Yemeni dresses display yesteryear [Archives:2005/826/Culture]

March 21 2005

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
Yemeni dresses are considered the best and most diverse in the Middle East, as they reflect the ancient folklore of Yemen and can hardly be seen in other countries. The Yemeni dresses are characterized by a variety of colors and unparallel antiqueness.

Dresses have become an outstanding expression about the culture, thought and identity of a certain society. The shape and design of distinctive Yemeni dresses go back to the ancient life of the country that was full of folklore and beautiful decorations.

The Yemeni dresses with their decorations and designs reflect the thought, taste and creativity in the society; they constitute a significant window into the values and traditions of the Yemeni society and confirm the cultural identity and originality of belonging.


The diversity of traditional dresses in Yemen can be ascribed to various factors, the most important of which is the diversity of geographical terrains that in turn led to the diversity of botanical and animal raw materials.

The diverse weather had its influence in the diversity of dresses and methods of textile and making dresses. The historical sources also have their own effects on the variety of dresses, however, they did not mention the characteristics of the variety, and up until now, no specialized studies have been conducted in this field.

There are some characteristics and features that divide the Yemeni dresses into different types, and the most striking features are those perceived in dresses in the mountainous areas due to the quality of the raw material used in such areas.

In addition, there are multi-color dresses made of wool, cotton and silk, which are designed for covering the whole body; they depend mostly on the red, green and blue colors and are embroidered with metal coins and precious stones.

Another wonderful feature of dresses of the mountainous areas is that they are lavishly embroidered and have distinctively decorated sleeves.

Dresses in the hilly areas are usually made of silk and cotton and embroidered with silver strings and other glittering strings.

Yemeni women iare closely connected with the diversity of dresses and some have obtained great numbers of them.

Nowadays, we see that the old Yemeni dresses are used during official occasions and in wedding parties. The bride and the groom put on distinctive dresses dating back hundreds of years.