On Wednesday, 20st May 2020, Willem Vogelsang wrote about an unusual type of face veil from nineteenth century Afghanistan:
Some weeks ago I wrote a short blog about a type of face veil that was worn in eastern Afghanistan by a slave woman from the Persian Gulf, around 1880. It was a battulah, the mask-type contraption that is sometimes called a Zorro mask and is still widely worn along both sides of the Gulf. I wrote about it mainly because it is so very different from the almost iconic, all-enveloping burqa type of veiling that by the late nineteenth century had become commonly worn by Afghan women and is still regarded by Muslim fundamentalists in the country as the age-old traditional, Islamically correct form of outside clothing for women.
Yet, the one-piece burqa as we know it today is probably a nineteenth century innovation introduced to the country from India, and, as it often goes, at first worn by the wives of well-to-do Afghans, and later adopted by their less fortunate sisters. During the early nineteenth century, the burqa as a one-piece garment replaced a set of garments, often also called a burqa, that consisted of a head cap, a face veil, and a body covering. This was until the early twentieth century still the normal set of clothing for a woman in Iran when going outside.