Omani Dress

 

National Dress - Men

 

The national dress for Omani men is a simple, ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves called the dishdasha. The colour most frequently worn is white, although a variety of other colours such as black, blue, brown and lilac can also be seen. Its main adornment is a tassel (furakha) sewn into the neckline, which can be impregnated with perfume. Underneath the dishdasha, a plain piece of cloth covering the body is worn from the waist down. Omani men may wear a variety of head dresses. The muzzar is a square of finely woven woollen or cotton fabric, wrapped and folded into a turban. Underneath this, the kummar, an intricately embroidered cap, is sometimes worn. The shal, a long strip of cloth acting as a holder for the khanjar (a silver, hand-crafted knife or dagger) may be made from the same material as the muzzar. Alternatively, the holder may be fashioned in the form of a belt made from leather and silver, which is called a sapta. On formal occasions, the dishdasha may be covered by a black or beige cloak, called a bisht. The embroidery edging the cloak is often in silver or gold thread and it is intricate in detail. Some men carry the assa, a stick, which can have practical uses or is simply used as an accessory during formal events. Omani men, on the whole, wear sandals on their feet.

 

National Dress - Women

 

Omani women have very colourful costumes which vary from region to region. The main components of a woman's outfit comprise of a dress which is worn over trousers (sirwal) and the headdress, called the lihaf.

 

There are numerous traditional styles of Omani costume seen in Muscat. However, there are three main types which show vibrant colours, embroidery and decorations. One style of costume is rather flowing and resembles that worn by the women of the Interior, while another is decorated with distinctive silver bands. The embroidery on these dresses can take around two months to complete

 

The jewellery worn by Omani women is fashioned mainly from gold, although the traditional metal was silver. Work is very intricate and elaborate patterns and symbols, even Quranic calligraphy, is engraved into the metal.Traditional footwear was a type of platform shoe made from wood called the qurhaf. However, most women now wear sandals or Western-style fashion shoes.

 

 

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