Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marriage Celebration in Yemen

This bride is wearing her dowery, maybe 10 kilograms of silver.

One hundred years ago in Yemen, a young girl would grow up slender with small wrists but with outsize hands, because of the hard work which is begun when very young.  So her bracelets would be made small in diameter, while her rings would be larger than expected.  

When she had reached her puberty, she would be married to a man chosen by her father.  She would have a 2-week-long celebration, one week before the ceremony, then a week of celebration following the wedding.  For the ceremony, she would be literally loaded down with silver jewelry, as you see in the vignette above.  

If the jewelry is actually all hers, it would remain with her as her own property.  But often much of the jewelry is borrowed for the sake of appearances if the bride does not have such a large amount of silver.  

We will be discussing the components of the various jewelry pieces.  Their materials, methods of fabrication and how and where they are worn all tell something about the people who make them, own them and wear them. 

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