26 Jan 2012
I LOVE TO WEAR JELLABAS
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
The Jellaba, also called Djellaba or Kaftan refers to the Moroccan garment without hood
The origins of the Jellaba go back to the Ottoman Empire, as it was one of the finest Ottoman clothing worn by the elite. Like other garments, it has gone through changes over the years. Men and women wear Jellabas equally. They are also worn in Egypt.
Jellabas protect against the heat, the cold, the wind and the sand. It's a very comfortable garment and exists in different materials for warm and cold weather.
As a foreigner in Morocco or Egypt, you can wear any type of traditional clothing. It is perfectly acceptable and even well appreciated. In winter, a man can wear a woolen djellaba over his clothes to keep warm. And, if a woman has invited people over to celebrate a holiday, she can put on a Jellaba to receive her guests.
In Morocco, women wear it during special occasions like a wedding. The Jellaba is the basic garment of the bride on her wedding day. It is also worn under a takshita, which is another beautifully decorated gown with traditional, hand-made buttons on the front, wide sleeves and a thick belt worn around the waist (see picture below).
There are also very beautiful Jellabas with handmade broderie and semi precious stones, which are worn as evening garments.
My very first Jellaba I bought in Egypt on a cruise on the Nile.
It was thrown on board for the tourists to buy from Egyptians sitting in little boats. The money we put in a basket and let it down to the boat with a cord. I still wear it on special occasions when I am on holidays, it's the one with the long sleeves. The turquoise one is for summer when it's very warm.
They are so easy to wear on your bathsuit, when you have to go for lunch or supper in a hotel.
These once I also bought in Egypt, until I realized that I can find them in Brussels on the big Sunday market, because there are a many Morrocans who live here. The price is between 8 and 10 €, (13 $) so it's not worthwhile to buy them in Egypt or Morocco and to carry them home. It's about the same price.
Since I discovered the Jellaba, I also wear it at home instead of a dressing gown, these two once are for the winter and in velvet. The red one I bought in the UK in an Indian shop in 2007 ! It had been washed and washed and still looks nearly new !
At least if some unexpected visitors come in the morning they find me in an "evening dress" !
And when Claudie Commedia Land came for a week to Brussels, she also bought a Jellaba !