Woman’s shawls or capes (handira in Arabic; tabrdouhte in Tamazight) are more commonly known as wedding blankets. Handiras made by the Beni Ouarain tribe are considered to be among the most delicately woven textiles of Morocco. This very rare ceremonial cape worn by the women of the Beni Ouarain tribe is very finely and intricately woven, each horizontal band being different in design from the next. The richness of its very fine weave is designed to be viewed up close. The braided cords with tassels that serve to tie the cape around the shoulders are still attached. Long strands have been left on the reverse of the cape (see photo) to provide warmth in the harsh winters experienced in mountain villages. This cape would have taken up to two years to make.
An exquisite example of a vintage handira from circa 1970 of excellent quality and very rare. A real collector’s piece.
1.95 m x 0.95 m / 6' 5" x 3' 1".
The Arabic word handira refers to a hand-loomed woollen and cotton blanket or shawl, sometimes with woven or braided cords that tie the garment around the wearer’s shoulders. In the absence of cords, they are usually tied by the use of fibulae (tribal brooches).