Thursday, July 03, 2008

On Arab Headdress

The Ghutra is an essential part of Arab traditional attire. It is a piece of cloth, like a scarf, made of cotton (sometimes a combination of wool and cotton) and soft to the touch. Unlike neckties which serves no purpose but as an ornament, ghutras are worn in the head and has practical application. It protects the wearer from searing heat of the sun and used to cover the mouth and eyes from dust especially during sandstorms.

From my observation, I can tell reasonably from which region in the Middle East an Arab belong by looking at his headdress. It announced their affiliation by the scarf’s design or the distinct way they wear the ghutra.

Pinoys here, especially those on the field, have adapted in wearing this headgear. Besides its main purpose, pinoys uses it to wipe sweats, as a hand towel and even handy when you have a running nose.

In the Philippines, “freedom fighters” wore it as an association to their faith. Even reporters put it on as a fashion statement. I don’t know, maybe it gives credibility to what ever they are doing.


  1. hahaha... kakatuwa naman nitong post.

  2. Very informative post, Pards. Until I read this, those Arab head garbs didn't mean much to me. Now, at least I have a clue as to what part of the Mideast region they come from based on the color and the way they wear it. Thanks again. :)

  3. kuya, yung ABSCBN field reporter si Abner Mercado! Kaya lang kulang sa weight yung illustration mo..Hehe..Galeng!

  4. Abner Mercado is a true signature..Nice blog.

  5. donG, thank you.

    panaderos, royalties or VIPs also have distinct way of wearing the ghutra. Locals know it but they won't tell me.

    eds, mas lalo ba syang tumaba... hehehe.

    I bulakeno, thanks for droping by.

  6. Arab Headdress are great relief for bald and big heads. I always make a joke to my wife that if I lose all my hair I will retire in the middle east he he he....

  7. ed v., funny you said that. Pinoys have a saying if you stayed long here. You either end up with lots of gray hair or you loss all of it. I've got both. My hair is thinning and its turning gray.

  8. Informative post. Oftentimes I see a KSA headdress in Abu Dhabi.

  9. witsandnuts, even here, often times they also wear the plain white ghutra more prevalent in the Emerates.

  10. I'm led to believe that the Ghutrah is actually the white head dress seen mostly in the summer but is predominant in Kuwait.
    The Shemagh is the red and white one seen a lot in the winter (although it comes in a number of different colours notably tan for military use).
    And the Keffiyeh is normally black and white. They all differ in the material they are made from.
    Atleast they know what you mean when buying one.

    The way they are worn is very much individual to the wearer and is almost a signature. Many wearers are proud of their particular method of wearing them.