Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Melhfa, the Saharawi female beauty



Melhfa is a four miter long by one miter wide piece of fabric.It is not any ordinary piece of cloth; it is the symbol of the Saharawi female beauty. Melhfa has existed with the existence of the Saharawi culture. Many people may view it as religious, specifically Muslim symbol. However, the Melhfa is strictly cultural and unique to the Saharawi people. It comes in variety of colors, patterns and material. It can be one color, three or ten. It may be simple or with artistic shapes and patterns or even with the flag of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Melhfa has different names depending on the colors; the material is made of and even sometimes group age of the women.



The Melhfa – when you think about it – is very practical in the life of people like the Saharawis. A country like Western Sahara is mostly deserts and hence, the weather is dry and hot. In addition, there are many sand-storms. For these reasons, the Melhfa can serve as a mean of protection from the harsh natural condition. Not only that, but also the fact that the Melhfa makes the Saharawi women exceptional and different from the rest of the women.



Usually, the Melhfas (the plural of Melhfa) with light colors such as pink, white, light green and blue are for young females. Whereas, the darker colors such as black, brown and dark navy are for older women. The thickness of the material can vary as well. The Talab – which literarily means youth – is the thin and more transparent fabric. The Talab is mostly worn by young girl when they first start wearing the Melhfa. On the contrary, there is the Galith – which literarily means thick – is for the elder women. In between Talab and Galith, there is the Sheegaa. In addition, there is Swesra, Sarou, which is more like the Indian Sari and the most important Enilla. The Enilla is the most traditional type of the Melhfas. It is made of a very thick material and gives out a sort of paint called Enilla, which is believed to be very good for the skin and helps against the sun radiations.



The most traditional way of wearing the Melhfa is called Etaglidee. It is basically part of Enilla and plan white Melhfa worn together. The woman would wear the Enilla part on the upper body and the white piece, which is called Le-Zaar around the waist. The Etaglidee is usually worn in special occasions and celebrations, but nowadays it is mostly worn for weddings. The bride would wear the Etaglidee in the first day of the wedding.



Therefore, if there is anything that the Saharawi women should be proud of is that of the Melhfa. I must admit that it is not very easy to learn how to wear it and even more difficult to do daily activities while wearing it. Nevertheless, it is beautiful and is a great symbol of the Saharawi culture.

4 comments:

Natalia said...

HOla! (hellow) is a nice blog. And this pictures (photos) are very beatiful.
Saludos desde España. Por un Sáhara libre. This is my blog http://saharaalcor.blogspot.com/

Metalsa said...

I am an original Amazigh! Morocco is changing and giving every group it`s rights. We must focus on autonomy of the regions within the Maghreb Union. No division but unity. Morocco consist of Riffi`s, Cleuh, Jbella, Soussa, Arabs, Moroccan Jews etc. These are all as different as they are alike. Polisario leadership is corrupt. The Sahroui`s who are my brothers are the victimes of a plot of the Sahroui leaders and Algerian hegemony in the Maghreb.

Actually I think the whole of the Maghreb is 1 people, etchnic, culture and language. And there are so many sub-groups and tribes. If Morocco fals apart every tribe will demand it`s own governmant and we fall into great Anarchy, because the do not have the means and knowledge do govern! I ask you Sahroui`s lets unite and make Morocco a better country for our children and other future generations. I believe we can do this because we are as much different as we are the same!

We are all similar, the whole of the Maghreb..And also more with the Sahroui`s in Algeria and Libia. The Sahroui`s in Morocco are not 1 group of people they are divided, There are Berbers and Arabs first of all. Most of the Sahroui`s are Arabised berbers( Imazighen) like me from the North of Morocco. We are the original inhabitants of the Maghreb. Look at the names in the Sahara and old rock paintings. Adrar Iforas etc. Please let us unite in the Maghreb!

And of course Sahara has more to do with Mauritania. And also more with the Sahroui`s in Algeria and Libia. The Sahroui`s in Morocco are not 1 group of people they are divided, There are Berbers and Arabs first of all. Most of the Sahroui`s are Arabised berbers( Imazighen) like me from the North of Morocco. We are the original inhabitants of the Maghreb. Look at the names in the Sahara and old rock paintings. Adrar Iforas etc. Please let us unite in the Maghreb!

No Moroccan can give his people and country awy. Progressive or Liberal I`t not logic. It is far to dangerous for 200.000 Sahroui`s to get a county as big as the North of Morocco with 30.000.000 people of all different backgrounds. Morocco is a multi cultural country, saffi And my dear Sahroui brothers you are brainwashed by the corrupt polisario leaders and Algerian politicians that we are different. This is a nationalistic joke. Even Moroccans and Algerians are the same!

Of course I want the Sahroui`s to be free, free of Corrupt Polisario leadership, Algerian influence politics, instability.
Com on 200.000 people can not govern a country that size! It`s crazy!

Now they will get the chance under autonomy from Morocco to prove and govern themselfs.

I want the Sahroui`s to be free and happy to and the best way is the Moroccan way. Compare Morocco to other countries in the Maghreb!

Karina said...

Wow. Melhfa really prettify women's beauty. When a woman wear melhfa, she becomes more enigmatic and mysterious.It is a really beautiful custom in Muslim world.
Today Morocco becomes more popular for tourists, businessmen who invest in property in Morocco. But I think people come most in order to see women in Morocco, and their beauty.

jhon said...

Nice post love reading it

blazers for women

Leather jacket women

Womens Leather Biker Jacket