Antique Moroccan Fez Woman's Belt Sash (Bezam) Silk broacde with Textile
Size 100" x 14"
Size 254x 36cm
Top & Below are Detail Images
Sashes (l’ahzem) such as this one are an indispensable element of a woman’s wedding ensemble, and would be worn tied around the waist. This sash is ornamented with four patterns, which repeat horizontally. Sashes were always folded lengthwise (evidenced here by the crease down the center) and wrapped several times around the waist, over the kaftan. They served as a decorative element as well as a substitute for a corset.
While sashes are decorated with a wide variety of design patterns, the ornament always begins with a plain border two to three centimeters wide, followed by a section with the so-called "hand of Fatima" or "khamsa" pattern. While mostly worn in Muslim ceremonies, sashes such as this one may have been woven by Berbers or Jews living in nearby communities, who were known to manufacture some of the finest Moroccan textiles.
Cf: The Fabric of Moroccan Life ISBN0-936260-769 P:112
Islamic Textile History