Almeh a class of courtesans or female entertainers in Arab Egypt.

Almeh, courtesan, entertainer, Arabia, celebration, belly dance, costume,
Egyptian Dancing Girl (Almeh)

An Almeh in 1850.

Almeh (Arabic, عالمة, plural ʕawālim عوالمعوالم [ʕæˈwæːlem, -lɪm]; from Arabic: علمعلم ʻālima “to be wise, learned”) was the name of a class of courtesans or female entertainers in Arab Egypt.

Women who were trained to sing and recite classical poetry and witty speeches, associated with the qayna (Arabic, عالمة) or slave singers of pre-Islamic Arabia. They were girls of good social standing, trained in dancing, singing and poetry, present at festivals and celebrations and also employed as assistants at funerals.

In the 19th century, almeh came to be used as a synonym for ghawazi, the ethnic Dom (Gypsy) erotic dancers whose performances were banned in 1834 by Mehmet Ali. As a result of the ban, ghawazi dancers were forced to pretend that they were in fact awalim. Transliterated into French as almée, the term became synonymous with ‘belly dancer’ in 19th-century European Orientalism.

Source: Souvenirs d’Egypte par Alexandre Bida et Prosper Barbot. Paris: Lemercier, 1851.

Related

Note:  Hebron. The Cave of Machpelah. Oriental and Sacred Scences.

Leave a Reply


Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ― Vogue.com

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)


FASHIONPEDIA
Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

FASHIONPEDIA is a visual fashion dictionary covering all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics. It encompasses rich, extensive information and yet is easy to read. Whether you are an industry insider or a fashion connoisseur, FASHIONPEDIA is all you will ever need to navigate the fashion scene.


Textilepedia. The Complete Fabric Guide.

The Textile Manual is an encyclopaedia of textile information, from material to yarn, from fabric structure to the finishing process. Encompassing practical tips for a range of textiles and detailed visuals, this ultra-accessible manual is the perfect companion for fashion aficionados and aspiring fashion designers.


Literature

Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.