Find content
eg: title, city, activity, people
OPTIONAL - Only in:
OR search by:
Questions, Answers and VOD
For content providers

Responsive image

Rituals and Crafts-skills Linked to the Tradition of the Tlemcen Bridal Costume

Language: English

The wedding ritual of Tlemcen in northwestern Algeria commences in the parents' home, where the bride is dressed in a traditionally woven golden silk dress, surrounded by her friends and married female relations, the latter wearing their own wedding costumes. Symbolic henna designs are applied to her hands, and an older woman helps her don a caftan of embroidered velvet, jewellery and a conical hat. Rows of baroque pearls protect her vital and reproductive organs against evil spirits. On leaving the house, the bride is covered with a golden veil of silk. During the wedding feast a married woman from the bride's inner circle draws red and silver designs beneath the veil on the bride's cheeks and under her lower lip to purify and protect her. Once protected by her caftan, jewels and make-up, the bride removes her veil, ready to be wed. Girls in Tlemcen are initiated into the costume tradition at an early age, while the craftsmanship involved in making the precious wedding costume is transmitted from generation to generation. The rite symbolizes the alliance between families and continuity between generations, while the craftsmanship plays a major role in perpetuating the creativity and identity of the Tlemcen community.

on this subject: Nomination file/Dossier de candidature

Topics and Tags
Place/region: Algeria, North Africa
Series: Inscriptions on the Intangible Heritage Lists
Type: Documentary
Production and personalities:
Director: Fethi Hadj Kacem
Publisher: CNRPATH
Coproducer/sponsor: Algeria. Ministry of Culture; The National Research Centre for Prehistory, Anthropology and History
Published in:
Rights: CNRPAH

   LICENSING: for inquiries about licensing this material, please contact the producers or the authors directly. You may also wish to consult our FAQs 6 to 9

Original: DVD
Location: EV only
UMVS reference: AVFONDS-CLTITH-2012-0066800016
Rights holder: UNESCO ; CNRPAH