Yemeni women’s festive dress: a folklore fashion show (Part 2) [Archives:2007/1038/Last Page]

April 2 2007

By: Fatima Al-Ajel
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On various women's occasions, Yemeni women in their traditional dresses make a daily show. Despite the new fashionable dresses displayed in most markets, Yemeni women still prefer to wear traditional dress and their head coverings on most occasions. Some women wear traditional dress as a standard on formal occasions. In this article, we'll examine some Yemeni women's festive dress and when they are worn.


Adeni women's folk dress is characterized by simplicity and humbleness of design and material. This is due to many reasons, such as the area's high temperatures and local culture, among others. But like most Yemeni women, Adeni women like to look fabulous.

Southern Yemeni women generally use Arabian jasmine to decorate their head and neck when dressing for their festive occasions. The simply designed Al-Dare is Adeni women's festive dress, both for married and single women. Most Adeni women place Arabian jasmine and others flowers around their head and waist. They sometimes take a part of Al-Dare and put it on their head in order to look more beautiful.


Yemeni women from Taiz governorate have their own traditional dresses with special designs. Al-Sabri dress is known only for Taizi women, especially in the governorate's Al-Sabr region. There are two main types of Al-Sabri dress, the first of which is a black dress made of special textile and soft threads. The top of the dress contains accurate designs in bright colors.

Taizi girls decorate their heads with a scarf designed in a special way and encircled around the head with flowers. They also wear trousers designed to coordinate with either the top of the dress or the headscarf. This attractive design shows the harmony of Yemeni women and their elegance.

Al-Qamas is the other type of Taizi dress especially for married women on the first days of their marriage parties, but some newlywed brides wear it on their honeymoon. It is similar to Yemeni dress in other regions, but with some simple differences. Al-Qamas dress design is difficult and requires the assistance of a professional woman to do it for the bride.


The Sana'a wedding dress is special. There is a certain traditional Yemeni dress for a bride, which may be white or other bright colors, but al-taj is the Sana'ani bride's crown. She wears it as a queen meeting her nation.

A Sana'a bride is distinguished by the Sana'ani Taj and only one style of coiffure mixed between the decorated dress and special jewelry called faratiks placed on the bride's head. Different colored Sana'ani Taj are worn during the honeymoon days.

Unfortunately, many Yemeni women don't wear the Sana'ani Taj at their wedding parties, as they mostly abandon traditional Yemeni wedding dress because they like to imitate what they see on television.

At the conclusion of all the wedding ceremonies is another party called Al-Shakmah, at which the bride is free to wear either the Sana'ani Taj with bright colors or one of the traditional Yemeni headdresses for married women, such as Al-Ospah or Al-Asjah.