Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cosmetics and perfumes of Yemen' women

The book of a German researcher - Arabist Hannah Schoening "Cosmetics and perfumes of Yemen women "Substances Lexicon, supplies and equipment," released in 2002 was dedicated to the topic which is very important for specialists in South Arabia. Many travelers mentioned peculiarities of the local cosmetics (yellow faces, green eyebrows, painted with henna palm), wrote about the fragrant smoke of incense and the bitterness of myrrh. Hannah Schoening presents detailed monographic study, the first of its kind.

Hannah Schoening

In Arabic literature, feminine beauty and standards of beauty was devoted to a particular literary genre, the pre-Islamic poetry, the theme of beauty beloved was the main. In the intonation of Arabic poem description "of beauty" Arab (this refers to clothing, jewelry and cosmetics) has a significant place.

The coloring of the body with various substances occurs worldwide and has been known since antiquity. As before, this combination medicine, magic and pure aesthetics, although the emphasis today is carried on the aesthetic aspect. Sometimes difficult to determine what is the subject - or ornament amulet, and to differentiate its dual function, as difficult to understand, I used just a cosmetic for beauty, as medicine and, above all, protection from evil eye.

Asked about the appointment of cosmetics are usually responsible: for beauty, bearing in mind the visual and olfactory side. This explanation surprised even European travelers in the second half of 19 - 20 in the first half., Watching ugly, in their opinion, coloring bodies of local residents, which once again demonstrates the subjectivity and relativity of the concept of "beauty".

"I've never seen anything more disgusting than the women with painted faces. When they lifted the veil, it is difficult to imagine that they are people. I saw his eyes, decorated with blue and red fish, which goes into their heads nose. The upper part of his face was yellow, bottom - green, with small black spots, and under the nostrils, similar to the two red cherries, stretched the green band on top of paint gleamed. forehead was, painted with three red lines, whiskers painted in red, yellow, green cheeks, crossed the lane "(Ben T., Mr. and Mrs. Southern Arabia. Reading. London, 1994).

In Hadzhreyne Doreen Ingrams watched as women without a special occasion painted their faces in "yellow paste made of wood, known as Varya, his forehead painted the green and red lines, so that when they considered themselves very attractive, steel, in my view, similar to clowns ... Their bare arms and legs were smeared with Vars and covered with a layer of gray mud, as if these women had just endured some serious illness "(Ingrams DA Time in Arabia. London, 1970).

Aesthetics and health are also closely related to each other: strong, healthy hair, for example, are at the same time, and beautiful. Strict division into categories and thus distinction between the functions of cosmetic products can not produce any drogisty and consumers. Indeed, many of the substances are several or even all the roles - such as saffron.

To Be Continued...

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