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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Those who can afford it have a tadji of diamonds


women are extremely fond of jewellery, diamonds, pearls and precious stones. On the head, the hair being plastered down with a parting in the centre and knot behind on the neck, a diadem is worn by the smarter ladies, the _tadji_. Those who can afford it have a _tadji_ of diamonds, the shape varying according to fashion; others display sprays of pearls. The _tadji_ is a luxurious, heavy ornament only worn on grand occasions; then there is another more commonly used, the _nim tadji_, or small diadem, a lighter and handsome feathery jewel worn either in the upper centre of the forehead, or very daintily and in a most coquettish way on one side of the head, where it really looks very pretty indeed against the shiny jet black hair of the wearer.

Heavy necklaces of gold, pearls, turquoises and amber are much in vogue, and also solid and elaborate gold rings and bracelets in profusion on the fingers and wrists.

Out of doors women in the cities look very different to what they do indoors, and cannot be accused of any outward immodesty. One suspects blue or black bag-like phantoms whom one meets in the streets to be women, but there is really nothing to go by to make one sure of it, for the street costume of the Persian lady is as complete a disguise as was ever conceived.

Before going out a huge pair of loose trousers or bloomers--the _chakchur_--fastened at the waist and pulled in

at the ankle, are assumed, and a _ruh-band_--a thick calico or cotton piece of cloth about a yard wide, hangs in front of the face, a small slit some three to four inches long and one and a half wide, very daintily netted with heavy embroidery, being left for ventilation's sake and as a look-out window. This is fastened by means of a hook behind the head to prevent its falling, and is held down with one hand at the lower part. Over all this the _chudder_--a black or blue piece of silk or cotton about two yards square and matching the colour of the trousers, covers the whole from head to foot, and just leaves enough room in front for the ventilating parallelogram.

In public places this cloak is held with the spare hand quite close to the chin, so that, with the exception of a mass of black or blue clothing and a tiny bit of white embroidery over the eyes, one sees absolutely nothing of the Persian woman when she promenades about the streets. With sloping shoulders, broad hips, and huge bloomers, her silhouette is not unlike a soda-water bottle.

Her feet are socked in white or blue, and she toddles along on dainty slippers with no back to the heels. A husband himself could not recognise his wife out of doors, nor a brother his sister, unless by some special mark on her clothing, such as a spot of grease or a patch--otherwise, poor and rich, young and old, are all dressed alike. Of course the diadem and other such ornaments are only worn in the house, and the _chudder_ rests directly on the head.

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