an upturned curl. Boots (uzun boḡaz čäkmä) had low heels and uppers of tooled leather or embroidered broadcloth. It is the headscarf (kalaḡay, Pers. kalāḡī), made from specially woven silks, that is the most persistent of traditional garments, sometimes worn over a low (6 cm) flat-topped skullcap (araqčın), almost covered with gold embroidery, or alternatively a small bonnet (täsäk). Formerly a tube-like hood (čutqu) could be worn to cover both the head and plaits.
The Šahsevän and Qaradaḡi. Among the Šahsevän (Šāhsevan; plate cxlviii) and Qaradaḡi (Qarādāḡī) tribes of Persia this pattern is varied a little. The köynäk becomes a shift about 150 cm long, of which front and back are in a single 60-cm width, unseamed at the shoulder and flared below the armpit by the insertion of four triangular gussets; a decorative rectangular panel may surround the small upright collar. The lower garments are simply a set of superimposed skirts (tuman), each about 90 cm long and 900 cm in circumference. Ordinary tribeswomen wear three to five of these, and ladies from begs’ families five to seven, with the shift over them; the underskirt is of a soft cotton print, and there is no undergarment. The jacket (kot) is cut with a yoke, lapels, and tailored sleeves and reaches only to the waist, with buttons and two small pockets. The white headcloth (čargat) is held in place by a browband (yaḡlıq), folded diagonally from a silk square and tied at the rear; the right end of the cloth can be brought across the mouth as a yašmaq (veil). This dress was still general in the mid-1970s.
Whereas female costume shows many such local variants, the male dress formerly worn was rather uniform. It went out of use after the reforms of Reżā Shah were enforced. A calico or other cotton shirt (köynäk), with a low, upright collar and straight shoulders, could have the opening at the front, or set to the right side, and buttoned. Trousers of woolen cloth, often homespun šal, were cut relatively wide at the waist and seat and tapered in the legs, with gussets at the crotch and decorative tassels on the drawstring; they were worn over underpants (tuman, dizlik). Socks (jorab) were like those of the women and worn either with moccasins (čarıq) of rawhide, with a network of twisted loops over the foot, or plain, low half-slippers (bašmaq) with strongly upturned toes in towns. Closefitting soft-soled inner shoes (mäst) could be worn to avoid repeatedly washing the feet at prayer times. Over the shirt was a tunic (arḵalıq), with flaring open skirts gathered at the waist, buttoned from throat to waist, with a small upright collar and full-length sleeves tailored at the shoulders, either plain or open underneath at the wrists, and sometimes at the armpits; it might be made from broadcloth (mahud), cashmere, satin, or cotton. The čuḵa, a typically Caucasian garment, was cut from heavier broadcloth, with skirts reaching to the knees; the väznäli čuḵa, with long plain sleeves, had a set of eight cartridge holders on each breast, and the čärkäzi čuḵa had long false sleeves, sometimes with rows of buttons down the openings, and hand flaps. Both normally closed to form a deep V-neck, with a few buttons at the waist only. For winter a simple sheepskin overcoat (kürk), with the long fleece inside, could be worn buttoned to the collar; a variant is the ḵurasan kürkü, embroidered lavishly with patterns in silk. Shepherds may wear a felt cloak (yapınja). The cylindrical black hat of sheepskin, or sometimes astrakhan, called papaq, was worn over a skullcap (araqčın); in the 19th century the hat had the tall Qajar shape (see x, above). Tall embroidered nightcaps (šäbkülah), with four triangular sides, were typical of Azerbaijan. The outer coat was belted with a leather, silver-studded girdle (qayıš), often with pendant straps, or a silver one (kämär), or, in the case of old men, a waistband (quršaq) folded from a strip of material 4-6 m long and wound with a special knot. The use of embroidery extended to such items as watch cases (saat qabı), tobacco pouches (tänbäki kisäsi), pistol holsters (tapanja qabı), bandoliers (patrondaš), and even moustache ties (bıḡ baḡı) for use at night. Otherwise, men wore no ornament other than the belt and a long dagger, or, for the väznäli čuḵa, sets of silver cartridge caps with chains converging to the shoulder.
Women’s jewelry included a wide variety of belts (kämär), of linked plaques with a rosette-shaped buckle, filigree, or flexible silver wire; rings (üzük); necklaces of small pearls; and notably a large ensemble consisting of an elaborate linked gold chain with either a large crescent pendant containing a star or four lateral medallions and a central, pointed pendant. The crescent-and-star was also a favorite motif for earrings (sırḡa). In Qarābāḡ the very low-cut breast opening of the arḵalīq was trimmed with a set of leaf-shaped pendants.
In urban areas women could go out only after covering themselves with a čādor, called a čaršab (Pers. čādor-šab) reaching to the ankles; it was sometimes augmented by a face veil (rubänd) of fine cotton gauze, embroidered, with a “window” of pulled-thread work. The legs were covered with broad silken leggings (čaḵčur), which covered even the feet.
As the upper garments have, since the late 1960s, been gradually replaced by cardigans and raincoats, the headscarf and jewelry have proved the most durable elements, though gathered skirts are still retained in some villages.
Since the early 19th century at least, Kurdish costume has been noted for its vivid colors and sometimes violent contrasts, bearing a generic resemblance to the Azeri costume described above, but with some differences in detail and terminology and some additional elements. It was still quite distinct in the mid-1970s.
The Mīlān. Among the Mīlān (plate cxlix), between Makū and Ḵᵛoy, the women’s shift (kırās, gırās) is cut like that of the Šahsevän, but with the addition of a flounce at ankle level, rows of buttonhole-stitch reinforcement at waist level, where the side gores meet the front and back panels, and underarm gussets; it is made of cotton print or silk brocade. Two or three of these are worn at a time, and the undermost (gırās-i banī) is fitted at the wrists with very long, tapering pendants (elček, kılčık), which are wound around the wrists of the upper coats and then fastened back to a pair of buttons at the root. The wide trousers (darpī, haval kırās) are cut from two layers of cloth, each of two widths, and quilted together, with a separate gusset at the crotch, and gathered at the ankles. The upper garment (der) is a long-sleeved coat, of ankle length, with a very full skirt cut from six widths and gathered in tucks (pur-pur) at the waist; the edges of both sides at the breast are quilted, and the armpits are left open for 5 cm. Up to four or five of these may be worn at once, depending on the season and the means of the wearer; typically they are of velvet (der-i maḵmer), and the uppermost is double-breasted, the others having straight sides left open in front. A waistcoat (eyläk), fitted with two pockets on each side and buttoned or tied at one point in front, is decorated on the breast with coins (parā). A square of brocade (šāl-pišt) is folded diagonally and tied around the waist as a sash, and an apron (mizär) is hung over it with ties knotted in front; nursing women wear an apron with an upper bib tied around the neck. The head is covered with a scarf of hand-printed silk edged with colored tassels, folded to a triangle (desmāl); when the triangle is centered on the brow, the right-hand tail is brought to the left and turned around the left one, and both are then wrapped around the head in opposite directions and tucked in. This scarf may be worn with a cap (kufi). Young girls wear essentially the same clothes but can go bareheaded, their hair in six shoulder-length plaits. Social standing is reflected in the number, quality, and condition of garments. Thus, to give two individual examples, a chief’s wife wore a shift of mauve velvet with green cuffs over one of plum-colored silk, with a bright-blue velvet apron, a black waistcoat with gold trinkets, and a black-and-yellow headscarf, while an ordinary tribeswoman wore a shift of maroon-and-silver lurex over a floral cotton print, with an apple-green apron trimmed in red, a black waistcoat with silver coins, and a plain green headscarf. Both wore large bead necklaces, and the chief’s wife several beaded bracelets and a large jeweled ring. Most younger married women preferred a red headscarf with yellow tassels. The Jalālī costume is similar. Men simply wear a dark Western suit and shirt; status is indicated by a white shirt, waistcoat, and a Western felt hat in place of the local knitted-mohair cap. Most women wear plastic shoes and the more prosperous men leather.
The Zarzā. Farther south, in the region of Ošnūya, Zarzā women wear a shift (kerās) in which the seam between the tight bodice and full pleated skirt occurs well below the waist; it has wide sleeves with very long pendants, which in normal use are knotted behind the shoulder blades, though they are let down for dancing and prayers. The wide trousers (derpe) are caught in with a tie at each ankle. The jacket (alḵāloḡ) has elbow-length sleeves but is left open in front; it is usually of plain velvet. The broad, soft sash (peštpand) is up to 20 m long and wrapped loosely so as to rest on the hips. The cylindrical cap (tās-kolā), of red or plumcolored velvet on a cardboard foundation, is embroidered with counterset triangles. The triangular shawl (dezmāl) placed over this is fringed on the two outer sides that meet below the shoulders; the other two comers are knotted once over the chest, and then thrown back and knotted once more to hang over the first behind the neck. A black scarf (hūrī), with red and white motifs and measuring 3-12 m long by 40 cm wide, is then wound round the cap and shawl together, and trimmed with a black-silk strip with a fringe, held onto the cap with a brooch. The shoes are of the light type known as kāl-e šīrāzī, moccasins with knitted foot coverings attached, also worn by men. The men’s white calico shirt (kerās) is collarless, with a single button for the front opening, and again has long sleeve pendants, which are wound around the coat cuffs. The trousers (pāntor) are very loose at the top, so that the crotch gusset hangs down to mid-thigh, but taper below the knees; they are of home-woven cloth. The rather military coat (kovā) is closed to the neck with two rows of buttons, with two pockets on the breast, tailored sleeves, and skirts to mid-thigh, which are, however, worn inside the trousers; the coat is now being replaced by an ordinary Western-style officer’s coat. A felt waistcoat (pastak) reaches the hips on top of the coat, and this is secured, open, with a sash (peštpand), which, unlike that of the women, is relatively tightly bound at the waist. A headcloth (šaddā), fringed along both edges, is bound around a flat-topped skullcap that is sometimes embroidered with riders and other figures.
Kurds of Mahābād. Among the urban Kurds of Mahābād (see also xvi, above) the ensemble of married women’s costume is similar (plate cl), with shift (kırās), broad trousers (darpe) made from 6 m of material, and a sash (pištend) 8 m long; the shawl (dastmāl) is made up by cutting a 3-m length of chiffon or figured gauze diagonally and resewing it to form the triangle, and the gold-embroidered cap (kılāw) is hung with a gold piece within a ring at each temple, and a chain of smaller pieces reaching from these under the chin, sometimes accompanied by a gold necklace with pendants and elaborate earrings of a doubled fan shape. There is no headscarf, so the cap is exposed. Girls do wear a scarf. A black waistcoat (kavā) may be trimmed with small gold pieces and patterned with sequins, or a plain, open coat with sleeves may be worn. In general older women’s clothes are darker, in, for example, blue velvet and a cotton print with a dark ground; they may also wear a dark floral shawl over the shoulders. Men’s summer dress could be a suit of the traditional striped mohair cloth, still woven in 16-cm widths on a pit-treadle loom, creased in half down its length. This is made up into straight, pajama-like trousers (rānk), with prominent creases, and a V-necked, sleeved jacket (čoḡa) with decorative stitching. In the 1970s, however, the influx of Kurdish refugees from Iraq led to a preference for the pešmerga (freedom fighters) costume of matching jacket (kavā) and trousers (pāntol) in black or brown, similar to the Zarzā suit, worn with a colored sash. The turban (peč) of a fringed dark print is folded diagonally to leave a triangle at the back of the head.
The Harkī. Near the Iraqi border the Harkī use a different terminology. The shift (gerāz), with several rows of embroidery around the neck opening, has sleeve pendants (lavānd) wrapped around the upper arms of an open silk gown (körtak) with embroidered edges and short side vents and a short-sleeved jacket (gotak). The headdress is particularly remarkable, as the cap (gulow) is 20 cm tall, black, and crowned with a gilt rosette and boss (tabeliḵ); it is also fitted with four downturned gilt crescents (gul) in front, after being swathed with a silk scarf (ben pušī) knotted once in front and then behind, with pendant ends. A black mantle (jāruq) is hung from the shoulders behind, decorated with a broad grid of blue lines, and embroidered at the intersections and with multicolored radial rosettes at the shoulders. The men wear either the mohair suit (šāl šepik) or the newer military suit, both with the sash wound in successive loops at the front, and the usual turban (plate cli).
Plate CLI. Two men and a woman in Harki Kurdish costume, near the borders of Persia, Iraq, and Turkey. The man on the left wears the pešmerga type of costume, the other the šāl šepik type. The woman wears the unusual high headdress. Photograph P. Andrews, 1974.
Kurds of Yerevan. Kurds to the north of Azerbaijan, in the former province of Yerevan, wore a costume that in style and nomenclature showed an Ottoman origin. Over the inner shirt (kırās) of white calico men wore a buttoned jacket (gejalik) of broadcloth and over that an upper jacket (čakmen) with false sleeves. Broadcloth trousers (šalvār) were cut with a very wide gusset and worn with red morocco boots (jizma). Both jackets and the trousers were trimmed and extensively decorated in cordonné work of a contrasting color. The sash (kuršaḵ) was usually of shawl material. A white cloak or a caftan of camel’s hair, both called aba, could be worn over these. The headgear consisted typically of a tall fez (uzun fez) of red felt over a small felt cap (külla), swathed in a turban of silk scarves (čalma), which could be added to every year. A long-sleeved coat was also known. In the 1840s this dress was essentially the same, with a flared jacket (gubur čekman) worn over a lightly quilted, long-sleeved cotton jacket (goksu yelek) buttoned down the front, on top of a double-breasted, low-collared, quilted shirt (gısa enteri), with trousers (šalvār) in which the gusset reached the ankle openings.
See also xvi, xvii, above.
Northern Azeri costume: P. Ä. Äzizbäyov, ed., Azärbaycan tikmäläri, Moscow, 1970.
Idem, Azärbaycan milli keyimläri, Moscow, 1972.
A. G. Trofimova, “The Garments of the Present-Day Azerbaidzhan Population. Traditional and Modern Elements,” in J. M. Cordwell and R. A. Schwarz, eds., The Fabrics of Culture, Paris and the Hague, 1979.
Kurdish costume: M. Kalāntarī, “Īl-e Mīlān,” Honar o mardom 43, 1345 Š./1966, p. 29.
Y. Majīdzāda, “Īl-e Zarzā,” Honar o mardom 8, 1342 Š./1963, pp. 14-16.
T. D. Ravdonikas, “Kurdskiĭ muzhskoĭ kostyum,” in Iz kul’turnogo naslediya narodov Rossii, Sbornik Muzeya Antropologii i Ètnografii (Leningrad) 28, 1972, pp. 237-56.
CLOTHING xxii. Clothing of the Caspian area
In several aspects the traditional dress (Gīlaki lebās; Ṭāleši ḵalā) of Gīlān and Māzandarān bears a structural resemblance to that of other rural regions of Persia. It is constructed in successive layers, often of similar pieces superimposed, like women’s skirts or men’s shirts in winter. The greatest possible protection for the head and the torso—particularly the back—is considered desirable (for this tendency throughout Persia, see Polak, I, p. 138). Children have no specific costume but wear clothing similar to that of adults, though with several variations. Straight garments, composed of quadrangular pieces with edges stitched together and triangular subsidiary pieces attached, are worn along with more closely fitted tailored garments, the majority of which are derived from European models. In the first category are tunics, gathered skirts, and shepherds’ cloaks, in the second the caftans (qabā) with lapped front closings that were worn at the beginning of this century and the waistcoats and European-style jackets that have become essential parts of daily dress.
In addition to these shared characteristics, however, the traditional dress of the Caspian area exhibits an unmistakable originality that clearly reflects the distinctive way of life in this peripheral region of Persia (Bromberger, 1989, pp. 21, 24). In the majority of communities on the Persian plateau cultural behavior is determined by an enclosed life style: Houses are surrounded by blind walls to protect them from the intrusive view of outsiders; women live secluded in the interior (andarūn) and wear the veil (čādor) in the presence of strangers (bīgāna) or possible spouses from within the family (nā-maḥram) and when they go outside the home. Along the Caspian littoral, on the other hand, the predominant life-style is more open. Houses are not hidden behind walls, there is relatively little sexual division of domestic space, and the čādor is worn only for trips to large cities and for religious ceremonies. The absence of the veil, which is even more marked among the Gāleš and Ṭāleš of the mountains than among the Gīlānis and Māzandarānis of the plains, has struck travelers in all periods. For example, Jonas Hanway (I, p. 185) noted that peasant women were “often seen abroad without veils,” and Keith Abbott (fol. 34) remarked that “the female peasantry in this part of the country do not conceal their faces.” Modern historians of the region (e.g., Faḵrāʾī, 1354 Š./1975, p. 186) and ethnologists (e.g., Vil’chevskiĭ, p. 233) confirm these reports. As for the general style of dress, certain components and methods of constructing garments are sufficiently distinctive to have become identified with the Caspian population. Particularly noteworthy in this connection are šāl, a type of cloth; very thick stockings (jūrāb, gūrāve); cowhide shoes (čūmūš); and the čādəršāb, a piece of cloth that women wear tied around the waist.
Šāl is a coarse material of sheep’s wool in plain weave (in which each weft is passed alternately over and under single warps), made either on a horizontal loom with one heddle rod or on a pedal loom with two heddle rods (for description and classification of these types of loom, see Bazin and Bromberger, pp. 68-72). It is then scrubbed energetically in soapy water, which gives it the properties and appearance of European loden cloth. Among the Ṭāleš and the Gāleš the main parts of the male costume (trousers, waistcoat, jacket, and cap) are made from this cloth. Šāl has become even more closely identified with the Caspian provinces since members of the Jangalī revolutionary movement, which dominated the region from 1333/1915 to 1339 = 1300 Š./1921 (see communism i), wore “uniforms” made from it. According to photographs (Faḵrāʾī, 1344 Š./1965, pp. 115, 242) and eyewitness accounts (Edmonds, fol. 12), the leader Mīrzā Kūček Khan most often wore the traditional Caspian costume made from šāl. In fact, a Jangalī cooperative produced both the fabric and the uniforms.
The shoes and stockings worn until very recently by men of the Ṭāleš and Gāleš were also specific to the region. The woolen stockings, which could be either in plain colors or polychrome, were knitted on five needles and worn especially by shepherds. The traditional shoes (čūmūš, čāroḵ) consisted of cowhide soles folded up to envelop the lower parts of the feet (Figure 71). The leather, after being stretched, dried, and salted, was cut in the shape of the foot; the edges of this sole (zol) were pierced with holes, through which a thong (šīrī) was passed in and out, then folded up to enclose the foot. A second thong was then passed through the holes in the opposite direction to help hold the leather in place, and finally the two side edges were pulled together by means of woolen or leather bands across the instep (for another method of making čūmūš, see Vil’chevskiĭ, p. 235). Another characteristic type of shoe also deserves mention: the katele (or pā-kettel; MacKenzie, fol. 24), a bare wooden platform with a peg that was clasped between the first two toes or a thong over the instep. The thick stockings, the leather shoes with neither uppers nor closed backs, and the wooden clogs seem also to be common cultural traits in the various regions of the Caucasus (for Armenia, see, e.g., Lisicʿyan, pl. LXX).
The most distinctive element of the women’s costume in the Caspian area is the čādəršāb (variants: čāršāb, čāršo), a rectangular piece of cloth folded into a triangle and worn knotted around the waist with the point in back for daily work or wrapped around the bosom to carry an infant on the back. In the eastern part of Gīlān the čādəršāb is made from strips (taḵtə) of cloth woven of silk floss (kəj) on a pedal loom with two heddles. A čādəršāb of this type, with polychrome checks, is a characteristic element of the women’s costume of Qāsemābād on the eastern plain and has been incorrectly assumed to be typical of clothing from the whole region (see, e.g., Behnam, p. 34).
Aside from these identifying elements, the major items of Caspian clothing are presented here in descending order of the body parts on which they are worn: head, shoulders, hips, feet (for the principles of this classification, see Leroi-Gourhan, p. 214).
Women’s clothing (plate clii, plate cliii, plate cliv, plate clv). In the domestic setting women wear a scarf (leček, lāčak, sardabād, pišāsar), usually covering only the top of the head; the face, ears, and neck are thus left exposed, an indication of the minimal segregation of women among Caspian social groups. The color of the scarf and the way in which it is arranged vary with the region and age of the wearer. In ʿAmmārlū, the Deylamān district, and the eastern Gīlān plain a black cloth folded into a triangle (ca. 185 cm long and 70 cm wide at the point) is worn in several ways. It can be wrapped around the forehead and knotted at the back, with the free ends used to cover curls, braids, or a chignon on top of the head (plate clii); sometimes the braids are brought up and knotted on top of the scarf. The most common way of wearing the scarf is in a sort of turban constructed of two tiers, with the ends knotted on the forehead or sometimes wrapped around a braid that hangs down the back (plate clii, second and fourth figures from the left). Elsewhere in the Caspian lowlands the scarf, which is rarely of a bright color, is folded into a triangle, then wrapped around the head above the ears; the two ends are crossed above the nape and usually knotted atop the head, and the point hangs free or is wrapped around the hair.
CLIV. Woman of the Turkefied northern Taleš, near Haštpar, wearing a long tunic (kōynak), a piece of cloth (sāroq, a kind of short čadəršāb) around the waist over a gathered skirt (fumān), and a white shawl (yayliḵ) hiding the lower part of the face. Photograph C. Bromberger.
Plate CLII. Women of the Gilan mountains, wearing black scarves (leček) and white shawls (dastmāl-e sefīd, kuldabād), long tunics (pirhan), and gathered skirts (tūmān); the older woman wears a jacket, the younger ones waistcoats (jelez). Photograph C. Bromberger.
Plate CLV. Marriage ceremony in the Deylamān area, with dancing women wearing tunics (pirhan) in plain bright colors over floral-patterned skirts (tūmān), embroidered shawls (dastmāl-e sefīd, kuldabād), and waistcoats (jelez) edged with coins. Photograph C. Bromberger.
Outside the home women wear a white shawl (dastmāl-e sefīd, kuldabād, or yaylıḵ in the Turkefied part of Ṭāleš), a square folded into a triangle and knotted or simply crossed under the chin, with the sides billowing over the shoulders (plate clii), wrapped around the neck, or fastened at the top of the head (for example, when the women are transplanting the seedlings in the rice fields). In eastern Gīlān this shawl is worn on top of the leček, whereas on the coast and among the Ṭāleš it replaces it. The way in which the leček or the dastmāl is arranged can serve as an indication of the age, status, and circumstances of the wearer. Young girls wear the leček farther back on the head, allowing part of their hair to show; married and older women wear it farther forward, thus hiding almost all the hair. In certain areas (northern Ṭāleš in particular) married women cover the lower portion of the face with the ends of the leček or the dastmāl, which they cross over the chin, fastening the ends together above the ears (plate cliii). For marriage ceremonies the lečeks are decorated with coins, and fringed dastmāls with embroidered designs are preferred (plate cliv).
As has been mentioned, women wear the čādor only in exceptional circumstances: on pilgrimages, during the ceremonies for Moḥarram and Ṣafar, and at their own weddings. The Ṭāleš have a saying, “Our women wear the čādor only when they are being married, in order to go from the houses of their fathers to those of their husbands.” At that time the young bride is wrapped in a veil, which is draped over her head like a bell and hides her entire face. According to Maḥmūd Pāyanda Langarūdī (pp. 75-76), the status of the young bride in the eastern mountains of Gīlān used to be indicated by another costume detail: a strip of cloth (yāsmāq) that she wore covering her mouth during the period between the signing of the marriage contract (ʿaqd) and her installation in her husband’s house. Among garments worn on the head, finally, the bonnet worn by all young children, regardless of sex, until they are weaned should be included. It covers the ears and is tied with strings under the chin.
An essential element of female dress is a long tunic (pirhan, Ṭāleši šey, in Turkefied Ṭāleš köynak), which is pulled on over the head and reaches to the thighs or the knees (in eastern Gīlān and Māzandarān) and sometimes even to the ankles (among the Ṭāleš). Two slits at the sides allow greater fullness at the bottom (plates clii, cliv, clv). The top, with a straight, narrow band collar, has a placket in front to permit nursing; this opening is provided with buttons and buttonholes, framed in braid or ribbon, or emphasized still further by bands of appliquéd ribbon. The tunic generally has long and relatively narrow sleeves (āstīn, qol), which close at the wrists; in summer women roll them up to the elbows (plate cliv), though sometimes in the lowlands they may switch to a garment with short sleeves. These essential elements of female costume are usually made of printed cloth (čīt), on which floral motifs predominate; plain colors are preferred for ceremonial occasions: a white tunic for the bride, bright red or blue for other women who participate in the wedding (plate clv), black for mourning. A special feature of the region of Qāsemābād is the variegated braids (pāre) on the lower part of the garment.
The tunic is generally worn with a skirt (plates clii, cliv, clv), but sometimes a dress (šalīte) is substituted for this combination. The dress consists of a bodice stitched to a gathered skirt; it is fairly short and is always worn over trousers. It is doubtless a provincial vestige of an urban fashion that was introduced at the end of the last century by Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96), who was delighted by ballerinas’ tutus that he had seen on his European travels and imposed them on the women at his court. The new fashion must subsequently have been adopted throughout the country (Tual, p. 96; cf. Behnam, p. 35).
Over the tunic or the bodice of the dress women wear a waistcoat (jelez, jelīqe, Ṭāleši jərqa) or, less often, a straight jacket open at the front, which was originally borrowed from European male dress. The choice between these two pieces of clothing helps to distinguish the generations: Young women more willingly wear the waistcoat, older women the jacket (plate clii). The waistcoat worn every day is black, but for special occasions bright colors and ornaments are preferred; the waistcoat worn for marriage ceremonies may be edged with coins (sake; plate clv). Jackets, too, are dark and somber for ordinary daily wear, but those for special occasions are of red velvet.
As already noted, the čādəršāb is a distinctive regional garment; several examples are customarily included in the dowry (jahāz). It is most often worn knotted around the torso, either over or under the jacket or waistcoat and thus functions both to protect the lower back, supposedly the most sensitive part of the body, and to cinch the long tunic (plates cliii, cliv). This role as a sash is underscored by the terms used to designate the garment on the borders of Gīlān, all of which include the word kamar “belt” as a component: kamaršāl, kamardabenezār in southern Ṭāleš, and so on.
The skirt (tūmān) is long, full, and gathered; with the tunic it constitutes the basic Gīlaki female dress (plates clii, cliv, clv). It is cinched to the body by means of a cord, which is drawn through a waistband (tūmān qūže, Ṭāleši līfa) to gather the cloth. The density of the gathers (čīn), like the length and color of the skirt, indicates the wearer’s age. Young girls and women use much more material in their skirts than their mothers and grandmothers do, so that the gathers are very dense, which is considered quite attractive. The length of the skirt can also vary with age, often reaching only to the calves among the youngest women but falling to the toes among older ones. But it is the color of the skirt that most clearly distinguishes the generation of the wearer. The printed cottons preferred by the young women have red (a symbolic color in female clothing, connoting fertility in the Caspian world; cf. Jackson, p. 86) or white backgrounds with contrasting floral motifs in bright colors (plates clii, cliv); those worn by older women generally have dark backgrounds patterned all over with small motifs.
Women often wear two or three skirts, one on top of the other (for seven or eight worn in the 19th century, see Guilliny, p. 91), the newest worn on top of those that are more worn or faded. Sometimes skirt and underskirt are differentiated; the latter, called kafalī, is shorter, made from a single piece of cloth with a gathered ruffle around the lower part (plate cliii). Superimposing skirts in this fashion confers a striking and much sought-after fullness to the lower part of the costume. Finally, under their skirts women wear close-fitting ankle-length black pantaloons (šalvār) or, at home, a kind of pajama (bījāmā) with wide legs. The fabrics of the trousers, as of the rest of the costume, are no longer as fine as they were in the 19th century. C. Beresford Lovett (p. 1072) dated this decline in quality to the 1860s, when a crisis in Persian silk production resulting from the spread of pébrine (see abrīšam) was aggravated by massive imports of “cheap Russian fabrics of gaudy colouring and design.” In more comfortable households the pantaloons were formerly made of “sturdy blue or ponceau silk” (Fraser, p. 361; Chodzko, p. 202).
Traditionally peasant women went barefoot. The Gīlak still boast, “From birth to death our women do not know what shoes are” (Vil’chevskiĭ, p. 236). Today the majority of women wear molded rubber shoes, the galoshes (gāləš, from Russian galosha “rubber”) that were first imported to Persia from Riga and St. Petersburg at the beginning of this century (Rabino, 1910, p. 9; plate clv).
Overall, then, female clothing in the rural Caspian area is characterized by a certain unity, especially notable in the čādəršāb, the gathered skirt, floral-patterned cloth, and bright colors. Small differences among districts can be noted in particular details—variegated braids stitched to the tunic and skirt of the Qāsemābādi costume, the black leček worn east of the Safīdrūd, and so on—but they are not as sharply distinct as in some other regions of the Old World (e.g., central Europe). Age differences are expressed not through a strict and explicit style of dress but rather through nuances (e.g., the color and length of the skirt and the density of the gathers); as for differences in social status, they are reflected mainly in the quality of the materials used, the frequency with which garments are replaced (women in general buy new clothes at the Nowrūz season), and the adoption of European fashions. Poorer women, who can seldom afford new clothes, are thus the reluctant guardians of ethnic tradition. Finally, there are no fundamental differences between winter and summer outfits; the only variations are in the combination and number of superimposed pieces. For example, in high summer a woman in the lowlands might wear loose trousers, possibly also a skirt, and a tunic (plate cliv); during the cold season she might don a combination of trousers, skirts, woolens, and jacket or waistcoat, but there is no specific winter garment (like a coat) for women. Customs related to women’s clothing in the Caspian are quite flexible and adaptable to specific circumstances; for example, women hitch up their skirts and tuck them into their čādəršābs while they are at work transplanting or weeding the rice fields.
Men’s clothing (plate clvi, plate clvii, plate clviii). Among men the contrast between the clothing of the mountain herders and that of the peasants in the lowlands is much greater than among women. The shepherds of Ṭāleš and Gāleš wear garments made from locally woven šāl, cut out and stitched by the tailor (ḵayyāṭ) of the nearest hamlet (plates clvi, clvii), whereas the farmers on the plains of Gīlān and Māzandarān wear European-style clothing purchased in the bāzārs. Clothing made of šāl thus serves to identify the ethnic group and simultaneously to mark status within mountain society (plate clviii).
As almost everywhere in Persia, there is great morphological variety in male headgear. The predominant forms have changed profoundly since the mid-19th century, when chroniclers described the men of the Caspian area as wearing tall conical or semiconical hats (kolā; cf. Fraser, p. 147; Chodzko, p. 202; Lovett, p. 1071; Orio, fig. 1). Charles Francis Mackenzie (fol. 18) noted that these hats were shaped like “inverted flower pots,” and Polak (I, p. 140) pointed out that the conical black models, which were of Tartar origin, had been widespread in the region since the advent of the Qajars. These hats were made of felt or formed from a paper core lined with calico and covered with sheepskin, goatskin, or cotton cloth. The peasants wore such hats in winter but only simple skullcaps in summer. The height of the hats diminished progressively during the course of the century, and the conical type was gradually replaced by a tall cylindrical version in felt with a rounded crown. After World War I tall hats gave way to lower cylindrical hats and especially to close-fitting skullcaps (kolā, kəlā, börk in the Turkefied part of Ṭāleš) made either of four pieces of šāl stitched together or of felt (plates clvi, clviii), the latter more common east of the Safīdrūd. One village in Eškevarāt, Šavak, specializes in the manufacture of these caps; the craftsmen (kolāmāl) press and shape the felt (namad), using wooden molds (qāleb) of different heights.
Among other garments worn on the head the mufflers (kolāgoš) and capes (bāšlaḵ) of šāl in which older shepherds and woodcutters wrap themselves during the cold season must be mentioned; they wind the mufflers around their heads and pull the hoods of their capes over them (plate clvi). The type of head covering is thus a good indicator of social status among men. The skullcap is worn by mountain herders and peasants in the lowlands, the muffler and cape of šāl by older and poorer forest dwellers, the visored cap (kolā pahlevī) by prosperous farmers on the plain and the middle-class population of the cities, the hat (šāpo < Fr. chapeau) by merchants in the bāzārs, and so on.
In the second half of the 19th century (cf. Polak, I, p. 144) European-style shirts were introduced, and their popularity continued to grow during the first decades of the 20th century; previously men had worn short tunics (pirhan, Ṭāleši šey) of raw silk or blue cotton cloth (the distinctive color of traditional male dress) reaching to the navel. The fabrics used in making these tunics were woven at home (Lovett, p. 1071). Depending on the weather, men put on over the tunic a waistcoat (jelīqe, jelezqa), a doublet (alḵāleq), and/or a qabā, a long-sleeved garment, either cut straight and worn open or partly lapped and fitted to the waist with a flowing knee-length skirt. The qabā was worn especially by merchants, master craftsmen, and town dwellers (Faḵrāʾī, 1354 Š./1975, p. 188), whereas mountain herders wore a doublet of šāl or felt, with the ends tucked into the trousers (Fraser, p. 147). The European-style jacket (kūt), which has gradually replaced the qabā and the doublet, is nonetheless still tailored of black šāl among the Ṭāleš and Gāleš (plates clvi, clviii); in southern Ṭāleš it is always called šəkā. The waistcoats, too, though shorter and more closely fitted than formerly, are still made of this traditional material. Over these garments shepherds wear a wide cape (šawlā, šūlā) without sleeves or sleeve holes. It is made from a simple folded sheet of felt, open in front and laced together along the upper edges; at the two corners over the shoulders the laces are knotted and pulled tight, which lends the cape a slightly rounded shape. The most common type, in natural color, is knee length (plate clvii). A shorter version, the kalak, is also found in the mountains of Māzandarān (Pūrkarīm, p. 50). This cape, which provides effective protection against the cold, is not normally personal property but is said “to belong to the herd.” That is, the shepherds take turns wearing it, wrapping themselves in it when they lie down to sleep.
Travelers’ descriptions from the 19th and early 20th centuries include mention of two types of trousers (šalvār). One, worn in summer by the peasants of the lowlands, was of light-blue cotton, calf length, and tied with a cord at the waist (Chodzko, p. 202; Guilliny, p. 90; Rabino, 1915-16, p. 28); the other, worn only in winter in the lowlands but all year round among the mountain pastoralists, was made of rough wool (šāl) or, in Māzandarān, cotton (qadak) and reached to the ankles (Fraser, p. 147; Abbott, fol. 16; Holmes, p. 35; Rabino, 1915-16, p. 28). Only the Ṭāleš and Gāleš shepherds continue to wear this latter type (šāl-šalvār; plates clvi-clviii), as European-style trousers have uniformly replaced traditional types in the towns, rural settlements, and mountain villages.
The pajama is an essential part of male dress; it serves as an undergarment in winter and is the standard at-home dress throughout the year, connoting rest and quiet. The lending of a pajama to a stranger who arrives wearing outdoor dress is still a common gesture of hospitality.
The trousers, and sometimes also the upper garment (e.g., the qabā), were formerly cinched at the waist with a belt (kamarband), which helped to identify the status of the individual. The Ṭāleš wore a leather belt from which a qāmma (a long, straight dagger; Fraser, p. 147; Holmes, p. 55) was suspended; in the lowlands “servants [wore] a belt of plaques, the people a muslin sash, the rich sashes made of Kashmir shawls, sometimes very costly” (Guilliny, p. 90). Cloth sashes are still worn in two instances. Certain sayyeds (who claim descent from the Prophet Moḥammad) wear a green cloth sash, green being the color associated with the Prophet and his family. On the other hand, sometimes peasants, in order to protect the lower back, wear a knitted wool sash (šāl) about 20 cm wide.
Puttees, bands of cloth (pātave) wrapped over the trousers up to the knees, are a distinctive feature of traditional male costume in the Caspian area. They were formerly worn especially by men living in the forest to protect themselves from being scratched by thorny bushes, and for that reason they were adopted as part of the “uniform” of the Jangalī guerrillas (cf. numerous photographs in Faḵrāʾī, 1344, e.g., pp. 86, 99, 190). Captain E. Noël, who was taken prisoner by the Jangalīs in 1336/1918, suffered from the lack of pātave when he attempted to escape from his place of detention: “I had gone but a short way before my trousers had been entirely torn away by thorns and my legs reduced to a bleeding pulp” (F.O. archives 248/1203, 1918, fol. 2). Although the pātave have disappeared, this protective function continues to be filled by thick stockings (jūrāb, gūrāve) pulled up over the trousers to mid-calf or tucked into them (plates clvi, clvii). In the former instance the leather thongs of the shoes (čūmūš; see above) are wrapped around the stockings in order to hold them in place; in the latter the lower parts of the trousers are provided with buttons and buttonholes, or more recently zippers, so that they can be closed tightly around the stockings. Nowadays rubber boots (čakme) are commonly worn by the Ṭāleš and Gāleš pastoralists (plates clvi, clvii), as well as by lowland peasants while they are working in the rice fields, which they formerly did barefoot.
Finally, it should be mentioned that, although knitted wool gloves (dastkeš) are known, they are rarely worn, even during the coldest weather. Shepherds hide their bare hands under their capes or hooded mantles.
With the exception of these latter garments, which are specially designed for the cold season, there is no marked structural difference between the winter and summer outfits; the differences are in the quality and quantity of the layered garments, rather than in type. In summer men wear trousers of light material, a shirt, and occasionally a jacket when they go to the bāzār or to the teahouse (qahva-ḵāna; see čāy, coffeehouses). In winter they put on several additional layers of clothing: a pajama, trousers of heavy material, an undershirt, two or three shirts, a waistcoat, and a jacket. Variations for festive or socially important occasions (e.g., Nowrūz, Sezda bedar, ʿĪd-e qorbān, marriage, departure for summer pastures) are less emphatic than among women; for those occasions men, even bridegrooms for their weddings, don the same type of clothing that they wear every day, though newer or seldom worn (plate clv). There is only one single ritual costume for men, one that is worn throughout Persia during the great mourning processions of Moḥarram and Ṣafar; for both youths and men it consists of a black shirt with two large openings in the back to permit the chains (zanjīr) with which they flagellate themselves to strike the bare skin.
Materials and functions. In the Caspian region in general variations in dress clearly reflect specific identifications and cultural differences. The materials from which they are made attest to the variety of available textiles and the uneven penetration of industrially manufactured cloth in different parts of the region. Wool is still in common use for home sewing on the piedmont and in pastoral districts; cotton has partly supplanted it in Māzandarān. Silk floss from damaged cocoons is used to make čādəršābs in the silk-producing regions (especially eastern Gīlān). The use of industrial textiles, which have spread very rapidly since the second half of the 19th century, is common throughout the lowlands but more limited in the mountains, where people are more conservative in the choice of clothing, as in many other aspects of culture. Aside from these major contrasts between lowlands and mountains, there are several significant differences between west and east; for example, the types of leček worn by women differ noticeably in color and function on the two sides of the Safīdrūd, and the čādəršāb is less and less commonly worn the farther east one goes in Māzandarān. But these differences in detail do not obscure the major characteristics that define the common style of clothing in the Caspian world: simplicity in construction, decoration, and functioning of the costume; expression of socioprofessional status and wealth through a rich variety of different garments, rather than a complex codification by age group; predominance of flexibility in daily dress over rigid norms; contrast between the bright colors of female clothing and the plain dark colors worn by men; and a tendency to hide the faces of women much less than elsewhere in the country, attesting to a less marked sexual division of space and a predominantly open life style on this northern margin of Persia.
K. E. Abbott, Narrative of a Journey from Tabriz along the Shores of the Caspian Sea to Tehran, 1843-1844 (ms.), Foreign Office archives 60/108, London.
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I. Behnam, “La région méridionale de la Mer Caspienne,” Objets et mondes 11/1, 1971, pp. 27-48.
C. Bromberger, Habitat, Architecture and Rural Society in the Gilan Plain (Northern Plain), Bonn, 1989.
A. Chodzko, “Le Ghilan ou les marais Caspiens,” Nouvelles annales des voyages et des sciences géographiques, 5th set. 6, 1850, pp. 200-209.
C. J. Edmonds, Report, March 7, Foreign Office archives 248/1292, XIX, London, 1920.
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W. R. Holmes, Sketches on the Shores of the Caspian. Descriptive and Pictorial, London, 1845.
A. V. W. Jackson, From Constantinople to the Home of Omar Khayyam, New York, 1911.
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S. Lisicʿyan, Zangezuri hayerə, Yerevan, 1969.
B. Lovett, “Report by Consul Lovett on the Trade and Commerce of the Province of Asterabad for the Year 1881,” Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls … during the Year 1882, London, 1883, pp. 1066-74.
C. F. Mackenzie, Narrative of a Journey from Resht in Gilan through Mazandaran to Asterabad during the Winter and Spring of 1858/59 (ms.), Foreign Office archives 60/245, London, 1859.
C. Orio, “Della epizoozia bombicina. Osservazioni e proposte del D. Carlo Orio, membro della Sezione Scientifica della R. Missione Italiana in Persia,” Bolletino consolare 1, 1863, pp. 769-802.
M. Pāyanda Langarūdī, Āʾīnhā wa bāvardāšthā-ye mardom-e Gīl wa Deylam, Tehran, 1355 Š./1976.
J. E. Polak, Persien. Das Land and seine Bewohner. Ethnographische Schilderungen, 2 vols. in 1, Leipzig, 1865. H. Pūrkarīm, “Dehkada-ye Samā,” Honar o mardom 98, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 45-56.
H. L. Rabino, “Trade of the Persian Caspian Provinces (Consular District of Resht and Astarabad). Report from 1907 to 1909,” Diplomatic and Consular Reports. Persia, annual set. 4398, Foreign Office, London, 1910.
Idem, Les provinces caspiennes de la Perse. Le Guîlân, RMM 32, 1916-17.
A. Tual, “Variations et usages du voile dans deux villes d’Iran,” Objets et mondes 11/1, 1971, pp. 95-116.
O.-L. Vil’chevskiĭ, “Gilyaki i galeshi, talyshi,” in Narody Peredneĭ Azii, Moscow, 1967, pp. 225-41.
CLOTHING xxiii. Clothing of the Persian Gulf area
The people on the shores of the Persian Gulf are divided among three provinces, each with a distinctive style of dress: Ḵūzestān, Būšehr, and Hormozgān. The last is the main focus here.
Women’s clothing. Women’s clothing consists of four basic parts: head covering, dress, trousers, and shoes. The normal head covering is a rectangular (200 x 70 cm; plate clix) black scarf of thin silk (maknā) wrapped round the head and fastened on top with a metal pin (čollāba), which formerly was sometimes of gold. The basic garment is a dress in colored cotton, either draped around the hips (gavan) or cut full (daraʿa). Older women wear over it a loose shift (jūma/jāma) of thin material, with a collar (yaqa-ye jūma, garībūn/garībān) embroidered with gold thread (ḵūs). Under these garments women wear full trousers (šalvār) tapered at the ankles (plate clx, Figure 72). The cuffs are embroidered (badle/badla) in designs that vary from region to region and take their names from their places of origin: bangladeši, bastaki, bandari, wadūvī, tī bandari. Shoes were formerly made of green leather (kowš-e sabz), with the toes turned up, but today women wear Western-style slippers called čapalī.
When they leave their villages women don floral-cotton čādors, wrapped loosely around the body and covering the head except for the face. The black čādor is worn only during funeral ceremonies. The traditional face covering (baṭṭūla) is still worn in some parts of this region, but its popularity is declining. No serious information about the place of origin of this garment or the period when it was introduced in Hormozgān is available. The variants of the baṭṭūla are named for the places or ethnic groups with which they are identified: moqāmi, ḥomeyrāni, ʿarabī, qaṭari, sekāni, and so on (plate clxi; Figure 73).
Men’s clothing. Men used to wear a small white or colored cap (kolāh), over which a cloth 2 m long (lang, langūta) was wrapped, white or striped for older men, colored for younger men. This tradition is still alive among older men, especially in winter.
The traditional shirt (jūma) reached below the knee, fastening with buttons on the right side of the neck and with 10-cm slits on either side of the hem. Today the jūma has largely been replaced by the Western-style shirt with collar (qamīṣ), and the traditional version is worn only by shepherds and farmers. At home men still sometimes wear loosely cut trousers (šalvār) made of coarse cotton under the shirt, but outside they wear trousers in the Western style.
In winter the qabā, a long, heavy overcoat is worn over the qamīṣ or the jūma and cinched at the waist with a rope belt (šāl). Over the qabā a second long coat of camel’s hair or wool, with half-sleeves (čokka) or long, wide sleeves (kūfta), was worn; another version, which is made only of wool, is known as māšūē.
There are three types of traditional men’s shoes. Harza had soles made of a material compacted from cloth and ground sheep bones drawn together on a leather thong; the shoe was fastened to the toe with a cord made of palm leaves. Another type was the malakī, a triangular piece of leather with a point at the toe. Jūfī are any Western style of shoe.
For clothing of Būšehr and Ḵūzestān, see Supplement.
J. Żīāʾpūr, Pūšāk-e īlhā wa čadornešīnān wa rūstāʾīān-e Īrān dar rūzgar-e šāhanšāhī-e Moḥammad-Reżā Šāh Pahlavī, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.
CLOTHING xxiv. Clothing of the Qašqāʾī tribes
In the 19-20th centuries the Qašqāʾī constituted a tribal confederacy of people of ethnolinguistically diverse origin; they were predominantly nomadic pastoralists who migrated seasonally between the lowlands and the highlands in the southern Zagros mountains. They created their own distinctive dress from market-derived goods and the work of village and urban craft specialists.
In the 19th century non-elite Qašqāʾī men wore wide-legged trousers (tonbān), collarless shirts (keynak), long lined cloth cloaks (ārḵāloq) secured with wide cummerbunds (šāl), and felt cloaks (kapanak). Their headgear consisted of conical and rounded black felt hats (berk). Guns, knives, daggers, swords, and clubs were an important part of men’s attire (Fraser, p. 93; Goldsmid, p. 576). When in towns and cities elite Qašqāʾī men, particularly the paramount khans, wore clothing similar to that of the Qajar elite (see x, above): collarless white shirts, long cloth cloaks with lapels that overlapped in front, and cummerbunds to hold the cloaks closed. Their black lambskin hats were tall, cylindrical, and often flat on top (Oberling, pp. 242-50). They also wore loose outer garments (ʿabāʾ) and ornamented long brocade coats. Elite Qašqāʾī men wore less formal versions of this clothing while in tribal territory.
At the turn of the 20th century Qašqāʾī men wore collarless white shirts, wide-legged black trousers gathered at the waist, lined cloaks fastened in front with cummerbunds, and flared or rounded short black felt hats (Oberling, pp. 249-50). Some men wore sheepskin jackets and felt vests. Their shoes (malekī) were of the handmade type typical of rural Persia. For ceremonial occasions, hunting, and war men wore thin cloaks called čoqā, which they secured by two braided cords looped over the arms and tied in the back, with tassels on the ends. Weapons and cartridge belts (worn across the chest or around the waist) were prominent. Men of the different Qašqāʾī tribes were often distinguished by different ways of wearing cummerbunds and cartridge belts.
From 1307 Š./1928, when Reżā Shah outlawed ethnic dress (see xi, above), until his forced abdication in 1320 Š./1941, Qašqāʾī men were forbidden to wear their customary cloaks, cummerbunds, and hats. They, like all men in Persia (except the Muslim clergy), were forced to wear prescribed dress, including European-style trousers, suit jackets, and hats. After 1320 Š./1941 Qašqāʾī men continued to wear these trousers and jackets; the cloak (ārḵāloq) that had been everyday wear until 1307 Š./1928 became ceremonial attire, and the čoqā was no longer much used (plate clxii). In 1320 Š./1941 Nāṣer Khan Qašqāʾī, freed from prison and house arrest in Tehran by Reżā Shah’s abdication to play an active role as īlḵānī (paramount khan) of the Qašqāʾī confederation, introduced a distinctive Qašqāʾī hat (dogūšī “two-eared”), modeled on earlier styles; of beige, tan, or gray felt, it was rounded and had two distinctive raised flaps above the ears. It was quickly adopted by all Qašqāʾī men and became the symbol of revived Qašqāʾī power, autonomy, and identity (for photographs taken in 1325 Š./1946, see Duncan, pp. 140-57).
The dress of Qašqāʾī women in the 19th and early 20th centuries was similar to that worn by other rural and tribal women in southwestern Persia. They continued to wear this dress through the 1970s (Amir-Moez, pp. 512-44; Beck, 1981; The Qashqa’i of Iran, pp. 34-51) and, with variations, into the 1990s (plate clxiii). It was characterized by vividly contrasting colors, fabrics, and trims. Women wore multiple gathered skirts (šalīta, tonbān), tunics (keynak) slit at the sides, and short jackets (ārḵāloq) with pointed sleeves. Over their small caps (kolāqča) they wore diaphanous scarves (lačak, čārqad), which covered the napes of their necks and their backs. After 1320 Š./1941 many Qašqāʾī women added a wrapped silk headband (yāḡloq, qālāq), which they tied over the head scarf, with its ends trailing down the back. Jewelry (necklaces, scarf pins, earrings, arm plates) reflected familial and household wealth. Women of the different Qašqāʾī tribes were often distinguished by such subtleties in dress as the knotting of silk headbands and the choice of fabric colors. Qašqāʾī women never covered their faces. In this century, until the Revolution of 1357 Š./1978-79, they sometimes casually wore čādors when traveling to cities, in order to conform to general urban customs in Persia. Qašqāʾī women sewed their own clothes from fabric purchased in markets and from itinerant merchants. They wore the handmade shoes typical of rural Persia. Elite Qašqāʾī women wore more elaborate versions of the same dress, and, beginning in the 1950s, when they were in cities and towns they often adopted the attire of elite urban women.
Qašqāʾī children’s clothes were modeled after those of adults. Boys were often dressed as girls until around the age of three years, in order to confuse evil spirits and to avoid envy and hence repel the evil eye.
After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1358 Š./1979 Qašqāʾī women traveling to cities and towns complied to a degree with the new codes of dress for women (see xi, above), by adopting more concealing čādors in dark colors (author’s observations in Persia and interviews with Qašqāʾī people and Persians abroad). Only the urban Qašqāʾī wore the stricter dress required of urban women in general: black čādors or dark overcoats (māntow < Fr. manteau), hoods (maqnaʿa) fitted tightly around the face or scarves (rūsarī), wide trousers (šalvār), and dark stockings and concealing shoes. Nomadic Qašqāʾī women sometimes publicly defied revolutionary guards and members of the revolutionary councils who attempted to enforce these changes. By 1368 Š./1989 some Qašqāʾī women, especially those in frequent contact with towns and cities, had adopted modified versions of the dress required of urban women. In 1370 Š./1991 these clothing standards had been somewhat relaxed throughout the nation, and many Qašqāʾī women were still wearing or had resumed wearing slightly modified tribal dress (author’s observations in Persia). Most women, except for the elderly, had substituted dark head scarves for the diaphanous scarves they had worn before the Revolution. Qašqāʾī schoolgirls were required to wear overcoats, hoods or scarves, and trousers, but they almost always resumed wearing modified versions of customary Qašqāʾī dress when they completed their formal education. Qašqāʾī men, more often in contact with members of the dominant Persian society, usually conformed to new urban styles of dress (long-sleeved shirts in dark colors), although they continued to wear the distinctive Qašqāʾī hat. As a symbol of renewed tribal power and identity, men who joined the Qašqāʾī insurgency (1359-61 Š./1980-82) sometimes wore the thin cloaks (čoqā) that had served as ceremonial attire for their grandfathers (Beck, 1986, pp. 296-347).
Y. Amir-Moez, “Quelques aspects d’une culture materielle. Techniques des pasteurs nomades Qasqayi,” Ph.D. diss., Sorbonne, Paris, 1985, pp. 512-44.
L. Beck, The Qashqa’i People of Southern Iran, UCLA Museum of Cultural History, Pamphlet Series 14, Los Angeles, 1981.
Idem, The Qashqa’i of Iran, New Haven, Conn., 1986 (see index, s.v. Qashqa’i dress).
Idem, Nomad. A Year in the Life of a Qashqa’i Tribesman in Iran, Berkeley, 1991. D. G. Duncan, The World of Allah, Boston, 1982, pp. 140-57.
J. Fraser, Narrative of a Journey into Khorasan in the Years 1821 and 1822, London, 1825.
F. Goldsmid, Telegraph and Travel, London, 1874.
P. Oberling, The Qashqa’i Nomads of Fars, the Hague, 1974.
The Qashqa’i of Iran, Manchester, 1976, pp. 34-51.
CLOTHING xxv. Clothing of the Baḵtīārīs and other Lori speaking tribes
Members of the Lori-speaking ethnic groups, including the Lors themselves, the Baḵtīārīs, and the Boīr-Aḥmadīs are characterized by similar styles of dress, with variations reflecting differences in tribe and social class of the wearer, variations that can have strong symbolic meaning, particularly among the Baḵtīārīs. There have been significant changes in the basic male dress in this century, as a comparison of current dress with that observed by travelers in the 19th and early 20th centuries reveals (d’Allemagne, IV, pp. 181-82; Bishop, II, pp. 106-7; Cooper, pp. 132, 236; Sardār(-e) Asʿad Baḵtīārī, pp. 233, 254, 416-17, 596, 647; Layard, 1887, passim; Lynch, pp. 540-45); the major changes occurred as a result of the clothing reforms imposed during the reign of Reżā Shah (1303-20 Š./1924-41; see xi, above).
The men of all these tribal groups wear a costume composed of the same basic elements: a felt cap (kola), a shirt and vest, long trousers of varying degrees of fullness (tombūn or šawlār), and sandals (gīva). Nowadays a small cap (sometimes called šaw-kola) of beige, brown, or black felt is the most common head covering. Among the Baḵtīārīs, however, it is worn only by boys and shepherds; mature men and chiefs prefer the kola-ḵosrowī, which is taller, almost cylindrical in form, and black (though formerly sometimes white among the ranking chiefs, ḵavānīn-e bozorg). Particularly characteristic of Lori male costume is the čuqā, a straight, knee-length, sleeveless tunic of natural white wool with vertical indigo stripes (Figure 74). Today it is often worn over a Western jacket (kot). The čuqā was probably once found only in Luristan and must have spread among the Baḵtīārīs in the 1940s, replacing the qabā (cloak). It is possible that Baḵtīārī men gave up the qabā more willingly than some of their other garments because it was commonly worn throughout Persia and did not constitute a distinctive part of their traditional costume. The finest čuqās are called čuqā-līvāsī, after a village in Luristan celebrated for making them. Travelers before 1338/1920 (see above) described a shirt with a straight collar buttoned on the side (jomā); it has now totally disappeared. The Lors wear narrow trousers (pāpūš) without any special features. The trousers constitute the most distinctive part of Baḵtīārī male dress, however, serving as a badge of tribal identification (Digard, 1981, pp. 211-13); in fact, qorbatīs “foreigners” (to the tribe) are not permitted to wear them. These trousers (šawlār-gošād, tombūn) are black, cut very wide (120 cm around the leg), and are usually worn over underdrawers (zīršawlār), often simple pajamas; for reasons of economy, however, boys and shepherds often wear only the underdrawers. The trousers are held up by a leather belt or a large sash of rolled white cloth (šāl), in the folds of which it is customary to carry useful objects like a pipe and a knife. The sandals are of the gīva-malekī type, with pointed leather toes that curve upward. Beside these basic elements several additional garments are worn for specific purposes, for example, the felt capes and mantles of the shepherds (abā-nemet, kordīn, šenel, ferej).
The women of the Zagros have never worn the veil (čādor) and still do not do so, except when they visit the towns. Their costume has varied less over time than that of the men. It consists of a headdress; a knee-length dress slit on the sides, with long sleeves (pīrhan, jomā, jowa); and a long, full skirt (as much as 8-10 m around the hem) gathered at the waist (tombūn-zanūna) and worn over zīr-šawlār. The groups differ mainly in the headdress. In the north (Luristan) it consists of a kind of turban (tarā; Figure 75) wrapped over a scarf (tarā awwal), which allows the hair to flow free. In the south (Baḵtīārīs and Boīr Aḥmadīs) the women wear a hood (lačak; Figure 76) to which a veil (meynā) is pinned in such a way as to frame the face without hiding it. The hair, parted in the middle, is arranged in two braids, which are joined under the chin, thus also framing the face. In winter a velvet caftan (balkāl) completes the outfit. Female garments are usually in very bright colors, except during periods of mourning. There is hardly any difference in dress between social classes, except in the quality of fabrics and the richness of ornament (e.g., glass beads and coins).
Young children, both boys and girls, usually wear clothes only on the torso; their heads are also covered, and a number of amulets are worn suspended down the back. At about five or six years they begin to wear appropriate adult clothing, but until they reach marriage age their garments are only pallid imitations of those of their parents.
H.-R. d’Allemagne, Du Khorassan au pays des Bakhtiaris. Trois mois de voyage en Perse, 4 vols., Paris, 1911.
I. M. L. B. Bishop, Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan, Including a Summer in the Upper Karun Region and a Visit to the Nestorian Rayahs, 2 vols., London, 1891.
M. C. Cooper, Grass, London, 1925.
J.-P. Digard, “La parure chez les Baxtyâri,” Objets et mondes 11/1, 1971, pp. 117-32.
Idem, “Note sur quelques vêtements Baxtyâri,” Cahiers de la Délégation archéologique française en Iran 6, 1976, pp. 117-28.
Idem, Techniques des nomades Baxtyâri, Cambridge and Paris, 1981.
C. G. Feilberg, Les Papis, tribu de nomades montagnards du sud-ouest de l’Iran, Copenhagen, 1952.
A. H. Layard, Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and Babylonia, Including a Residence among the Bakhtiari and Other Wild Tribes, 2 vols., London, 1887.
R. Loffler, E. Friedl, and A. Janata, “Die materielle Kultur von Boir Ahmad, Südiran. Zweite ethnographische Sammlung,” Archiv für Völkerkunde 28, 1974, pp. 61-142.
H. H. B. Lynch, “Across Luristan to Ispahan,” Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society 12/9, 1890, pp. 533-53.
Sardār(-e) Asʿad Baḵtīārī, Tārīḵ-eBaḵtīārī, Tehran, 1333 Š./1954.
CLOTHING xxvi. Clothing and jewelry of the Turkmen
Until the 1970s the clothing and jewelry of the Turkmen formed the most elaborate tribal costume still used in Persia. For men it had consisted until the 1920s of a tight-sleeved robe (dōn) of striped silk worn over loose white cotton trousers (balaq) and a calico shirt (köynek), then caught at the waist with a sash (qušaq), and worn with a cylindrical black sheepskin hat (telpek) over a skullcap (börk). Under Persian restrictions on men’s clothing (see xi, above) the silk dōn was replaced by a Western frock coat or jacket and trousers, worn with a flaring astrakhan telpek in Russian army style. Men did not use jewelry except in the mountings of weapons and harness. The silk for the dōn, and for women’s clothing, was woven locally on pit-treadle looms, still in use among the Gökleŋ in 1349 Š./1970. The qārma dōn worn by men over forty years old differed from the qırmızı dōn of their juniors in having an additional white stripe. Even with modern rural dress, the feet are wrapped in white woolen puttees (dolaq) and shod in tall boots (ēdik) for riding or moccasins (čarıq) for work on foot. Summer slippers are called čoqay. Protection against heat or cold is given by a loose camel’s-hair mantle (čēkmen) or a long-sleeved overcoat of lambskin or sheepskin (ičmek), turned fleece outward in wet weather. As elsewhere, women retained tribal dress, despite the changes (plate clxiv).
The principal women’s garment is a shift (köynek), formerly of silk, now replaced by synthetic fibers; a raspberry red was common in the hand-woven material, sometimes with shot effects. The selvage stripe of the narrow cloth (ca. 33 cm) was used to emphasize the cut, in which gussets inserted between the rectangular pattern pieces gave a full garment widening to the bottom. The cuffs and neck opening, deep enough to allow suckling, are still embroidered. The rows of coins sewn on the front earlier in this century had vanished by 1349 Š./1970; by 1353 Š./1974 the cut had become much narrower, with a high waist. The length, to within 20 cm of the heels, allows display of the heavy embroidery reinforcing the cuffs of the drawers (balaq, julbār) worn underneath. These are made so that the baggy cotton upper part can be detached, when worn out, from the cuffs, which are made separately as dowry items, some 40 cm deep and tapering sharply toward the ankle. The ornament used to be in two broad rows of contrasting motifs with narrower borders, but lack of time due to education for girls reduced it to one. Shoes, worn on bare feet, have been modernized but formerly had broad toes and wedge heels (kövüš). The topcoat (čabıt) used until recently by the Yomut for formal occasions was of velvet, with short sleeves and a high waist; it was left open at the front, where revers showed as elaborately machined facings. Another type was of red striped silk, with long sleeves and cuffs. The Teke used golden yellow or blue as well with contrasting handworked embroidery. The present headdress for a married woman is a carefully folded paisley headband (āldaŋi) knotted at the front and draped with a block-printed silk headcloth (yaḡlıq) that can be used as a yašmaq (veil) to show respect for senior men; earlier this was worn under the headband, which was itself formerly knotted at the back with pendant tails. When going out a woman covers the headdress with a large shawl (čarḡat), once made of silk but now of a floral print with a long macramé fringe. Girls simply wear an embroidered skullcap (börk, taḵye) with the same shift and drawers. The array of embroidery, differing slightly in color range and motifs from the Yomut and Gökleŋ to the Teke and Ērsārı, is most fully developed on a mantle with vestigial sleeves (čırpı), still worn by Teke women, draped by the left armpit from the crown of the tall formal headdress (plate clxv); a version with full sleeves is called kürte. The color signifies age and status. The Yomut version, bürenğek, was simpler, in green silk set off with red. All had embroidered tendrils around the collar.
This headdress, some 20 cm high, is of silk wrapped around a cylindrical framework of rushes: It was still worn by the Teke in the 1970s (called sommaq; cf. Ērsārı boḡmaq and the earlier Yomut ḵasaba; plate clxvi) for special occasions, mounted with a curved rectangular plaque of silver (eḡme) in front or a series of smaller, linked plaques (öwürme). Such Teke work is generally fretted, overlaid with parcel gilt within sinuous chased outlines, and set with carnelians; Yomut work is often stronger in contour and embellished instead with small lozenges or lunettes of gilt repoussé. The Teke coat is faced with closely set rows of bossed silver disks (čapraz) ending in a large fretted lozenge (čaŋŋa) as a clasp on each side at hip level. Long, cuff-like silver bracelets (bilezik/bezelik) are made of four to eight repeated sections. The face is framed by long temple pendants, triangular (tenečir) or pear-shaped (adamlıq). Formerly a heavy collar (buqaw) masked the throat with interlinking pendants or a single fretted lozenge (gönjük); in the 20th century this gave way to a large collar stud (gulyaqa), closing the shift. The two braids of a married woman, worn behind the shoulders, may be covered by a set of ladder-like linked plaques (šac monjuq or sačlıq) or a characteristic heart-shaped pendant (asıq) or pendants of various sizes. Amulets can be housed in a tube, often below a triangular figure (tumar). Girls’ caps are crowned with a domed silver finial (qupba) and these of small boys with a rectangular plaque (doḡa, depebent), while the back of the boy’s shirt (kürte) is festooned with small talismans—especially those representing a bow and arrow (oq-yag), sword, adze, or ax—and disks (bēzbent) on the shoulders.
M. and P. A. Andrews, Türkmen Needlework. Dressmaking and Embroidery among the Türkmen of Iran, Central Asian Monographs 2, London, 1976.
P. A. Andrews, “Costume,” “Jewellery,” and “Harness,” in M. Burkett, ed., The Turcoman of Iran, Kendal, Eng., 1971, pp. 71-72, 78-123.
Idem, “Die Krönung der Braut. Zur turkmenischen Frauentracht in historischer Sicht,” in G. Völger and K. von Welck, eds., Die Braut II, Cologne, 1985, pp. 656-69.
Idem, “Crowning the Bride. Some Historical Evidence on Türkmen Women’s Costume,” Folk (Commemorative Volume for Klaus Ferdinand) 33, 1991, pp. 67-106.
L. Beresneva, The Decorative and Applied Art of Turkmenia, Leningrad, 1976, pp. 9-12, pls. 55-109.
N. G. Borozna, “Vidy zhenskikh yuvelirnykh ukrasheniĭ u narodov Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana” (Types of women’s jeweled ornaments among the peoples of Central Asia and Kazakhstan), Sovetskaya ètnografiya 1, 1974, pp. 32-44.
I. A. Firouz, Silver Ornaments of the Turkoman, Tehran, 1978.
A. Janata, Schmuck in Afghanistan, Graz, 1981, pls. 58-61.
W. König, “Turkmenischer Frauenschmuck,” Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig 1/2, 1969, pp. 10-16.
N. P. Lobacheva, “K istorii sredneaziatskogo kostyuma (zhenskie golovnye nakidki-khalaty)” (On the history of Central Asian costume [women’s decorated head mantle]) Sovetskaya ètnografiya 6, 1965, pp. 34-49.
A. S. Morozova, “Golovnye ubory Turkmen” (Headdress of the Turkmen), Türkmenistan SSR Ilımlar Akademiyasınıŋ Tarıḵ, Arḵeologiya ve Etnografiya İnstitutınıŋˊ İšleri (Ashkhabad) 7, 1963, pp. 81-118.
Idem, “Turkmenskaya odezhda vtoroĭ poloviny XIX-nachala XX v.” (Turkmen dress from the second half of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century), in Sredneaziatskiĭ ètnograficheskiĭ sbornik III. Zanyatiya i byt narodov Sredneĭ Azii (Central Asian ethnographic miscellany III. Work and daily life of the population of Central Asia), Trudy Instituta Ètnografii (Leningrad) N.S. 97, 1971, pp. 168-223.
I. and J. Prokot, Schmuck aus Zentralasien. Sammlung Inge Prokot, Cologne, 1980. H. Rudolph, Der Turkmenenschmuck. Sammlung Kurt Gull, Stuttgart, 1984.
D. and R. Schletzer, Alter Silberschmuck der Turkmenen. Ein Beitrag zur Erforschung der Symbole in der Kultur der Nomaden Innerasiens, Berlin, 1983.
A. Stucki, “Horses and Women. Some Thoughts on the Life Cycle of Ersari Türkmen Women,” Afghanistan Journal (Graz) 5/4, 1978, pp. 140-49.
O. A. Sukhareva, “Drevnie cherty v formakh golovnykh uborov narodov Sredneĭ Azii” (Early traits in the forms of headdress of the peoples of Central Asia), Sredneaziatskiĭ ètnograficheskiĭ sbornik (Moscow), Trudy Instituta Ètnografii, N.S. 21, 1954, pp. 299-353.
S. P. Tolstov et al., eds., Narody Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana II, Moscow, 1963.
G. P. Vasil’eva, “Turkmenskie zhenskie ukrasheniya. Opyt kartografirovaniya” (Ornaments of Turkmen women. An attempt at mapping), Sovetskaya ètnografya 3, 1973, pp. 90-98.
Idem, “Golovnye i nakosnye ukrasheniya turkmenok XIX-pervoĭ poloviny XX v.” (Head and hair ornaments of Turkmen women from the 19th to the first half of the 20th century), in O. A. Sukhareva, ed., Kostyum narodov Sredneĭ Aziĭ (The costume of the peoples of Central Asia), Moscow, 1979, pp. 174-205.
Ya. R. Vinnikov, Khozyaĭstvo, kul’tura i byt sel’skogo naseleniya Turkmenskoĭ SSR (The economy, culture, and daily life of the rural population in the Turkmen S.S.R.), Moscow, 1969, pp. 178-217.
CLOTHING xxvii. Historical lexicon of Persian clothing
Only terms for garments used in Persia at the present time or known to have been used in the past are included here; some of these garments were or are also worn in other Muslim countries. The lexicon has been compiled from personal observations, descriptions in Persian and other sources, and from old paintings, drawings, and photographs. Such details as the cut and material of a given garment and the occupation of the wearer are given when available, but sometimes all that can be learned from the sources is that a particular garment was in use. Tribal and peasant costumes in the different regions of Persia are not discussed or are mentioned only incidentally (see xxviii, below).
ʿAbāʾ. An outer garment, open in front, sleeveless but with large armholes, worn by men of all classes until the enforcement of Reżā Shah’s dress code (see xi, above).
ʿAraqčīn (Ar. ʿaraq “sweat” + Pers. čīn < čīdan “to pick”). A skullcap, usually white, formerly worn under a hat or turban outside the home, made of lightweight fabric. In the 18th century some men wore red, white, or blue skullcaps with silk embroidery; others wore leather skullcaps. Wealthy men wound cashmere scarves around their skullcaps (Olivier, III, pp. 222, 280, quoted by Rajabī, p. 38; Niebuhr, p. 108). Until Reżā Shah’s reforms shopkeepers, merchants, ʿolamāʾ, and many traditionalists wore the skullcap alone at work and at home; these versions were sometimes embroidered with colorful floral or other designs. Skullcaps are still worn by elderly men in rural areas. In the 18th century women also wore small skullcaps, sometimes decorated with precious stones or coins (Rajabī, p. 40; Solṭān-Aḥmad, p. 39). At the Qajar court this cap went out of vogue after Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96) traveled to Europe; it was then replaced by the čārqad or lačak derived from European fashions (see below; Javāher-kalām, pp. 54-55).
Ārḵāloq, arḵāloq, arḵaleq (Turk.; Doerfer, II, pp. 29-30). A quilted waistcoat worn by men under a qabā (see below) and by women over a shift (for ārḵāloq-e sanbūsa, see Šāmlū, ā, nos. 1776-78). Apparently the earliest mention of the garment in a Persian source is by Moḥammad-Kāẓem Marvī (I, p. 66), an official during Nāder Shah’s reign (1148-60/1736-47). The arḵāloq, worn by men of all classes, had short sleeves, vents over the thighs, two side pockets and a small breast pocket for a seal or similar object. It was wrapped in front and fastened by means of buttons and button loops on cords. The hem and often the cuffs and collar as well were trimnmed with braid in a darker color. According to Kalāntar Żarrābī (pp. 248-49), the winter arḵāloq was padded, that worn in the summer only lined. Those worn by members of the ʿolamāʾ and traditional officials were of printed cotton (qalamkār) or aleja, a handwoven striped fabric, usually in black and white, from Kāšān, Yazd, or Māzandarān. In the 18th century women also wore arḵāloqs, long, without collars, and amply pleated below the waist. These garments gradually became shorter and more like jackets, seldom reaching to the knees (see x, above). Wealthier women could afford to embellish their arḵāloqs with pearls and other ornaments (Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 9, citing Gaspard Droville). In the 19th century wives of ʿolamāʾ, officials, and merchants wore arḵāloqs of Kermāni brocade (terma) or Kāšāni velvet at home and of cashmere, velvet, or other fine fabrics when visiting. Middle-class women wore less luxurious versions of the same garment (Kalāntar Żarrābī, p. 250). In 1911 Henri d’Allemagne remarked on the fine women’s arḵāloqs with gold braid on the cuffs, front, and back that he had seen in Persia (cited in Behnām and Dānešvar, 1337 Š./1958, p. 11).
ʿAsalī (Ar. and Pers., lit. “honey colored”). A piece of yellow cloth that ḏemmīs (q.v.), particularly Jews, were required to stitch onto the shoulder of their outer garments to distinguish them from Muslims, a requirement known since at least as early as the late Middle Ages and enforced with varying degrees of stringency in subsequent periods (Mojmal, ed. Bahār, p. 361; Dehḵodā, s.v.).
Baḡalṭāq, baḡaltāq (< Chagatay Turk. baḡeltāq; Doerfer, II, pp. 297-98). A quilted garment worn under a cuirass. Judging from references in literary works, it was also worn by dervishes (Rūmī, 1925-29, III, p. 39, V, p. 497; idem, 1342 Š./1963, VII, p. 212; Saʿdī, Būstān, pp. 131, 345; cf. Dozy, pp. 78-81; Gowharin, s.v.). In the 19th century Neẓām Qārī (p. 196) described it as an overcoat.
Bāšloq, bāšleq, bāšlīḡ/q (< Chagatay Turk. bašleq). A hood sewn onto a cape or cloak; it was made of the same or sometimes a lighter material. In Khorasan the word was also occasionally used for a cloth cap with a flap covering the ears and neck (for the extension of this usage to mean “commander,” see Eskandar Beg, I, p. 678; Doerfer, II, pp. 248-50).
Borqaʿ (Ar. and Pers.). A woman’s veil, also called rūband, neqāb (see below). It was customary wear in the 14th century, when Ebn Baṭṭūṭa (tr., p. 194) visited Shiraz. Reinhard Dozy (pp. 62-65), quoting, John Fraser, noted that in Transoxania the borqaʿ was a sort of čādor, covering a woman from head to foot. In Afghanistan, too, the čādor is called borqaʿ in the colloquial language (Afḡānīnevīs, p. 48; see xiii, above).
Čādor-namāz. A čādor reserved by most women for prayer at home, though poorer women usually cannot afford such a second čādor. It is usually of plain or floral-printed calico, but silk and other fine fabrics are preferred by women of the upper classes. At the beginning of this century, according to Clara Rice (p. 160), a bead, a small button, or a knot of thread was sometimes sewn on the selvage to mark the section held over the nose (Dehḵodā, 1358 Š./1979, p. 119; Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, pp. 510-11).
Čakma (Turk; Doerfer, II, pp. 84-85). High leather boots worn in Persia since the Safavid period and probably earlier (Eskandar Beg, I, p. 382; Marvī, II, pp. 568, 772). In the 18th century cavalry officers wore knee-high black čakmas with high, tapering heels; walking in them was so difficult that the officer would remove them as soon as he dismounted and put on sandals kept ready for him by an orderly. Courtiers wore black-calf čakmas that were both comfortable and durable (Niebuhr, p. 176, Olivier, III, p. 222, both cited in Rajabī, p. 38). Men often carried letters, handkerchiefs, and other objects in such boots. After the army was reorganized in the Pahlavi period officers wore čakmas with highly polished uppers of fine but very stiff leather; such boots were later dropped from the uniform, apparently because they were too difficult to put on. Čakmas were sometimes also made with flexible uppers of soft leather; Persian jockeys still wear them when riding. Recently women’s boots with tall, medium, or short uppers (nīm-čakma) of soft leather or suede, sometimes with zippers, have been fashionable in Persia, as in the West.
Čāqčūr, čāqšūr, čāḵčūr (Turk.; Doerfer, III, pp. 29-31). Long, often black trousers of thin fabric formerly worn by women. One type consisted of loose trousers ending in stockings, which covered the body from waist to toes; it was held up by a waistband and strap. Another type more closely resembled a pair of leggings tied with tapes under the insteps; it fell in folds from below the knee to the closely fitted cuff. This second type required less cloth and was lighter in weight and more comfortable (Rice, tr., p. 164; Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 10; ill. in Dehḵodā, s.v. ḥejāb). In the later Qajar period the čāqčūr was considered old-fashioned (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 510) and was seldom worn by upper-class women (Sīāsī, p. 70). There are also references to čāqčūrs worn by men in the Safavid period (Eskandar Beg, I, p. 184); under the Qajars a version of the garment in bright-red broadcloth was part of official dress (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 98 n. 1; Solṭān-Aḥmad, p. 62).
Čāroq, čāroḡ, čārūq (Turk.; Doerfer, III, pp. 23-25). Soles of coarse leather fastened to the legs by means of straps or cords (Dehḵodā, s.v.; see xiv, xx-xxii, xxvi, above), once the normal footwear of farmers, villagers, and camel drivers. The term is found in Persian texts, replacing pālīk, as early as the 13th century (e.g., Rūmī, 1925-29, V, pp. 122, 124; cf. Neẓām Qārī, p. 198; Gowharīn, IV, pp. 11-12; Eḥtešām-al-Salṭana, pp. 214, 219). Čāroqs are still made in Persia, notably at Mahābād (Kurdistan) and Māsūla (Gīlān).
Čārqad. A square of cotton, silk, or other fabric folded diagonally and worn by women as a head covering; the large point is worn at the back of the neck and the two ends fastened under the chin with a pin. In the 19th century čārqads were rather large; women wore them not only when visiting but also at home (Kalāntar Żarrābī, p. 250; Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 510; Rice, tr., p. 160). A popular version was of printed cloth (čārqad-e qālebī), starched and ironed to fit the wearer’s head (Javāher-kalām, pp. 54-55). Wives of dignitaries sometimes fastened their čārqads with diamond or ruby brooches (d’Allemagne, quoted by Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 11-12). Lengths of cloth for making čārqads were among the wedding presents given to the bridegroom’s family for the bride’s trousseau (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, pp. 350-51). The Baḵtīārī bībīs (high-ranking ladies) wore fringed silk čārqads, sometimes adorned with tassels of beads and gold (Rice, p. 73). The smaller čārqads in common use today are often called rūsarī (head scarf). Village women and Zoroastrians still wear the bigger čārqad (sometimes called kalāḡī; see below), with the point reaching quite far down in back; they are usually in brightly colored large floral patterns (Behnām and Dānešvar, pp. 18-21; cf. Maḥjūb, p. 14; Dehḵodā, 1358 Š./1979, p. 116).
Časbak. Goatskin shoes formerly made in Khorasan, mainly by Turkic-speaking immigrants from Ashkhabad; the design may have been of Turkmen origin. The uppers were of dyed goatskin (tīmāj), usually dark gray, dark brown, or white, the soles of single thin sheets of leather. The shoes had low heels and no laces. Časbaks were light, comfortable, and cheap and were particularly popular with athletes and poorer people in the 1940s (Šāmlū, no. 825).
Čašmāvīz (lit. “veil before the eyes”). A black horsehair-mesh veil worn as an amulet, permitting women to see while hiding their eyes from others (cf. Loḡat-e fors, ed. Dabīrsīāqī, p. 134, s.v. čašmpanām). It has been worn since medieval times. This type of veil was also called ayāzī or ayāsī (Enjū Šīrāzī, II, pp. 1365, 2211; Moḥammad Pādšāh, I, p. 112, II, pp. 1430, 1432; Dehḵodā, s.v.). Cf. pīča, borqaʿ.
Čūḵā, čūḵa, čūḡā, čūqā. A man’s short coat of rough woolen cloth, mentioned in medieval texts (Awḥad-al-Dīn, p. 38; Maqālāt-e Šams, pp. 150, 1003) and still popular in Māzandarān and other rural areas. At Bošrūya in Khorasan the word, pronounced čoḡa, refers to a camel driver’s sleeved coat, with colored trim on the hems and cuffs (Forūzānfar, in Awḥad-al-Dīn, p. 294). In earlier centuries it also meant a woolen surplice worn by Christian monks (Ḵāqānī, pp. 26, 245; Borhān-e qāṭeʿ, ed. Moʿīn, II, p. 669; Maṛʿašī, p. 65; Malakūtī, p. 649; cf. Dozy, pp. 122-25) and a kind of raincoat (Maqrīzī, cited in Dozy, s.v.; Kāšānī, cited in Doerfer, III, pp. 110-11). Solṭān-Aḥmad Mīrzā (p. 62) reported that a čūḵā-bārānī (presumably waterproof) was part of the prescribed dress for a royal audience in the Qajar period.
Dalq. A woolen cloak worn by dervishes, sometimes mended with patches of different colors; hence the epithets moraqqaʿ (patched; see below) and molammaʿ (variegated; Ḥāfeẓ, pp. 101, 278; cf. Dozy, pp. 174-75). In Persian it appears at times to be synonymous with ḵerqa (see below), which means any tattered garment (Moḥammad b. Monawwar, II, commentary, pp. 457-58; Gowharīn, s.v.; cf. hazār-mīḵī).
Dāman. In medieval Persian texts the part of a garment (not necessarily a skirt) that fell from the waist (Dehḵodā, s.v.). Long skirts were fashionable in Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah’s harem in the early 19th century (Javāher-kalām, pp. 54-55; Behnām, 1339 Š./1960, p. 7). Rice (tr., pp. 159-60, 162) reported in the early 20th century that at home Persian women wore a skirt with a matching jacket in printed calico, satin, or brocade; an underskirt; and a divided, usually white petticoat, all “high on the hip and full in front.” These skirts were generally only about 12 inches long, though elderly women and villagers wore them longer, the latter sometimes with “bands of insertion or trimming at the hem.” Women now wear skirts of European type. See pāčīn, šalīta.
Dastār. See ʿamāma.
Dastkeš. Gloves. This term is relatively recent, and it is probable that, as Jean Chardin remarked in the mid-17th century (tr., IV, p. 218), Persians did not wear gloves. In the 19th century Anīs-al-Dawla, one of the wives of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah, is reported to have worn colorful silk gloves (Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 11). According to Rice (tr., pp. 164-65), Persian women in the early 20th century wore white cotton gloves, sometimes with colored embroidery on the backs. They often wore rings over their gloves. Villagers usually wear plain or polychrome woolen mittens, less frequently gloves, for warmth. Urban women often follow Western fashions in gloves, some of which have long cuffs of goatskin or other soft leather.
Davāzda-tark. See tark.
Deyhīm. See crown.
Dolāḡ, dolāq. Long hose with a waistband, worn mainly by women but also, according to Solṭān-Aḥmad Mīrzā (p. 62), part of Qajar men’s dress for the royal audience.
Dorrāʿa (Ar. and Pers.) A loose woolen or cotton cloak, mentioned by Bayhaqī (ed. Fayyāż, pp. 229, 351, 457, 733, 814) in the 12th century as part of the ceremonial attire of government officials and judges and sometimes as a robe of honor (cf. Dozy, pp. 168-72). In subsequent centuries it appears to have been worn mainly by ascetics and lower-class men (Moḥammad b. Monawwar, commentary, II, pp. 560-61). At the time of the Mongol conquest the dorrāʿa and the dastār (turban) were the distinctive garb of Islamic lawyers (foqahāʾ) and judges (Rašīd-al-Dīn, Tārīḵ-eḡāzānī, p. 238).
Ezār, Īzār (Ar. and Pers.). A long rectangle of cloth worn as a loincloth or wrapped skirt (Nāṣer-e Ḵosrow, 1354 Š./1975, p. 120; idem, 1307 Š./1928, p. 56; Anwarī, p. 416; cf. Bayhaqī, ed. Fayyāż, p. 233; see fūṭa, mendīl).
Farajī. A woolen qabā (see below), loose and unbelted, with long full sleeves extending beyond the fingertips and fastened at the ends. Like the ḵerqa it was part of the distinctive garb of the Sufis (see Dehḵodā, s.v.; Moḥammad b. Monawwar, pp. 95, 146, 212, 223-24; Dozy, pp. 309-15).
Fūṭa (Ar. and Pers.). A length of cloth wrapped around the hips. Moqaddasī (p. 416) mentioned fine silk fūṭas for women made at Ahvāz. From certain occurrences in Persian texts it appears that the word also meant some sort of fabric from which the clothes of ascetics and Sufis were made (ʿAṭṭār, pp. 207, 291; Moḥammad b. Monawwar, commentary, II, p. 520; see also Dozy, pp. 319-23). In the Qajar period it was a kind of loincloth (Neẓām Qārī, p. 202).
Ḡīār. See ʿasalī.
Gīva. Shoes with uppers knitted from white cotton string and soles of either leather or twisted and compressed rags, a type known since the medieval period (Dehḵodā, s.v.). Chardin described gīvas as fitted shoes without heels, which could not be put on without a shoehorn and were worn mainly by menservants (cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 6; Rajabī, p. 38). In the Qajar period Kalāntar Żarrābī (p. 249) described them as the summer footwear of the poor; at Tehran thin-soled gīvas were considered an essential part of the attire of a “tough guy” (lūṭī, dāš-mašdī; Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 304). Women as well as men wore gīvas. Rice (tr., p. 73) noted their use among Baḵtīārī women early in this century. At the present time gīvas are made at Kermānšāh (Bāḵtarān), Ābāda, Yazd, Ṭabas, and a few other places (Abādī Bāvīl, I, pp. 82, 83, 88, 521, 530, 545, 675). One variety is quilted (ājeda, ājīda) with a soft, flat leather sole and a crisscross pattern on the upper. The leather sole of the gīva-ye malekī is sharply pointed and turned up slightly at the toe (Maḥjūb, pp. 39, 163). The gīva-ye kermānšāhī also has a stout leather sole but with a blunt end and tapes binding the upper; it is considered superior and is in great demand. Also made at Kermānšāh are ornamental gīvas with uppers woven from variegated silk, sometimes with little or no heel and intended to be worn as house slippers.
Golūta. In the 17th century a lined child’s bonnet with cotton padding and flaps to be fastened under the chin (Borhān-e qāṭeʿ, s.v.; cf. Neẓām Qārī, p. 204).
Ḥamāyel. A broad silk sash conferred by Qajar and Pahlavi shahs as a reward for service to the government or the country. On state occasions it was worn over one shoulder and diagonally across the chest, in the European fashion. The order and class of the decoration were indicated by the color (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 99).
Hazār-mīḵī (lit. “a thousand pins”). A dervish’s tattered and heavily patched cloak (Ḵāqānī, p. 301; Moḥammad b. Monawwar, commentary, II, p. 465).
Ḥejāb. The generic term for women’s face coverings; see borqaʿ, neqāb, rūband.
Jahūdāna, yahūdāna. See ʿasalī.
Jāma. General term for garments or clothing, often found in constructs denoting specific types of garments (e.g. jāma-ye ʿarūsī “bridal dress”) and in compounds like jāmadān (suitcase, wardrobe) and jāmadār (keeper of the wardrobe; Bayhaqī, ed. Fayyāż, pp. 77-78, 233, 311, 316-17, 325, 461).
Jelīqa (< Fr. gilet; Doerfer, IV, p. 279). A waistcoat or vest, worn by men since at least as early as the 18th century. Summer versions were of cotton; those worn in winter were of heavier fabric (Rajabī, p. 38). It was once fashionable for city dwellers to wear embroidered or decorated jelīqas of rich fabrics cut like the European waistcoat, but they are no longer considered chic (Jamālzāda, 1339 Š./1960, p. 20). The term is now commonly applied to the vest of a three-piece Western-style suit. The rural jelīqa is long and made of durable heavy material, and in some areas women also wear more colorful versions (see xvi, xviii, xx, above).
Jeqqa, jeḡḡa, jīqā (see Doerfer, III, pp. 9-11). An aigrette, usually of heron or crane feathers, studded with jewels and fixed to the front of the royal headdress or on the left side of the prince’s hat (Solṭān-Aḥmad, pp. 13, 70, 213; see x, above). Chardin noted that wives of dignitaries in the Safavid period wore coronets with small aigrettes (cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 8). In the opinion of ʿAlī-Akbar Dehḵodā (s.v.), it was originally a miniature representation of a cypress tree bent at the top. The term appears in Persian texts from the 17th and 18th centuries (e.g., Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 329, 339; Marvī, I, pp. 49, 63, 233, 260, 347, II, pp. 643, 767, 817, III, pp. 1120, 1169).
Jobba (Ar. and Pers.). A long, loose-fitting gown with long, full sleeves, worn by men over other garments (Bayhaqī, ed. Fayyāż, pp. 201, 229, 233, 733 ). In the Qajar period statesmen, courtiers, officials, and even tradesmen had jobbas befitting their rank, some made of fur or brocade or adorned with gold embroidery, braid, or pearls (Kalāntar Żarrābī, pp. 248-49; Solṭān-Aḥmad, pp. 64, 116). As a result of contact with Europeans, the jobba went out of fashion (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 98).
Jowšan. A long coat of mail, made of iron rings, known from the Šāh-nāma and other medieval sources (Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, p. 110; cf. Borhān-e qāṭeʿ, s.v.). See zereh.
Jūrāb, jūrab. Stockings or socks. In Ḥodūd al-ʿālam (tr. Minorsky, p. 103), written in the 10th century, jūrāb are listed among the products of Ṭūs (on production of stockings at Qazvīn, see Ābādī Bāvīl, pp. 141, 507-8). Chardin (tr. IV, pp. 212-13, 218) considered that in the Safavid period Persian stockings were modeled on those worn by Europeans and that previously Persians had worn puttees (pātāba; see below); women had previously worn neither. In the 18th century wealthy men pulled cotton stockings, with knitted designs of birds and the like, over their trousers (as villagers frequently still do). Ordinary people wore puttees in winter and went barelegged in summer (Rajabī, p. 38). In the Qajar period Kalāntar Żarrābī (pp. 248-49) mentioned woolen winter stockings and white cotton stockings made at Shiraz for summer. Today villagers usually wear thick, hand-knitted woolen stockings only in winter (cf. Doerfer, III, p. 8; Dozy, p. 126; Ṣadīq, p. 25).
Kafš. A generic term for leather shoes. See or(o)sī.
Ḵaftān (probably Turk.; Doerfer, III, pp. 185-90). A battle dress made of a double thickness of heavy cloth, padded with silk floss and densely quilted; it was reputedly impenetrable by the enemy’s sword. Verses in Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma and Asadī Ṭūsī’s Garšāsb-nāma indicate that the ḵaftān was worn under a zereh (coat of mail; see below) and could be open in front (Dehḵodā, s.v.; Neẓām Qārī, p. 199). Saʿdī (Būstān, v. 3331) referred to a ḵaftān with a thousand silk (pads) worn for protection against swords and arrows. The quality of Rūmi ḵaftāns (presumably imported from Anatolia) was praised in medieval Persian texts (e.g., Masʿūd-e Saʿd, p. 220).
Kajīm, kajīn, also kažīm, kažīn, kajāḡand. See qazāgand.
Kalāḡī. A fabric of dyed natural or artificial silk, woven at Oskūya, a small town south of Tabrīz, and exported to other districts, particularly Kurdistan (Ābādī Bāvīl, p. 29). The word also means a large headscarf of such material, worn mainly by Kurdish women and sometimes also by men (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 336; Šahrīār, p. 591; see čārqad).
Kamarband. See belts.
Kapanak. A felt overcoat worn in winter mainly by shepherds, camel drivers, and villagers. It is loose-fitting, usually with very long sleeves but sometimes sleeveless, and open in front (Neẓām Qārī, p. 161; Farroḵ, p. 679). The production of kapanaks at Tabrīz was mentioned by Rašīd-al-Dīn Fażl-Allāh in the 14th century (1367/1947, p. 188).
Kažīm, kažīn. See qazāgand.
Ḵelʿat. Robe of honor bestowed by the ruler upon his courtiers, foreign diplomats, and other dignitaries on important state occasions, holidays, and the like.
Ḵerqa. Tattered woolen clothes of dervishes and Sufis; see dalq.
Kolāh. Generic term for hat, headgear; see also crown.
Kolīja. A long coat. During Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah’s reign (1212-50/1797-1834) it was knee-length, but later it reached only to the thighs and was thus shorter than a labbāda, sardārī (see below) or European-style overcoat. It was fitted at the waist and open under the armpits to facilitate movement. It was worn mainly in cold weather (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 510; Javāher-kalām, p. 54), often with empty sleeves dangling. Kalāntar Żarrābī (pp. 248, 250) reported that a koleja (= kolīja) of broadcloth (māhūt) or camel’s hair (barak), lined with the same material or with Bukhara lambskin, was part of the winter attire of the ʿolamāʾ and government officials. Some kolījas were made of the best English broadcloth and embroidered with gold thread, others of the finest cashmere (Kotzebue, tr., pp. 118-19). Wives of officials and merchants wore kolījas of red or maroon velvet or silk brocade, trimmed with braid or lace at the cuffs, and middle-class women wore pleated versions (Šahrīār, p. 591; cf. d’Allemagne, cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 11). This kind of coat was also popular in provincial towns and villages. For example, at Qāsemābād in Gīlān the wives of the local khans formerly wore the kolīja (locally called olīja) in cold weather, instead of the waistcoat (jalīqa) worn today; it was a fitted velvet or taffeta jacket with short sleeves and embroidered or sequined decoration on the sleeve ends and was possibly an imported fashion from Tehran. The men of Qāsemābād also wore an olīja of white silk with red stripes, rather than the plain jacket in use today (Behnām, 1336 Š./1957, p. 33 and ill. p. 29). Mīrzā Ḥosayn Taḥwīldār (p. 98) mentioned a guild (jamāʿat) of tailors at Isfahan who made kolījas of lambskin before they went out of fashion.
Korta. Undergarment (Dehḵodā, s.v.).
Kostī. A girdle worn by Zoroastrians from the age of seven years (Moʿīn, pp. 243-53; Behnām and Dānešvar, pp. 20-22).
Kot. “Coat,” a term apparently borrowed from Europe in the Qajar period (Maḥjūb, p. 144; Sīāsī, p. 42).
Ḵūd, kolāh(-e) ḵūd. A helmet; see armor.
Labbāda, Ar. lobbāda. A felt raincoat or long men’s overcoat resembling the coats of shepherds and camel drivers, sometimes also called namadī (ʿOṯmān Moḵtārī, p. 579 n.; Tārīḵ-eSīstān, p. 284, Manūčehrī, p. 115).
Lač(č)ak. A small triangular scarf worn on the head by women and children (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 510; Behnām and Dānešvar, p. 16).
Lebās-e rasmī. State dress; see bār.
Long. A rectangular piece of cotton cloth with a large checked pattern, usually dark red with dark blue stripes, particularly worn as a loincloth in the public bath (ḥammām); see fūṭa. Wrestlers in the zūr-ḵāna (traditional Persian gymnasium) wear a similar garment, sometimes made of a silk fabric woven at Kāšān or Yazd, over their trousers. Champions and veterans may allow one end to fall in front like an apron, but beginners customarily draw it up and fasten it at the waist (Neẓām Qārī, p. 202; Enṣāfpūr, pp. 299-300).
Maknow. A piece of silk about 3 m long interwoven with gold thread, worn by Zoroastrian women at Yazd as a headband over a scarf (lačak). It is tied under the chin, so that one end falls over the chest, and the left side is pinned to the scarf and falls down the back to below the knees (Behnām and Dānešvar, pp. 16-20).
Mendīl (< Ar. mandīl; see ʿamāma). A turban cloth. Eskandar Beg (II, p. 775) mentioned a gold-brocaded yellow mendīl 4 ḏaṛʿ (ca. 416 cm) long. In Khorasan today the mendīl is a large white turban worn at Torbat-e Jām, Kᵛāf, and neighboring districts, usually with one end dangling about 0.5 m (cf. Dozy, pp. 389-93).
Meqnaʿa. See borqaʿ, neqāb, rūband.
MočpīčÎʷ. Long, broad strips of cloth wound several times around the ankles and shins, worn by Persian peasants and formerly part of a soldier’s uniform; see pātāba. Močpīč is also the name of an item in the local costume of men at Šāhābād-e Ḡarb and Qaṣr-e Šīrīn in Kurdistan: a piece of white linen or silk sewn in the shape of a funnel as a kind of protective sleeve, with a long flap at the wider upper, which is wound around the arm from below the elbow to near the wrist (Ṣadīq, pp. 26-27 and ills. 11, 12; for močpīč worn by men at Qāsemābād in Gīlān, see Behnām, 1336 Š./1957, p. 29).
Moraqqaʿ, moraqqaʿa (Ar. and Pers.). A variegated patched cloak worn by Sufis (Ḥāfeẓ, p. 162; Moḥammad b. Monawwar, commentary, II, pp. 459-60; Dozy, pp. 180-81).
Mūza. See čakma.
Naʿlayn (Ar. and Pers.). Leather slippers, often yellow, open at the back, without heels, but often turned up at the toes. Sometimes a strip of iron shaped like a horseshoe was nailed onto the sole under the heel. Naʿlayn were formerly worn by clerics and theology students (Kalāntar Żarrābī, p. 248), but since about 1971 they have given way to ordinary shoes. In the early 20th century Henri d’Allemagne noted that women in provincial towns usually wore red naʿlayn with upturned toes like beaks (cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 12).
Neqāb. A woman’s face veil; see borqaʿ, rūband.
Nīm-tana. A coat or jacket with sleeves, worn over a shirt or shift. In the 17th century Chardin noted two types of men’s nīm-tana, one, of cotton, reaching the thighs and buttoned down the front over a shirt; the other, known as a kordī, sleeveless or short-sleeved and worn over a qabā (see below). The kordī was fitted at the torso and flared at the bottom; it was made of broadcloth or satin and ornamented with braid and gold embroidery; sometimes the hem was trimmed with sable or lambskin. Chardin also mentioned along nīm-tana worn by women (IV, pp. 210-12, 217-18; cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 6-7). In the Qajar period men’s nīm-tanas were made of heavy, warm fabrics like camel’s hair (e.g., Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 238). More recently the term nīm-tana has referred to a European-style coat or jacket. Women’s nīm-tanas of gold brocade, velvet, cashmere, or European worsted were also fashionable under the Qajars (Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 51; Kotzebue, tr., p. 119). The nīm-tanas of village women were made of heavier material and usually padded as well (Rice, tr., p. 121).
Or(o)sī (lit. “Russian”). Men’s or women’s leather shoes with heels, introduced in the 19th century (Kalāntar Żarrābī, pp. 226, 238, 248-50).
Pāčīla, pāčapla. According to Jalāl-al-Dīn Rūmī, a special boot “like a sieve,” worn by men to trample snow so that it would be passable for caravans and travelers. In dictionaries it is normally given as pāčīla, but Adīb Nīšābūrī, on the evidence of the terms čaplak and čaplī (a boot worn in Afghanistan) has amended it to pāčapla (Afḡānīnevīs, s.v.; Dehḵodā, s.v.; cf. čaplīpāy, wearer of čaplī). One of Neẓāmī’s verses contains a word that has been read as pāhanga but is written pāčīla in most manuscripts (Dehḵodā, s.v.; see also Gowharīn, II, p. 239).
Pāčīn. A woman’s skirt, usually pleated. In villages it is generally made of floral-printed fabrics and cut in a wide bell shape like old-fashioned Western hoopskirts. Dancers sometimes sewed small bells or other jingling objects on the hems of their pāčīns to provide a rhythmic sound while they were dancing (Maḥjūb, pp. 15, 82, 178).
Pāhanga. See pāčīla.
Pājāma, pāyjāma, pījāma. Full trousers or drawers (Neẓām Qārī, p. 197).
Pālīk, pālang. See čāroq.
Pāltow (< Fr. paletot). An overcoat copied from European models. In the Qajar period wealthy men wore pāltows with costly fur linings (Eḥtešām-al-Salṭana, pp. 12, 19-20).
Panām. A rectangle of white cotton cloth with straps sewn to two corners, worn as a face covering by Zoroastrian priests (mōbads) to prevent their breath from polluting the sacred fire. It is also called rūband (Behnām and Dānešvar, pp. 19-20; Borhān-e qāṭeʿ, ed. Moʿīn, I, p. 418).
Pāpīč. See pātāba.
Pāpūš. Slippers, particularly of velvet ornamented with gold spangles, rhinestones, and the like, worn indoors by Persian women in the 19th century (d’Allemagne, cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 12).
Pātāba, pātāva, pātava, pātāfta. Puttees, strips of thick cloth wound several times around the leg from the ankle to below the knee to protect the legs from cold. Peasants still wear woolen puttees in winter (Loḡat-e fors, ed. Dabīrsīāqī, p. 159; Čahār maqāla, ed. Qazvīnī, text, p. 91; Neẓām Qārī, pp. 127, 151, 201, 203; Chardin, cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 6; Rajabī, p. 38; Bahmanbīgī, p. 280). Cf. patak, močpīč.
Patak. Woolen or cotton puttees worn by camel drivers, muleteers, and other workmen. Cf. pātāba, močpīč.
Pestān-band. Brassière, introduced from Europe in the 19th century (Scarce) and now widespread.
Pīča (pīčaband in Loḡat-e fors, ed. Dabīrsīāqī, p. 42). A woman’s veil of black horsehair mesh, worn under the čādor and tied over the head with a ribbon in such a way that it covers the face; it became fashionable in the early 20th century (Rice, tr., p. 164; cf. Neẓāmī Qārī, p. 197; Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, pp. 510-11). It was cooler and more comfortable than cloth veils, but making the horsehair mesh was a delicate and difficult process. Cf. čašmāvīz, rūband.
Pīrāhan. Shirt or shift. According to Chardin, in the Safavid period men’s shirts were collarless, long, and worn outside the trousers; they fastened on the right shoulder. Both men and women wore shifts trimmed with pearls or braid at the neck. Droville reported that in the 18th century the pīrāhan was shorter and fastened over the chest with laces or buttons or at the top with a pin or jeweled brooch, edged with velvet. Other contemporary observers mentioned women’s shifts of cotton, linen, or silk, worn with knee-length petticoats (Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 5, 9, 38, 40). In the 19th century officials, ʿolamāʾ, and middle-class men wore white poplin shirts. Women of rank wore white cotton shifts at home and versions trimmed with braid or colored or black silk when visiting; middle-class women wore white or small-patterned versions at home and shifts trimmed with black silk when visiting (Kalāntar Żarrābī, pp. 248-50). In modern cities men’s shirts are made of a variety of fabrics, usually following European fashions; among rural and tribal people the women’s shifts are more often of brightly colored floral prints.
Pīrāhan-e morād (lit. “wish shift”; cf. Massé, Croyances, p. 140). A shift traditionally made from cloth purchased with money obtained by begging on 27 Ramażān, sewn in a mosque between noon and afternoon prayers, and put on in the belief that it would bring fulfillment of the woman’s prayers.
Pūstīn. A loose, long-sleeved cloak like an ʿabāʾ, made of unsheared sheepskin treated with a tanning solution (āš). The fleece is generally worn inside; similar coats were made from the skins of squirrels, ermines, sables, and other animals. The type has been popular since the Middle Ages (Moḥammad b. Monawwar, I, p. 24; Rūmī, 1925-29, V, pp. 122, 131, 207, 209, VI, p. 284). The outside of a pūstīn, traditionally yellow, is often embroidered in silk or cotton thread; in recent years dark brown and other colors have been manufactured, mainly for export. Pūstīns from Daragaz in Khorasan and from Kabul have the reputation of being the best. A short, sleeveless sheepskin coat (pūstīṇča) reaching to just below the waist has been popular since around 1971.
Pūtīn (< Fr. bottine). A half-boot rising to slightly above the ankle, usually made of leather with a thick sole.
Qabā. A long outer cloak buttoned down the front. In the 18th century Reinhold Niebuhr commented on the similarity between this garment and the long robes worn by men depicted on the Persepolis reliefs (see ii, above). That the garment dates back so far cannot be proved, but it has certainly been worn since the Middle Ages, at least by men of high rank (Bayhaqī, ed. Fayyāż, p. 191; Moḥammad b. Monawwar, II, commentary, pp. 556-57; Ḥāfeẓ, p. 283). According to Chardin, in the 17th century the qabā was fitted over the torso and wrapped from left to right to a buttoned closing under the armpit. The long, narrow sleeves were either pushed up over the wrist or turned back and buttoned (cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 5). In the 18th century Marvī (II, p. 743) mentioned qabās of blue canvas (qadak) worn by the common people of Marv. A typical fine qabā of the Zand period is preserved in the Ethnographic Museum in Tehran (Żīāʾpūr, p. 384, pl. 235). In the 19th century the qabā was ankle length and opened down the front; as in all periods, the quality of the materials reflected the wealth of the owner (Kotzebue, tr. p. 118; Kalāntar Żarrābī, pp. 248-49). Today this garment is worn mainly by members of the Islamic clergy; it is fuller through the torso than earlier versions but still wraps across the front.
Qamīṣ, qamīṣa. A cotton shirt or shift (Dozy, pp. 349-52). According to Chardin (tr., IV, p. 217), women’s shifts were called qamīṣ in the Safavid period.
Qazāgand (kazāgand, kažāgand, ḵazākand, kažāḡand, qazāḡand, kajāgand, kajāḡand). A coat of double-thick cloth densely padded with raw silk for wear in battle.
Rānīn or rānayn. Breeches or cuisses for the thighs (rān). Anwarī (II, p. 707) rhymed rānayn with Ḥosayn and ʿayn, treating the second syllable as an Arabic dual ending, but other authors have interpreted it as the Persian adjectival suffix in (Moḥammad b. Monawwar, I, p. 187, II, p. 923; Čahār maqāla, ed. Qazvīnī, p. 53 n. 4; Faḵr-e Modabber, pp. 147, 369, 527).
Redā. Coat or cloak worn over other garments (Bayhaqī, ed. Fayyāż, p. 229; Moḥammad b. Monawwar, I, pp. 250, 255, 277; Faḵr-e Modabber, pp. 179, 527; cf. Wāʿeẓ-e Kāšefī, p. 200).
Rūband, rūbanda. A face veil consisting of a rectangle of white cloth with a latticework panel at one end, worn so that the latticework was over the eyes (d’Allemagne, cited by Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 12; Rice, tr., pp. 32, 124; Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 510; for illustrations, see Chardin, tr., p. 215; Dehḵodā, s.v. ḥejāb; MacGregor, p. 260). The term was used by Rūmī (1925-29, V, p. 211) and remained current until the end of the Qajar period (Kalāntar Żarrābī, p. 266).
Rūsarī. See čārqad.
Šab-kolāh. A nightcap (cf. ʿaraqčīn), normally included in the gifts of clothing sent from the bride’s home for the bridegroom (Kalāntar Żarrābī, p. 265; Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī I, p. 350). Chardin noted that in the 17th century girls wore small nightcaps and the daughters of grandees had nightcaps embroidered with jewels and pearls (cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, p. 33).
Šāl. A sash or shawl (šāl-e gardan) wrapped around the waist (šāl-e kamar) or the head. In the Safavid period notables wore elegant wide sashes of cashmere or other expensive materials, and women wore narrower versions over their dresses (Chardin, cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 5, 7). In the Čehel Sotūn and the ʿAlī Qāpū in Isfahan there are contemporary paintings of banquet scenes in which some of the women are wearing such sashes (Javāher-kalām, p. 53). In the 18th century women wore small shawls on their heads in various ways, for example, wrapped around the neck or tied over the crown of the head in a knot shaped like a flower (Rajabī, p. 40), with the ends falling over the shoulders and down the back. In the 19th century sashes of linen and silk brocade were worn (Kalāntar Żarrābī, pp. 248-49; Kotzebue, tr., p. 38; Waring, p. 57; Niebuhr, p. 176; Olivier, III, p. 219, cited in Rajabī, p. 38; Behnām, 1339 Š./1960, p. 7 and ills. pp. 8-9; Ṣadīq, p. 26). Today the sash is still worn by the Islamic clergy, though some prefer to wear the qabā without a sash. Sayyeds wear plain black or green sashes, others plain white ones. In the countryside farmers also still wear sashes.
Šāl-e kolāh. In the early Qajar period a band of fine material (šāl) wound around the headdress of a man of high rank (Kotzebue, tr., p. 119; Waring, p. 57; Niebuhr, p. 108; Olivier, III, pp. 222, 280, cited in Rajabī, p. 38). Later such hatbands became an essential part of state dress (lebās-e rasmī; Solṭān-Aḥmad, pp. fit, 78), and the term šāl-e kolāh came to denote the entire formal costume of a minister or high official at a royal ceremony. “Putting on the šāl-e kolāh” thus became a metaphor for dressing for any state occasion (Dehḵodā, s.v.).
Šalīta. A short, loose skirt with many pleats formerly worn by women over trousers and still to be seen in the local dress of some areas (see xxii, above). They were derived from European tutus (Javāher-kalām, pp. 55-56; d’Allemagne, Serena, cited in Behnām, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 10-11). They were tied on at the waist (cf. Behnām, 1339 Š./1960, p. 7; Dehḵodā, 1358 Š./1979, pp. 119, 122).
Šalvār. Full trousers worn by men and women in Persia since antiquity, with many variations in fabric and details. See čāqčūr, tonoka.
Sarāgūš, sarāḡūš, sarāḡūj, sarāḡoj. A net or cloth bag, sometimes with an appendage, in which women wrap their hair (Neẓām Qārī, p. 200; Enjū Šīrāzī, I, p. 1011; Dehḵodā, s.v. sarāḡoj).
Sarandāz, sarpūš. A woman’s head scarf; see čārqad.
Sarband. A cloth wound around the head (Neẓām Qārī, p. 107); see ʿamāma.
Sardārī. A style of frock coat reaching to the knees. The sardārīs of high-ranking men in the Qajar period were made of expensive material like silk brocade, with ornamental frogging rather than buttons (Maḥjūb, p. 144). According to Kalāntar Żarrābī (pp. 248-50), in his time officials wore sardārīs of broadcloth or silk brocade lined with the same material or with sable, squirrel, or Bukhara lambskin. The wives of officials and merchants wore sardārīs pleated below the waist; those worn at home were made of Kermān silk brocade, broadcloth, or camel’s hair, those for visiting of cashmere or European velvet with various kinds of braid decoration.
Sedra. A loose white knee-length cotton shirt worn by Zoroastrians. It has short sleeves and no collar and opens in front over the chest, where a small bag is sewn inside. Every Zoroastrian male must don the sedra upon attaining puberty (fifteen years). A special girdle (see kostī) is worn over the sedra (Dehḵodā, s.v.; Behnām and Dānešvar, p. 22).
Šenel. A loose, sleeveless cape worn open in front, usually by men in winter. The Qajar kings often wore such capes, and so did Reżā Shah Pahlavi in the early years of his reign. According to Kalāntar Żarrābī (p. 250), in the Qajar period the wives of officials and merchants also wore capes of broadcloth, velvet, or silk brocade when they went visiting. In modern times capes have gone out of use among men but have sometimes been worn by fashion-conscious women.
Ṣodra (< ṣadrīya or ṣedrīya; Dozy, p. 234). A sort of waistcoat with no sleeves or back, partly open in front, and with three holes for insertion of the head and arms (cf. Moḥammad b. Monawwar, commentary, II, p. 542).
Šowlā. A woolen cloak resembling a jobba, worn by villagers, Kurds, and dervishes (Dehḵodā, s.v.).
Ṣūf. Wool or woolen cloth, though the use of the term in the 12th-century Asrār-al-tawḥīd has led scholars to infer that it once referred to a garment made of a particular kind of woolen material or cut and stitched in a particular way, perhaps like a dorrāʿa. In a poem by Ḥāfeẓ (p. 175) the word also appears to have meant a garment (see Moḥammad b. Monawwar, commentary, II, p. 540).
Taḥt al-ḥanak, taḥt-e ḥanak (Ar. and Pers.). Part of a turban passed under the chin or the ends fastened under the chin (see ʿamāma; Dehḵodā, s.v.; Manūčehrī, p. 187; Ṣāʾeb Tabrīzī, IV, p. 1757).
Tāj. Crown and also the special cap of the Qezelbāš followers of the Safavid shah Esmāʿīl I (907-30/1501-24; see tark). According to Adam Olearius and Engelbert Kaempfer, the embroidered cap, usually made of felt gores, that dervishes wore in the 17th century (Dozy, pp. 96-97) was called tāj-e mawlawī, tāj-e pūst (lit. “lambskin crown”), and the like (Wāʿeẓ-e Kāšefī, pp. 184-95). In traditional wrestling, which was linked to dervish orders, a recognized champion donned a cap called a tāj-e faqr (“dervish’s crown”; Enṣāfpūr, p. 219).
Ṭāqīya. A tall, conical hat like those worn by some dervishes. The hat worn by Ottoman soldiers was known as ṭāqīya-ye torkamānī (Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 19, 25, 32, 572; see also Dehḵodā, s.v.).
Tark. Helmet (see ḵūd) or the gore of a cap. In order to provide his Shiʿite followers with a distinctive badge, the Safavid shah Esmāʿīl I ordered them to wear a twelve-gored cap (tāj-e davāzdah-tark) of red broadcloth (saqerlāt) with the name of one of the twelve imams embroidered on each gore (Eskandar Beg, I, p. 19). They were known as Qezelbāš (lit. “red head”) because of this cap (on gores and their shape, see Ṣadīq, p. 23 and fig. 1).
Ṭaylasān. A long, loose cloak draped over the shoulders. According to Dozy (pp. 241-48, 262-64), the ṭaylasān could also be pulled up over the head; it was originally a vestment of judges, lawyers, Sufis, teachers of theology, and Christian priests but later came into general use among dignitaries and other men in Islamic countries.
Tonoka, tonbān. Trousers (see šalvār), especially boldly embroidered leather breeches worn by contestants in traditional wrestling. They are very tight at the waist and reach below the knees. A tonoka-ye āyena had a small mirror sewn on each leg over the kneecap to show that the wearer was a champion who would not let his knees be forced to the ground. A tonoka-ye mīḵča was adorned with large floral designs made from loops of rough cotton cord designed to chafe the opposing wrestler; it was formerly the characteristic garb of the champion. A special ceremony used to be held at the donning of the tonoka (Wāʿeẓ-e Kāšefī, pp. 310-11; Enṣāfpūr, pp. 59, 224-25; Šāmlū, no. 3453). In the Qajar period tonoka was also the term for a type of men’s briefs, and it remains the name for women’s panties.
Yal. A woman’s sleeved jacket of heavy cloth (Javāher-kalām, p. 52; Behnām, 1336 Š./1957, p. 33).
Zereh. A short-sleeved coat of mail made of small steel rings and strips, covering the body from neck to waist (Dehḵodā, s.v.; see jowšan).
Zonnār. A cord worn around the neck with a pendant cross, worn by Christians. In Persian literature the word is sometimes used for the Zoroastrian girdle (see kostī).
M. Ābādī Bāvīl, Ẓarāʾef wa ṭarāʾef yā możāf wa mansūbhā-ye šahrhā-ye eslāmī wa peyrāmūn, Tabrīz, 1357 Š./1978.
Abu’l-Maʿālī Naṣr-Allāh, Kalīla wa Demna, ed. M. Mīnovī, Tehran, 1343 Š./1964.
ʿA. Afḡānīnevīs, Loḡāt-e ʿāmmīyāna-ye fārsī-e Afḡānestān, Kabul, 1337 Š./1958.
H. d’Allemagne, Du Khorassan au pays des Bakhtiaris. Trois mois de voyage en Perse, 4 vols., Paris, 1911.
Amīr Moʿezzī, Dīvān, ed. ʿA. Eqbāl, Tehran, 1318 Š./1939.
Anwarī, Dīvān, ed. M.-T. Modarres Rażawī, 2 vols., Tehran, 1340 Š./1961.
Ašraf-al-Dīn Ḥosaynī (Nasīm-e Šemāl), Kollīyāt-e ketāb-e bāḡ-e behešt, Tehran, n.d. Shaikh Farīd-al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār, Moḵtār-nāma, ed. M.-R. Šafīʿī Kadkanī, Tehran, 1358 Š./1979.
Awḥad-al-Dīn Kermānī, Manāqeb-e Awḥad-al-Dīn Kermānī, ed. B. Forūzānfar, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.
Bahāʾ(-al-Dīn) Walad, Maʿāref, ed. B. Forūzānfar, 2 vols., 2nd ed., Tehran, 1352 Š./1973.
M. Bahmanbīgī, “Korzā-konūn,” Āyanda 14/6-8, 1367 Š./1988, pp. 279-87.
M. Bāqerī (Sarkārātī), “Babr-e bayān,” Āyanda 12/1-3, 1365 Š./1986, pp. 6-19.
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CLOTHING xxviii. Concordance of clothing terms among ethnic groups in modern Persia
This concordance has been compiled from xiii-xxvi, above.
M: garments worn by men
F: garments worn by women
aba, cloak, caftan (M Harkī Kurdish)
ʿabāʾ, coat (M Qašqāʾī)
abā-nemet, cape, mantle (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
ʿabayye, mantle (M Kurdish Jewish)
adamlıq, pear-shaped pendant (F Turkmen)
afendī, cotton čādor (F central and southern Khorasan)
āḡābānū, muslin (Kurdish)
älčäk, sleeve pendant (F Azeri)
āldaŋi, headband (F Turkmen)
alḵāleq, doublet (M Caspian)
alḵālōg, jacket (F Zarzā Kurdish)
amra, handwoven wool (Kurdish Jewish)
ara tumanı, underskirt (F Azeri)
araqčın, skullcap (F Azeri, M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
arḵalıq, tunic, jacket, coat (F Azeri, M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
ārḵāloq, cloak, jacket (M, F Qašqāʾī)
asıq, heart-shaped pendant (F Turkmen)
āstīn, sleeve (F Caspian)
badle, embroidery (F Hormozgān)
bafta, decorative cloth braid (Azeri)
baḵari, coat (F Azeri)
balaq, trousers (M, F Turkmen)
balkāl, caftan (F Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
bandōk. See bandūmī
bandūmī, swaddling (Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
bānzārī, embroidered sleeves (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
barrak, woollen cloth (Hazāra)
bāšlaḵ, cape (M Caspian)
bāšloq, scarf (F Daragaz)
bašmaq, half-slipper (F Azeri, M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
baṭṭūla, mask (F Hormozgān)
bāźü, robe (F Nūrestān)
ben pušī, scarf (F Harkī Kurdish)
berk, hat (M Qašqāʾī)
bēzbent, disk (M Turkmen)
bezelik. See bilezik
bıg baḡı, moustache tie (M Šahsevan, Qaradaḡi)
bījāmā, loose trousers (F Caspian)
bilezik, cuff bracelets (F Turkmen)
boḡmaq, headdress (F Ērsārı Turkmen)
bojmāq, headdress (F Turkmen, Afghanistan)
bōqrā, face veil (F Herat)
börk, skullcap (M, F Turkmen; Turkefied Ṭāleš)
borūk. See šopūrma
boyama, kerchief (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
būḵārāʾī. See qazzāqī
būl, nose ring (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
buqaw, choker (F Turkmen)
bürenğek, mantle (F Turkmen)
čabbaw, sandals (M Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
čabıt, coat (F Turkmen)
čādar, head scarf (F Afghanistan; Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan), mantle (F Pashtun), shawl (M Afghanistan)
čādarī, cap with veil and openwork panel for the eyes (F Afghanistan)
čādəršāb, wrap (F Caspian)
čādor, shawl (F Hazāra, Hormozgān, Qašqāʾī)
čaḵčur, leggings (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
čakman, caftan (M Hazāra)
čakme, rubber boots (M Caspian)
čakmen, jacket (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
čalma, turban (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
čamūs, high-heeled boots (M Turkic, northern Afghanistan)
čaŋŋa, lozenge with fretted edges (F Turkmen)
čapalī, slipper (F Hormozgān)
čapan, long-sleeved robe (M northern Afghanistan)
čapıq, rounded flap of a jacket skirt over the hip (F Azeri)
čäpkän, jacket (F Azeri)
čaplay, leather sandal (Pashtun)
čaplī, leather sandal (Afghanistan)
čaplī-e robbar, rubber sandal (M Hazāra)
čaplīt, rubber shoe (M Bīrjand)
čappat. See čaplıt
čapraz, bossed disk (F Turkmen)
čār-tark, four-gored crown of cap (M Hazāra)
čarāḵ Hazārajāt, heavy-soled shoes (M Hazāra)
čarāḵ soḵlī, rawhide moccasins (M Hazāra)
čarḡat, headcloth (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
čarḡat, shawl (F Turkmen)
čarıq, moccasin (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi, Turkmen)
čärkäzi čuḵa, coat (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
čāroḵ, shoe (M Ṭāleš, Gāleš; M, F Kurdish, Khorasan)
čāroḵ-e ḵām, coarse shoe (M Kurdish, Khorasan)
čāroq, sandal (M Daragaz, Sabzavār)
čārqad, scarf (F Qašqāʾī, Kurdish, Khorasan)
čaršab, outer wrap (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
čāršāb. See čādəršāb
čāršo. See čādəršāb
čēkmen, mantle (M Turkmen)
čeltelīz, pleated shirt (M Torbat-e Jām, Tāybād)
čeršaw, blue checked čādor (F Sabzavār)
čeṭṭ, swaddling rope (Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
čīn, skirt gathers (F Caspian)
čırpı, mantle (F Turkmen)
čoḡa, jacket (M Kurdish, Mahābād)
čoḵ, overcoat (M Kurdish, Khorasan)
čokka, coat (M Hormozgān)
čollāba, pin (F Hormozgān)
čoqā, cloak (M Qašqāʾī)
čoqay, slipper (M Turkmen)
čoqqī, shoe (F Sabzavār)
čuḵa, coat (M, Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi; F Azeri)
čūka, waistcoat without buttons (M Kurdish)
čūḵā, cloak (M Hazāra, Daragaz)
čūmūš, shoes (M Caspian)
čūqā, čūqā-līvāsī, tunic (M, Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
čutqu, hood (F Azeri)
daraʿa, skirt (F Hormozgān)
darbalaq, drawers (F Azeri)
darpa, drawers (F Kurdish, Khorasan)
darpe, trousers (F Kurdish, Mahābād)
darpī, trousers (F Mīlān Kurdish)
dasmāl. See dastmāl
dastār, turban (M Afghanistan)
dastē kangaṛ, bracelet (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
dastkeš, gloves (M Caspian)
dastmāl, triangular shawl (F Kurdish, Mahābād)
dastmāl-sar, kerchief (F Kermānšāh Kurdish)
dastmāl-e sefīd, shawl (F Caspian)
depebent, cap plaque (M Turkmen)
der, coat (F Mīlān Kurdish)
der-i maḵmer, velvet coat (F Mīlān Kurdish)
derpe, trousers (F Zarzā Kurdish)
desmāl, scarf or shawl (F Mīlān Kurdish)
destār, turban (M Hazāra)
dezmāl, scarf (F Zarzā Kurdish)
dizlik, underdrawers (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
doḡa, cap plaque (M Turkmen)
dogūšī, hat (M Qašqāʾī)
dolaq, puttee (M Turkmen)
don, jacket (F Azeri; M Daragaz)
dōn, robe (M Turkmen)
dorra, turban (gypsies, Kaška-Daryā)
druzaw ḵōlay, conical straw hat (M Šīnwārī Pashtun)
ēdik, boot (M Turkmen)
eḡme, silver plaque (F Turkmen)
elček, sleeve pendant (F Mīlān Kurdish)
ešmäk, short fur-lined coat (F Azeri)
eyläk, waistcoat (F Mīlān Kurdish)
ezār, trousers (M, F Afghanistan; M Hazarā)
ezārband, drawstring (Afghanistan)
faqyāna, sleeve pendant (M Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
ferej, cape, mantle (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
gāleš, rubber overshoes (F Sabzavār)
gāləš, molded rubber shoes (F Caspian)
ganḍa, embroidered shirt front (M Qandahār)
gaṛa. See ganḍa
garībūn, collar (F Hormozgān)
gavan, skirt (F Hormozgān)
gavn, scarf (F Kurdish, Khorasan)
gejalik, jacket (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
gerāz, shift (F Harkī Kurdish)
gerd-e kollā, hat rim (M Hazarā)
giḍḍi, vest (M Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
gırās. See kırās
gırās-i banī, undershift (F Mīlān Kurdish)
gısa enteri, shirt (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
gīva, slipper (M Sabzavār)
gīva, gīva-malekī, sandal (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
goksu yelek, jacket (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
golābatūnī, embroidered cap (M Pashtun, Qandahār)
golvanī, kerchief (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
gönjük, fretted lozenge (F Turkmen)
gopīča, padded coat (M Uzbek, Afghanistan)
gotak, jacket (F Harkī Kurdish)
gubur čekman, jacket (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
gul, crescent-shaped ornament (F Harkī Kurdish)
güllü mäḵmär, cut velvet (Azeri)
gulow, cap (F Harkī Kurdish)
gulyaqa, collar stud (F Turkmen)
gūrāve, stockings (M Caspian)
harza, shoe (M Hormozgān)
hašt-tark, eight-gored crown of cap (M Hazarā)
haval kırās, trousers (F Mīlān Kurdish)
helake, waistcoat (F Kurdish Jewish)
hūrī, scarf (F Zarzā Kurdish)
ičmek, coat (M Turkmen)
jak. See medāḵel
jalīzqa, vest (F Sabzavār)
jāruq, mantle (F Harkī Kurdish)
jēg. See jīg
jēkaṭ, vest (M Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
jelesqa, vest (F. Kurdish, Khorasan. M Bīrjand)
jelez, waistcoat (F Caspian)
jelezqa, waistcoat (M Caspian, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
jelīqe, waistcoat (M, F Caspian)
jərqa, jacket (F Ṭāleš)
jīb, skirt (F Baluch, Persia)
jīg, embroidered bodice (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
jīlak, quilted robe (M, northern Afghanistan)
jizma, boot (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
jomā, shirt, dress (M, F Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
jorab, woollen sock (F Azeri, M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
jorow, stocking (M Bīrjand)
jowa, dress (F Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
jūfī, shoe (M Hormozgān)
julbār, drawers (F Turkmen)
jūma, shift, shirt (M, F Hormozgān)
jūrāb, stocking (M Caspian)
jūro, stocking (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
jüt-tuman, drawers (F Azeri)
kafalī, underskirt (F Caspian)
kāl-e šīrāzī, moccasins with knitted foot coverings (M, F Zarzā Kurdish)
ḵalā, clothing (Ṭāleš)
kalaḡay, head scarf (F Azeri)
kalāḡī, cap (F Kurdish, Kurdestan)
kalak, short cape (M Caspian)
kalawš, rubber overshoe (M northern Afghanistan)
kamar, belt (F Caspian)
kämär, belt (M, F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
kamarband, belt (M Caspian), sash (M, northern Afghanistan)
kamaṛčīn, topcoat (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh) kamardabenezār, sash (F Caspian)
kamarī, belt (M Hazarā)
kamaršāl, sash (F Caspian)
kapanak, felt cloak (M Qašqāʾī)
kapank, felt cloak (M Sabzavār)
kāpī, shoes (M, F Hazāra)
karbās, cotton cloth (northern Afghanistan, Hazāra)
ḵasaba, headdress (F Yomut Turkmen)
kašida, scarf (M, F Kurdish)
katele, clog (M Caspian)
katibi, coat (F Azeri)
kātra, dagger (M Nūrestān)
katrāk, shoe with wooden sole (M Bīrjand)
kavā, topcoat (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh), jacket (F Kurdish, Mahābād), waistcoat (M Kurdish)
kəj, silk floss (Caspian)
kəlā. See kolā
kelāw, cap (M Kurdish, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
kelū. See kelāw
kerās, shirt, dress (M, F Zarzā Kurdish, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
keynak, shirt, tunic (M, F Qašqāʾī)
kılāw, embroidered cap (F Kurdish, Mahābād)
kılčık. See elček
kırās, gırās, shirt, shift (M Kurdish; F Kurdish, Mahābād, Mīlān Kurdish)
kola, felt cap (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
kolā, hat, skullcap (M Caspian)
kolā-ḵosrowī, cylindrical hat (M Baḵtīārī)
kolā pahlevī, visored hat (M Caspian)
kolāgoš, muffler (M Caspian)
kolāh, cap (M Afghanistan, Hormozgān)
kolāqča, cap (F Qašqāʾī)
ḵōlay, cap (M Pashtun)
kolla. See kollaja
kollā, cap (M, F Hazāra)
kollaja, jacket (F Kurdish, Khorasan)
kolū. See kelāw
komoḵt, slipper (F Kurdish, Khorasan)
koptān, embroidered strip for skirt front (F Baluch, Persia)
kordīn, cape, mantle (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
korta, shirt (M Afghanistan)
körtak, gown (F Harkī Kurdish)
korvās, shirt, shift (M, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
koš, shoes (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
kot, jacket (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi; M, Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
koter, coat (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
kovā, coat (M Zarzā Kurdish)
kovnak, knee-length dress (F Daragaz)
kövüš, shoe (F Turkmen)
kowš-e sabz, green leather shoe (F Hormozgān)
köynak, shift (F Turkefied Ṭāleši)
köynäk, shirt or shift (F Azeri, M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
köynek, shirt, shift (M, F Turkmen)
kufi, cap (F Mīlān Kurdish)
kūfta, coat (M Hormozgān)
kūlaja, jacket (F Daragaz)
küläjä, coat (F Azeri)
kuldabād, shawl (F Caspian)
külla, cap (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
ḵurasan kürkü, sheepskin overcoat (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
kürdü, fur-lined waistcoat (F Azeri)
kürk, sheepskin overcoat (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
kuršaḵ, sash (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
kurtak, coat (F Kurdish Jewish)
kürte, mantle (F Turkmen)
kürte, shirt (M Turkmen)
ḵūs, gold thread (F Hormozgān)
kūsay, embroidered felt coat (M Pashtun, Paktīā)
kūt, jacket (M Caspian)
läbbädä, coat (F Azeri)
lačak, scarf (F Qašqāʾī)
lačak, hood (F Baḵtīārī, Boīr Aḥmad)
lačak, shawl (F Tajik)
lāčak. See leček
lambūta, shawl (M Bīrjand)
lang, turban (M Hormozgān)
langōtā, turban (M Afghanistan)
langūta, shawl, turban (M Torbat-e Jām, Tāybād, Hormozgān)
las, front pocket (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
lavānd, sleeve pendant (F Harkī Kurdish)
leček, scarf (F Caspian)
lelüfär, sleeve flared at elbow (F Azeri)
līfa, waistband of a skirt (F Ṭāleši)
līfand, drawstring (M Torbat-e Jām, Tāybād)
lungota, turban (M Hazāra)
mačew, coat (M Hazāra)
mahud, broadcloth (Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
maknā, scarf (F Hormozgān)
mālāa niśte, silver-studded belt (M Nūrestān)
malakī, shoe (M Hormozgān)
malekī, shoe (M Qašqāʾī)
marʾaz, cloth of goat’s hair (Kurdish Jewish)
marīdārā, colored glass beads (Qandahār)
mašī, boot (M Hazāra)
māsī, soft-soled boot (M northern Turkic, Afghanistan)
mäst, inner shoe (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
māšta, shawl (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
māšūē, coat (M Hormozgān)
mazarī čaplay, straw sandal (Pashtun, Paktīā)
medāḵel, lace (F Kurdish, Khorasan)
memand, belt (M Hazāra)
mendīl, shawl (M Sabzavār)
meškī, kerchief (F Kurdish Kermānšāh)
meynā, veil (F Baḵtīārī, Boīr Aḥmad)
mizär, apron (F Milan Kurdish)
močpīč, cuff protector (M Bīrjand)
namad, felt (Caspian)
neẓāmī, fitted trousers (F central and southern Khorasan)
nimtänä, jacket (F Azeri)
niśte, woven belt (F Nūrestān)
nīvtana, jacket (M, F Kurdish, Khorasan)
orsī, shoes (F Bīrjand)
öwürme, linked plaques (F Turkmen)
pā-kettel. See katele
pač, turban (M Kurdish)
pādak, trousers (M, F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
paddō, front pocket (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
pāg, turban (M Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
pagṛi. See paṭkay
pakōl, cap with rolled rim (M Nūrestān)
pālīk, legging (M Daragaz)
palta, scalloped decoration for cap (M Hazāra)
pandōl. See paddo
panjak, jacket (M Kurdish, Khorasan)
pāntol, trousers (M Kurdish, Mahābād)
pāntor, trousers (M Zarzā Kurdish)
papaq, cylindrical hat (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
pāpūš, narrow trousers (M Lor)
parak. See telīza
paranjī, face veil (F Kondūz)
pāre, decorative braids (F Qasemābād)
partōg, trousers (M, F Pashtun)
pašk, shirt, dress (M, F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
pastak, long waistcoat (M Zarzā Kurdish)
patāva, puttees (M Kurdish, Khorasan)
pātave, puttees (M Caspian)
pātaw, leggings (M Nūrestān)
paṭkay, turban (M Pashtun)
patrondaš, bandolier (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
patū, mantle, shawl (M Pashtun)
pāyjāma, trousers (M Hazāra)
pāypēč, puttees (M Hazāra)
peč, turban (M Kurdish, Mahābād)
perān, (M Afghanistan, Hazāra)
perō, shirt, shift (M, F Hazāra)
peštand, sash (M, F Kurdish)
peštpand, sash (M, F Zarzā Kurdish)
petāva, puttees (M Kurdish, Khorasan)
peytava, puttees (M Sabzavār)
pirhan, tunic, shift (M, F Caspian)
pīrhan, dress (F Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
pīšānaband, kerchief (F Persian, Bukhara, Samarkand)
pišāsar, scarf (F Caspian)
pištend, sash (F Kurdish, Mahābād)
pōstīn, sheepskin coat with sleeves (M Afghanistan)
pōstīṇča, sheepskin coat without sleeves (M Afghanistan)
pūllī, nose pins (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
pur-pur, tucks (Mīlān Kurdish)
qabā, cloak, mantle (M Baḵtīārī, Caspian, Hazāra; F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
qabā, overcoat (M Hormozgān)
qadak, trousers (F central and southern Khorasan)
qadak, cotton (Caspian)
qālāq, headband (F Qašqāʾī)
qamīṣ, shirt (M Hazāra, Hormozgān)
qāmma, dagger (M Caspian)
qarakolī, cylindrical hat of Persian lamb (M Afghanistan)
qārma dōn, robe (M Turkmen)
qaṣabā, headdress (F Afghanistan)
qayıš, belt (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
qazzāqī, hat (M Daragaz)
qevā, topcoat (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
qırmızı dōn, robe (M Turkmen)
qol, sleeve (F, Caspian)
qors, cap (Torbat-e Jām, Tāybād)
qupba, cap finial (F Turkmen)
quršaq, waistband (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
qušaq, sash (M Turkmen)
rānk, trousers (M Kurdish, Mahābād)
rubänd, face veil (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
rūsar, ribbon (F Lāyenī Kurdish)
saat qabı, watch case (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
šäbkülah, nightcap (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
Sač monjuq, linked plaques (F Turkmen)
sačlıq. See sač monjuq
šaddā, headcloth (M Zarzā Kurdish)
sadrī, ornamented waistcoat (M Qandahār, Pashtun)
sāgī, tassel (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
šahpäsänd, silver or gold lace (Azeri)
sake, coin trimming (F Caspian)
šal, homespun woolen cloth (Azerbaijan)
šāl, homespun woolen cloth (Caspian)
šāl, cotton (Hazāra)
šāl, sash (M Caspian, Qašqāʾī, Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
šāl, rope belt (M Hormozgān)
šāl-e hazāragī, fulled woolen fabric (M Hazāra)
šāl-pešt, sash (M Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šāl-pišt, sash (F Mīlān Kurdish)
šāl-šalvār, woolen trousers (M Caspian)
šāl-šepik, mohair suit (M Harkī Kurdish)
šalīta, skirt (F Qašqāʾī; Kurdish, Qūčān; central and southern Khorasan)
šalīta, underskirt (F Daragaz)
šalīte, dress (F Caspian)
salla, turban (M Persian, Bukhara, Samarkand)
šalla šappikta, suit (M Kurdish Jewish)
salta, jacket (M, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šalvār, trousers, pantaloons (M Kurdish, Yerevan; Hormozgān; M, F Caspian)
šalvār jāfī, trousers (M Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šāmī, kerchief (F Qaramānī Kurdish)
šāpo, hat (M Caspian)
šār(l), scarf (F Kurdish, Khorasan)
sarband, headcloth (F Persian, Bukhara, Samarkand)
sardabād, scarf (F Caspian)
sarēg, head scarf (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
sarrīza, cap (F Torbat-e Jām, Tāybād)
sarūk, headscarf (F Baluch, Persia)
sāroq, wrap (F northern Ṭāleš)
sarūveyn. See sarvan
sarvan, turban cloth, headband (M, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šarwāla, trousers (F Kurdish Jewish)
šaw-kola, cap (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
šawlā, cape (M Caspian)
šawlār, trousers (M, Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
šawlār-gošād, trousers (M Baḵtīārī)
sāya, mantle (F Kurdish)
šəkā, jacket (M Ṭāleši)
šenel, cape, mantle (M Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
šev, shirt, shift (M, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šey, tunic, shift (M, F Ṭāleši)
sīā-dīsmāl, black kerchief (F Sabzavār)
sırḡa, earring (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
šīrī, shoe thong (M Caspian)
šīša, mirror fragments (Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
soḵlī, shoe (M Hazāra)
soḵma, waistcoat (M, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
sommaq, headdress (F Teke Turkmen)
šopūrma, ovoid lambskin hat (M Daragaz)
sorāni, sleeve pendant (M, F Kurdish)
šovāl jāfī, trousers (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šovāl-kol, underdrawers (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
šovī, shirt, shift (M, F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
sudra, underdress (F Kurdish Jewish)
śukokuř, woolen cap with rolled rim (M Kāmvīrī, Nūrestān)
šūlā. See šawlā
tabeliḵ, central boss on cap (F Harkī Kurdish)
taḵtə, cloth strip (F Caspian)
taḵye, skullcap (F Turkmen)
tambān, trousers (M Hazāra)
tambō, trousers (M, F Hazāra)
tänbäki kisäsi, tobacco pouch (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
tanbān, trousers (M, F Afghanistan)
tanka. See toneka
tapanja qabı, pistol holster (M Šahsevān, Qaradaḡi)
tarā, turban (F Lori)
tārā, wedding veil (F Kurdish)
tarā awwal, scarf (F Lori)
tark, cap gore (M Hazāra)
tās-kelāw, cylindrical hat (F Kurdish, Mahābād)
tās-kolā, cylindrical cap (F Zarzā Kurdish)
täsäk, bonnet (F Azeri)
taʿwīḏ, amulet (Afghanistan, Baluch, Pakistan)
taʿwīz, amulet (M, F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
tawk, necklace (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
telīza, pleat (Torbat-e Jām, Tāybād)
telpek, hat (M Turkmen)
tembū, trousers (M Sabzavār)
tenečir, triangular pendant (F Turkmen)
tīlpak, tall cylindrical hat (M Turkmen, Afghanistan)
tirmä, striped woolen twill (Azeri)
tōī, embroidered strip for bodice (F Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
tombūn, trousers (M, Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
tombūn-zanūna, skirt (F Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
tonbān, trousers (M central and southern Khorasan, Qašqāʾī)
tonbān, skirt (F Qašqāʾī)
toneka, underdrawers (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
tonoka, short drawers (F Qaramānī Kurdish)
tōpī, cap (M Baluch, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
tos. See tūpī
tuman, skirt, underdrawers (F Azeri, Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi; M Šahsevān, Qaradaḡi)
tūmān, skirt (F Caspian)
tūmān qūže, waistband of a skirt (F Caspian)
tuman-köynäk, undergarment (F Azeri)
tumar, triangular plaque (F Turkmen)
tūpī, cap (F Bukharan Jewish)
tuppī, skullcap (F Tajik)
üzük, ring (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
uzun boḡaz čäkmä, boot (F Azeri)
uzun fez, tall fez (M Kurdish, Yerevan)
vācó, ankle-high moccasin (Nūrestān)
väznäli čuḵa, coat (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
viṭ, trousers (M Kāmvīrī, Nūrestān)
waskat, waistcoat (M Afghanistan, Hazāra)
yaḡlıq, headband (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi, Turkmen)
yāḡloq, headband (F Qašqāʾī)
yak-naḵī, scarf (F central and southern Khorasan)
yal, jacket (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh, Khorasan; Daragaz; Sabzavār)
yāleq, scarf (F Daragaz)
yapınja, cloak (M Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi)
yaqa-ye jūma, collar (F Hormozgān)
yašmaq, face veil (F Šahsevän, Qaradaḡi, Turkmen)
yāsmāq, face veil (F Gīlān)
yāšmāq, kerchief (F Daragaz)
yaylıḵ, shawl (F Ṭāleši)
zänjirä, silver or gold lace (Azeri)
zärḵara, gold brocade (Azeri)
zavūn, zebūn, topcoat (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
zebūn, jacket (M Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
`er-kerās, `er-korvāsī, `er-ševī, undershirt (M Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
`er-šovāl, underdrawers (F Kurdish, Kermānšāh)
zī, bodice (F Baluch, Persia)
zıvın, jacket (F Azeri)
zīr-šawlār, underdrawers (M, F Baḵtīārī, Lor, Boīr Aḥmad)
zol, shoe sole (M Caspian)
Figure 46. Drawing of throne bearers representing the subject nations, from a relief on the tomb of Darius the Great at Naqš-e Rostam. After Walser, foldout plate I.
Figure 47. Drawing of archer from the glazed-brick frieze, royal palace, Susa, now in the Louvre, 5th century b.c.e. After M. G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration, 2nd ed., A .and C. Black (Publishers) Limited, p. 164, fig. 155.
Figure 48. Drawings of fillets worn by royal guards, from reliefs on the jambs of the eastern and western doorways to the portico in the main hall, harem building, Persepolis. After A. B. Tilia, Studies and Restorations at Persepolis and Other Sites of Fārs II, pp. 64-65 figs. 11a-b.
Figure 49. Drawing of Xerxes, relief from the western jamb of the north doorway to the main hall, harem building, Persepolis. After A. B. Tilia, Studies and Restorations at Persepolis and Other Sites of Fārs II, p. 54 fig. 6.
Figure 50. Drawing of fluted hat worn by Persian guard, from a relief on the great staircase, “palace of Xerxes,” Persepolis. After M. G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration, 2nd ed., A. and C. Black (Publishers) Limited, p. 167 fig. 159.
plate l. Detail of Bactrians (?), tribute relief, Apadāna staircase facade, Persepolis. Courtesy Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul, after Walser, pl. 65.
Figure 51. Drawing, detail of “Median” headgear with eagle device from a silver rhyton, Erebuni, ca. 500 b.c.e. Yerevan Museum. After Harper, p. 30 fig. 1a.
Figure 52. Drawing, detail of Persian wearing ordinary “tiara” from the Alexander sarcophagus, Archeological Museum, Istanbul, ca. 312 b.c.e. After Dalton, p. xxxii fig. 14.
Figure 53. Drawing, detail of Darius III from the Alexander mosaic, Museo Nazionale, Naples, 1st century b.c.e., after an original of ca. 317 b.c.e. After Dalton, p. xxxi fig. 13.
plate li. Relief of Cappadocian (?) tribute bearers from the Apadāna stairway facade, Persepolis. Photograph courtesy of Judith Lerner.
Figure 54. Reconstruction of man’s headgear from kurgan 3, Pazyryk, late 4th-early 3rd century b.c.e. After Rudenko, pl. 155B.
plate lii. Relief of Scythians wearing pointed caps, tribute frieze, Apadāna stairway facade, Persepolis. Photograph courtesy of Judith Lerner.
plate liii. Relief of “master of animals,” on the western jamb of the southern doorway, room 16, the Palace of Darius, Persepolis. Photograph courtesy of Judith Lerner.
plate liv. Front and back views of silver statuette from the “Oxus treasure,” probably 5th century b.c.e., The British Museum London, no. 123901. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
plate lv. Persian nobleman, cylinder seal of Artaxerxes (III?), The Hermitage, Leningrad. Photograph after Dandamaev, pl. XV.
plate lvi. Detail of Achaemenid courtiers, Apadāna stairway relief, Persepolis. Photograph courtesy of Judith Lerner.
plate lvii. Three views of silver figurine, courtesy of Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, no. VA 4852.
Figure 55. Drawings, front and back, of caftan from kurgan 3, Pazyryk. After Rudenko, p. 84 fig. 30.
plate lviii. Detail of “griffin grappler,” based on the design of Achaemenid cylinder seals, from stone stele found at Kamini, Athens, late 4th century b.c.e. Formerly National Archeological Museum, Athens, now lost. Photograph after Perrot.
plate lix. Detail of Persian warrior from the Alexander sarcophagus, Archeological Museum, Istanbul, no. 370, ca. 312. Photograph courtesy of W. Schiele, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul.
plate lx. Man’s shirt from kurgan 2, Pazyryk, late 4th-early 3rd century b.c.e. Photograph after Rudenko, pl. 63.
plate lxi. Detail of Areians (or Arachosians), tribute relief, Apadāna staircase facade, Persepolis. Courtesy Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin, after Walser, pl. 50.
plate lxii. Banqueting scene engraved on ivory plaque from Demetrias, formerly National Museum, Athens, now lost. After Dentzer, p. 217 fig. 7.
plate lxiii. Banqueting scene engraved on ivory plaque from Demetrias, formerly National Museum, Athens, now lost. After Dentzer, p. 218 fig. 8.
plate lxiv. Detail of banquet scene from “Satrap sarcophagus,” Archeological Museum, Istanbul, no. 367. Photograph courtesy of W. Schiele, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul.
plate lxv. Scaraboid gem, blue chalcedony, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, no. 1921.2. By courtesy of the visitors of The Ashmolean Museum.
Figure 56. Drawing, detail of royal ladies with attendants from a woven wool textile excavated in kurgan 5 at Pazyryk. After Rudenko, p. 297 fig. 139.
Figure 57. Drawing from a cylinder seal with seated lady and attendants, formerly le Clerq collection, Paris. After Dalton, p. xxiv fig. 9.
Figure 58. Drawing, detail from stone relief from Ergili in northwestern Anatolia. After M. G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration, 2nd ed., A. and C. Black (Publishers) Limited, p. 165 fig. 156.
Figure 59. Drawing, Iranian couple incised on underside of lid to cylindrical silver box, said to have been found near Erzincan in Turkey, ca. 5th century b.c.e., The British Museum. After Dalton, p. xxxviii fig. 19.
Figure 60. a. Drawing, woman’s cape or caftan from kurgan 2, Pazyryk. After Rudenko, p. 90 fig. 32. b. Drawing of sleeve from cape in a. After Rudenko, p. 91 fig. 33.
plate lxvi. Woman’s headdress with leather cutouts, from kurgan 2, Pazyryk, late 4th-early 3rd century. Photograph after Rudenko, pl. 65 C.
plate lxvii. Life-sized cast-bronze sculpture of an Arsacid nobleman, Šāmī, Ḵūzestān, now in the Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran. Photograph after Vanden Berghe, pl. 92a.
plate lxviii. Stone relief from Bard-e Nešānda, Ḵūzestān, now in the Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran. Photograph T. S. Kawami.
plate lxix. Ewer, silver with mercury gilding, Persia, 6th-7th centuries. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 67.10, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. C. Douglas Dillon Gift and Rogers Fund, 1967.
plate lxx. Detail of Boar Hunt relief, Ṭāq-e Bostān, 7th century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxi. Detail of Boar Hunt relief, Ṭāq-e Bostān, 7th century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxii. Detail, relief of the investiture of Narseh I, Naqš-e Rostam, 3rd-4th centuries. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxiii. Relief of the investiture of Ḵosrow II, Ṭāq-e Bostān, 7th century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxiv. Relief of the investiture of Ardašīr I, Naqš-e Rajab, 3rd century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxv. Detail, relief of Šāpūr I and his entourage, Naqš-e Rajab, 3rd century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxvi. Relief of the investiture of Ardašīr I, Naqš-e Rostam, 3rd century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxvii. Detail, relief of Šāpūr I and his entourage, Naqš-e Rajab, 3rd century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxviii. Detail, relief of the triumph of Šāpūr I, Naqš-e Rostam, 3rd century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxix. Plate, silver with mercury gilding, Persia, 5th century. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, no. 1970.6.
plate lxxx. Detail of the Boar Hunt relief, Ṭāq-e Bostān, 7th century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
plate lxxxi. Detail of the Boar Hunt relief, Ṭāq-e Bostān, 7th century. Photograph E. H. Peck.
Figure 61. Drawing, wool caftan from a tomb in Upper Egypt, 6th-7th century, now in the Ägyptologisches Museum, Berlin. After Tilke, pl. 4 nos. 5-7.
plate lxxxii. 1-5. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 6. Drawing after wall painting from Afrāsīāb. 7. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 8. Drawing after wall painting from the palace at Varakhsha. 9. Drawing after ossuary from Krasnaya Rechka. 10-14. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 15. Drawing after ossuary from Uzkishlak. 16. Reconstruction based on wall painting from Panjīkant and ossuary from Durmen-Tepe. 17-18. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 19. Drawing after ossuary from Khirman Tepe. 20. Drawing of leather boot from the cave at Kūh-e Sorḵ. 21. Drawing of leather shoe from Yakka-Parsan. 22-23. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant.
plate lxxxiii. 24-30. Drawings after wall paintings from Panjīkant. 31. Drawing after painting from Afrāsīāb. 32. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 33. Drawing after coin of the Bukharan ruler Mawak (MR’Y mw’k). 34. Drawing after coin of Chirdmish (cr’myš MR’Y), ruler of Ustrushana. 35. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 36. Drawing after stucco relief from the palace at Varakhsha. 37. Drawing after wall painting from Panjīkant. 38. Drawing of hairnet excavated at the castle on Mount Mug. 39. Drawing after wall painting from the palace at Panjīkant.
plate lxxxiv. Clothing of the Scythian and related Iranian tribes on the Pontic steppes and in the Caucasus. 1. 4th century b.c.e., Scythians. 2. 3rd-1st centuries b.c.e., Sarmatians. 3. 1st-2nd centuries c.e., Alans-“Scythians.” 4. 2nd-4th centuries, Alans-“Massagetes.”
Figure 62. Diagram showing cut of “sīmorḡ caftan” from a tomb at Moshchevaya Balka, 8th-9th centuries. After Jeroussalimskaja, pl. XIII fig. 17.
plate lxxxv. “The standing caliph,” stucco relief from the entrance porch to the audience hall at Ḵerbat al-Mafjar, ca. 105-25/724-43. Photograph after Ettinghausen, 1972, pl. XXII fig. 75.
plate lxxxvi. “Hunter” from a polychrome fresco excavated at the palace of Jawsaq al-Ḵāqānī, Samarra, 218-27/833-42. Photograph after Herzfeld, 1927, pl. LXIX.
Figure 63. Drawing of a rider from a wall painting found in the palace of Sabzpūšān, Nīšāpūr, 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries. After Wilkinson, 1986, p. 207 fig. 240.
plate lxxxvii. Buff-ware bowl from Nīšāpūr, 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 38.40.290. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1938.
plate lxxxviii. Illustration of the constellation Cepheus from Ṣūfī’s Ketāb ṣowar al-kawākeb al-ṯābeta, dated 400/1009. Courtesy of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ms. Marsh 144, p. 161.
plate lxxxix. Female dancers on a fragment from a polychrome fresco excavated at the palace of Jawsaq al-Ḵāqānī, Samarra, 218-27/833-42. Photograph after Herzfeld, 1927, pl. 11.
plate xc. Polychrome-painted stucco relief of a Turkish official, early 7th/13th century. Photograph courtesy of The Detroit Institute of Arts, no. 25.64, City of Detroit purchase.
plate xci. Illustration of the constellation Auriga from a manuscript of Ṣūfī’s Ketāb ṣowar al-kawākeb al-ṯābeta, dated 647/1249-50, in the Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, Aya Sofya 259. After Wellesz, pl. 19 fig. 48.
plate xcii. “Varqa and Golšāh in school,” from a manuscript of ʿAyyūqī’s Varqa wa Golšāh, early 7th/13th century, Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, Hazine 841. Photograph after İpşiroğlu, fig. 13.
plate xciii. “The surprise attack,” from a manuscript of ʿAyyūqī’s Varqa wa Golšāh, early 7th/13th century, Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul, Hazine 841, fol. 41. After İpşiroğlu, fig. 17.
plate xciv. Bowl with polychrome underglaze decoration, Persia, 7th/13th century. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 57.61.16, Henry G. Leberthon Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Wallace Chauncey.
plate xcv. “Shah Zav, son of Ṭahmāsb, enthroned,” from the “Demotte” Šāh-nāma, ca. 730-40/1330-40, opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper, 15 13/16 x 11 7/16 inches (40.2 x 29.0 cm). Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., s1986.0107.
plate xcvi. Right half of a double-page composition, Hazine 2153, fol. 148v, Tabrīz, ca. 700/1300, Topkapı Sarayı, Istanbul.
plate xcvii. Portrait of Solṭān-Ḥosayn Mīrzā, ink and gold on paper, Herat (?), ca. 900/1500. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.59, gift of John Goelet.
plate xcviii. “Homāy and Homāyūn in a garden,” detached leaf from a manuscript of Rašīd-al-Dīn’s Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ, no. 57.51.20, colors and gilt on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, no. 57.51.20, bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956.
plate xcix. “Nighttime in a palace,” attributed to Mīr Sayyed ʿAlī, from a manuscript of Ḵamsa by Neẓāmī made for Shah Ṭahmāsb, 946-50/1539-43, opaque watercolor on paper, 28.3 x 20 cm. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.76. Gift of John Goelet, formerly collection of Louis J. Cartier.
plate c. Detail, Moḥammad Haravī, portrait of a prince wearing a mantle of gold brocade, Qazvīn, mid-16th century, colors and gold on paper, 19.5 x 10.5 cm. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., no. 37.8.
plate ci. Mīr Sayyed ʿAlī, “Nomadic encampment,” from a manuscript of Ḵamsa by Neẓāmī made for Shah Ṭahmāsb, 946-50/1539-43, opaque watercolor on paper, 27.8 x 19.3 cm. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.75. Gift of John Goelet, formerly collection of Louis J. Cartier.
plate cii. “Seated princess,” attributed to Mīrzā Sayyed ʿAlī, ca. 947/1540, opaque watercolor on paper, 24.5 x 17 cm. Courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, no. 1958.60. Gift of John Goelet, formerly collection of Louis J. Cartier.
plate ciii. Coat, velvet on gold-brocade ground, Persia, ca. 1730. Photograph courtesy of the Royal Armoury Museum, Stockholm, no. 3414.
plate civ. Silk-brocade qabā, Persia, 17th century. By courtesy of the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, no. 280-1906.
plate cv. Reżā ʿAbbāsī, “Bird and scene of lovers with an attendant,” 1629-35, colors and gold on paper, 34.5 x 22.2 cm. The Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wash., no. 50.111, Gift of Mrs. Donald E. Frederick. Photograph Paul Macapia.
plate cvi. Persian clothing of the 17th century. After Chardin, pl. 22.
plate cvii. Sleeveless silk-brocade coat, Persia, 17th-18th century. Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin—Preussischer Kulturbesitz, no. I.8/69.
plate cviii. Embroidered silk jacket, Persia, 17th-18th century. By courtesy of the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, no. 1935-1886.
plate cix. Persian women’s clothing of the 17th century. After Chardin, pl. 23.
plate cx. Woman’s silk-brocade buskin, Persia, 17th-18th century. By courtesy of the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, no. 962-1889.
plate cxi. Moʿīn Moṣawwer, “Young man in European clothing,” 17th century, watercolors and gold on paper, 20.5 x 10 cm, Dauphin collection. Photograph after Treasures, p. 120 no. 90.
plate cxii. Moʿīn Moṣawwer, “Young woman in European-style dress,” watercolors and gold on paper, 20.5 x 10 cm, Dauphin collection. Photograph after Treasures, p. 121 no. 91.
plate cxiii. Man wearing kolāh-e nāderī, mid-18th century, watercolors on paper, 26 x 12.5 cm. Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva, no. 1971-107/106. Photograph Y. Sisa.
plate cxiv. Portrait of a Zand prince, 1208/1794, oil on canvas, 142 x 68 cm, Negārestān Museum, Tehran, no. 75.1.1. Photograph after Falk, pl. 1.
plate cxv. “Lady with a parrot and a rabbit,” oil on canvas, Zand period, Tehran. Photograph after Falk, p. 29 pl. 10.
plate cxvi. Mihr ʿAlī, portrait of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah in court costume, 1228/1813, oil on canvas, 246 x 125 cm. Negārestān Museum, Tehran, no. 75.1.15. Photograph after Falk, pl. 15.
plate cxvii. Man’s knitted silk stocking (one of a pair) with inscription, Persia, 19th century. The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, no. 34.1030b.
plate cxviii. Girl dancing with castanets, ca. 1840, oil on canvas, 127 x 79 cm. Negārestān Museum, Tehran, no. 75.1.45. Photograph after Falk, pl. 45.
plate cxix. “Women in the andarūn,” illustrated folio from a manuscript of One Thousand and One Nights, 1861-63, Golestān Library, Tehran, no. 2240.
plate cxx. Woman’s jacket, compound silk with cotton lining, Persia, mid-19thcentury. The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, no. 18.11.
plate cxxi. Necklace, gold with pearls and stones, Persia, mid-19th century. Negārestān Museum, Tehran, no. 75.4.1.
plate cxxii. Dress ornaments, gold and pearls, Persia, 19th century, Persian royal crown jewels, Tehran. Photograph after Meen and Tushingham, p. 70.
plate cxxiii. Photograph of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Charles Wilkinson, 1977, no. 1977.683, fol. 40 pl. 22.
plate cxxiii. Aigrette and ornamental belt, enameled gold and stones on silk backing, Persia, late 19th century. Waiters Art Gallery, Baltimore, nos. 57.882-84.
plate cxxv. Esmāʿīl Jalāyer, “Women around a samovar,” late 19th century, oil on canvas. By courtesy of the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, no. P. 56-1941.
plate cxxvi. Man wearing kolāh-e pahlavī, ca. 1930. Photograph courtesy of Haideh Sahim.
plate cxxvii. Women wearing čādors in Tehran during Revolution of 1358 Š./1979. After Yād-nāma-ye awwalīn sālgard-e enqelāb-e eslāmī-e Īrān 22 Bahman 1358, Washington, D.C., 1980. Detail of photograph by J. Rostami.
plate cxxviii. Men of the Tara Ḵēl tribe of eastern Pashtun. Photograph courtesy of Josephine Powell.
plate cxxix. Scene at the market of Āq Koprūk, near Mazār-e Šarīf in western Afghanistan. Photograph courtesy of Josephine Powell.
plate cxxx. Wife of village headman, central Afghanistan, south of Taywāra in Gōr province. Photograph courtesy of Josephine Powell.
plate cxxxi. Nomad woman of the Tara Ḵēl tribe of eastern Pashtun. Photograph courtesy of Josephine Powell.
plate cxxxii. “A Hazaureh,” early 19th century. After Elphinstone, pl. XII, facing p. 483.
Figure 64. Hazāra woman of Šahrestān in rare old dress, July 1954. The sleeves and the headdress are traditional. Drawing by Haideh Sahim, after Ferdinand, p. 27 fig. 10.
plate cxxxiii. Assemblage of garments as worn by older women in Ḵojand. Photograph courtesy of G. Maĭtdinova.
plate cxxxiv. Assemblage of garments as worn by young women in Kolāb. Photograph courtesy of G. Maĭtdinova.
plate cxxxv. Assemblage of young men’s garments as worn in Ḵojand. Photograph courtesy of G. Maĭtdinova.
plate cxxxvi. Assemblage of garments as worn by Tajik men in the Pamirs. Photograph courtesy of G. Maĭtdinova.
plate cxxxvii. Kurdish dress from Mahābād, showing the wrapping of the dasmāl; the model is standing on a fluffy rug. Photograph S. Mohseni.
plate cxxxviii. Kurdish dress from Mahābād, with sorānis tied behind the neck and on the head a tās-kelāw wrapped in a dasmāl. Photograph S. Mohseni.
plate cxxxix. Kurdish dress and vest from Sanandaj. Photograph courtesy of S. Esmāʿīlzāda.
plate cxl. Kurdish man’s suit with kavā, showing one sorāni loose and one wrapped in the normal fashion. Photograph S. Mohseni.
plate cxli. Kurdish man’s suit with čūka and peštand. Photograph S. Mohseni.
plate cxlii. Kurdish children’s dress from Mahābād. Photograph S. Mohseni.
Figure 65. Traditional female dress of Jews in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drawing by Gayle Weiss.
Figure 66. Traditional male dress of Jews in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drawing by Gayle Weiss.
plate cxliii. Traditional Baluch embroidered dress. Photograph I. A. Firouz.
plate cxliv. Detail, Baluch embroidered bodice. Photograph I. A. Firouz.
plate cxlv. Traditional Baluch men’s costume. Watercolor by Loubof Kasminsky.
plate cxlvi. Traditional Baluch women’s embroidered costume. Watercolor by Loubof Kasminsky.
plate cxlvii. a. Initial sīahkār stitches on the back of the material. b. Finished embroidery in the design known as panja palang (leopard’s paw). Photographs by M. Jahānbānī.
Figure 67. Present-day Baluch clothing, Quetta, northern Baluchistan, Pakistan. Drawing P. Hunte.
Figure 68. Patterns embroidered in cotton thread on Baluch women’s dresses. a. Hapt-rang, blue, pink, green, yellow, red, black, and white with šīša work, part of a frame design on turquoise silk, Quetta, northern Baluchistan, Pakistan. b. Kōṭrō, blue, green, red, purple, white, and black on dark-green cotton, Mastung, northern Baluchistan, Pakistan. c. Mīṛčūk, black on pink and white printed rayon, Sibi, central Baluchistan, Pakistan. d. Ḵām-kār/zūrattō, with kōṭrō edging, part of a frame design in blue, pink, green, yellow, red, black, and white on beige rayon, Quetta. e. Marri-Bugti pattern, part of a frame design in blue, green, orange, and purple on white cotton, eastern Baluchistan, Pakistan. f. Madadḵān, yellow, red, green, purple, orange, black, and white and šīša work on red silk, southwestern Afghanistan. Drawings P. Hunte.
Figure 69. Kurdish men’s costume, Qūčān, northern Khorasan. Drawing by Haideh Sahim, after Żīāʾpūr, fig. 87.
Figure 70. Kurdish women’s dress, Qūčān, northern Khorasan. Drawing by Haideh Sahim, after Żīāʾpūr, fig. 53.
plate cxlviii. Two women of the Geyiklü tribe, Mūḡān, in Šahsevän costume. Photograph P. Andrews, 1970.
plate cxlix. Kurdish women and girls at a wedding, Mīlān, Mākū region. Photograph P. Andrews, 1974.
plate cl. Two women in Kurdish costume of Mahābād. Photograph P. Andrews, 1970
plate cli. Two men and a woman in Harkī Kurdish costume, near the borders of Persia, Iraq, and Turkey. The man on the left wears the pešmerga type of costume, the other the šāl šepik type. The woman wears the unusual high headdress. Photograph P. Andrews, 1974.
Figure 71. Drawing of čūmūš with thongs wrapped around the leg.
plate clii. Women of the Gīlān mountains, wearing black scarves (leček) and white shawls (dastmāl-e sefīd, kuldabād), long tunics (pirhan), and gathered skirts (tūmān); the older woman wears a jacket, the younger ones waistcoats (jelez). Photograph C. Bromberger.
plate cliii. Woman of the central Gīlān plain, wearing a čādəršāb over tunic (pirhan), waistcoat (jelez), underskirt (kafalī), and pantaloons (šalvār). Photograph C. Bromberger.
plate cliv. Woman of the Turkefied northern Ṭāleš, near Haštpar, wearing a long tunic (köynak), a piece of cloth (sāroq, a kind of short čādəršāb) around the waist over a gathered skirt (tūmān), and a white shawl (yaylıḵ) hiding the lower part of the face. Photograph C. Bromberger.
plate clv. Marriage ceremony in the Deylamān area, with dancing women wearing tunics (pirhan) in plain bright colors over floral-patterned skirts (tūmān), embroidered shawls (dastmāl-e sefīd, kuldabād), and waistcoats (jelez) edged with coins. Photograph C. Bromberger.
plate clvi. Ṭāleš shepherd wrapped in a cape (bašlāḵ) made of šāl and wearing molded rubber shoes (gāləš). Photograph C. Bromberger.
plate clvii. Mountain shepherds near Rūdbār, the one on the left wearing the felt cape (šawlā). Photograph C. Bromberger.
plate clviii. Men of Ṭāleš, the one on the left in “European” dress, the one on the right in traditional trousers, jacket, and skullcap made of šāl. Photograph A. Karimi.
plate clix. Typical woman’s dress of Hormozgān, 1992. Photograph R. Sh. Nadjmabadi.
plate clx. Women’s šalvār with embroidered cuffs, Hormozgān, 1992. Photograph R. Sh. Nadjmabadi.
plate clxi. Woman wearing baṭṭūla qaṭarī and čādor, Hormozgān, 1992. Photograph R. Sh. Nadjmabadi.
Figure 72. Women’s šalvār. Drawing by Haideh Sahim.
Figure 73. Baṭṭūla. Drawing by Haideh Sahim.
plate clxii. Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Qermezī, a young Qašqāʾī. Photograph by L. Beck.
plate clxiii. Qašqāʾī women. Photograph by L. Beck.
Figure 74. Front and back views of striped woolen čuqā, worn by Lori-speaking men over a Western jacket.
Figure 75. Headdress worn by Lori women.
Figure 76. Headdress worn by women of the Baḵtīārī and Boīr Aḥmad tribes.
plate clxiv. Married Yomut woman wearing köynek, balaq, čabıt, with bürenğek over the ḵasaba, ca. 1900. After Tolstov et al., II, plate facing p. 88.
plate clxv. Married Otamıš Teke woman wearing köynek, balaq, čabıt with facings and čaŋŋa at the bottom, and yašmaq. The čırpı is draped over the sommaq. Gonbad-e Qābūs, 1970. Photograph P. Andrews.
plate clxvi. Engraving of married Yomut woman wearing ḵasaba, buqaw, and adamlıq, 19th century. After Rostkowski, in Rudolph, p. 56.