The Sartorial Beauty of Yemenite Jews’ Marriage Rituals

May 27, 2020 | Liana Satenstein
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According to the customs of Jewish Yemen, the formal wedding is preceded by the henna ceremony, where the bride-to-be—dressed in an elaborate costume—is decorated with the dye of that name. Liana Satenstein describes the ritual, which has in recent years made a comeback in Israel:

The crowning glory of [the bride’s] look, which comes in vibrant red—also to symbolize fertility—and gold, is a majestic beaded headdress, or gargush, that is in the shape of a cone and resembles a tiered cake. The headpiece weighs more than two pounds. But that isn’t the heaviest part: that’s where the jewelry comes in. She wears a chestful of necklaces, including one under her neck called a labbah, a thick collar of silver filigree beads braided into red yarn.

These decorations, as well as the groom’s ritual garments, can be seen in this short video, and additional photographs can be found at the link below.

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