agal headband

agal headband

 agal headband

Kish Native Anthropology House (PD7B0124).jpg
Hair hoop [1] — accessory accessoryView and review data on Wikidata

The agal is a piece of the Arab dress worn by men in the Arabian Peninsula , the eastern coast of the Arabian Gulf , Ahwaz , Iraq , the Levant and Egypt

.It is worn over the shemagh or the ghutra. There is no scientific agreement on the date of the emergence of the agal in its current form

, although the oldest written references to wearing the agal appear to be from northern Arabia in the early eighteenth century ( 1700 AD / 1100 AH ).

The agal is usually made of threads woven from goat’s wool, which was popular among the Arabs in previous times, while the agal industry developed so that the use of threads woven from cotton and silk entered .

While the agal industry is still clinging to the traditional manual methods. Perhaps what has been new in the agal industry is the development of the weaving method and the creation of patterns and twists that are sometimes linked to the social levels of those who wear the agal.

In Iraq, the central provinces (Samawah and Ramadi, for example) are distinguished by the thin agal that is worn over the white ghutra, while the men of the southern provinces (Nasiriyah and Basra, for example) prefer the thick agal. [4]


  • Black and made of wool and goat hair
  • White, and in Iraq it was worn by the princes of the Rabi’a tribe [5]
  • Al-Zari is worn on national occasions and celebrations.
  • The animal hair which is made of camel’s hair (and its color is light brown or white)
  • The reeded agal is the Hijazi polygonal agal [6] and is mostly worn by dignitaries and princes.
  • Al-Muraz (relative to a special type of goat hair from the Badia of northern Iraq and Sinjar [5] [6] ).

History and origin 

It is difficult to determine the origin of the agal in its current form [3] , and most of the historical drawings, sculptures and miniatures indicate that the Arabs wear various types of turbans , and it is still present as a historical dress in Egypt, Sudan , the Great Desert , and in some regions of the Arabian Peninsula such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and the Emirates.

At the same time, the absence of the egal from the drawings does not mean that it was not present.

[3] The oldest references to wearing the headband appear to be from northern Arabia in the early eighteenth century ( 1700 AD / 1100 AH ).

[3] It seems that wearing the agal and the ghutra/shemagh spread from central and northern Arabia to the rest of the Arabs In other words, researchers Bruce Ingham and Nancy Lindsfarne-Traper say that the agal was distinguished by the Arabs of the Bedouin culture in the Arabian Peninsula (from the center to the north), while the urban Arabs in Africa, the Hijaz, Yemen, the Levant and the Gulf were distinguished by the turban on its eastern and western banks.

[3] Some writers link the headband to the headband, but this link is not accompanied by historical evidence. [3] [7]

As for ancient history, it appears that the idea of ​​using some kind of tissue to line the headdress is very old. The oldest sculpture showing a man wearing a dress and a headband on his head was found in the “Qalban Bani Murra” area in southern Jordan in 2012 during an archaeological mission to the area from Mutah University [8]

. Perhaps this statue dates back to between 3000 -4000 years BC (6000 years before the present), and makes the Arabian Peninsula the origin of this style of dress. [8] In the rest of the historical civilizations in Mesopotamia, and in more recent periods of time, the discovered statues and coins show the wearing of what looks like the headband in those civilizations such as the civilization of Babylon and the civilization of Elam in the Ahwaz region.

[9] As for the early Arab/Islamic eras, the name Asaba is used, meaning (The turban and everything with which the head is covered [10] ).

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