Q:

What is the traditional clothing of Lebanon?

A:

The most notable traditional clothing in Lebanon is that of the mountain-dwelling Druze population, whose tarbush hat is made from felt and trimmed with gold coins. Before the tarbush, Lebanese Druze and Maronite women wore the conical tantur hat, which was made with silver or copper and worn to signify marital status.

Other traditional garments worn by Lebanese Druze women include the following:

  • A long shirt (kamis)
  • Coat-like outerwear (kumbaz)
  • Baggy breeches (shintyan)
  • Wide, split-sleeved waistcoat (damir)
  • Veil (futa or shambar)
  • Belt (hizam)
  • Skirt (tannura)

Druze men will traditionally wear shorter shirts, along with the fabric belt and kumbaz overcoat. They may also wear the following:

  • Waistcoat (jubbe)
  • Sleeveless waistcoat (sidriyye)
  • Wide cloak (abaye)
  • Fur-lined coat for winter (farwa)
  • Small cap (takiyye)
  • Head cloth (kufiyye or hatta)
  • Head rope (agal)
  • Turban (laffe)

Wearing traditional clothing in urban areas has become less common among the Druze, but remote populations may still do so.

Lebanese Muslims are generally more liberal in their attitude to dress than in most other Middle Eastern countries. For example, young Muslim women tend to eschew the traditional abaya, or the long-sleeved dress decorated with stitching, beads and sequins, for modern alternatives such as jeans and long-sleeved tops. The hijab headscarves are still commonly worn but clothing is reportedly not a major component of Lebanese culture.

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