Saudi Headdress

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The man in this photo is wearing the traditional Saudi headdress, called shemagh. It is a large square lightweight scarf in a red and white checkered pattern. It is usually folded in half to form a triangle and the long folded part is worn facing the front, so there are pointed ends on each side and in the back. First though, usually a small white fitted cap, called kuffiyeh, is worn under the shemagh. To keep the shemagh in place, a sturdy thick black cord, called egal, is worn on top of the head over the scarf. The shemagh is typically only worn in Saudi Arabia, while the other Gulf countries wear a plain white scarf, which is called ghutra. Saudi men wear either one and it is a matter of personal preference. To me, the all white one looks a little more formal. This man has flipped back the sides and draped them over the top, possibly to keep him cooler or to make it easier for him to drive.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Clothing, Culture, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Tradition and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Saudi Headdress

  1. Always good to read from actual Saudis. I featured Saudi on my blog too!

  2. Dave's Mom says:

    Traditionally, the color or design of the ghutrah (male head covering) is an indication of the wearer’s tribal background.

  3. I guess there’s an art to using one!

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