Portrait of an Algerian woman wearing a white hayek
Albumen print, laid on card
20 x 15 cm. (7 ¾ x 6 in.)
Dating to around 1880 and taken in a photographic studio in Algiers during the French colonial period, this albumen print depicts a local woman dressed in a hayek. Deriving from the Maghrebi Arabic word hayk, itself from the Arabic haka, meaning ‘to weave’, the hayek is a traditional Algerian costume, consisting of a white cloth draped over the head and body, usually complemented, as is the case here, by an agar, a small piece of cloth to cover the face. Visible across the forehead is a khit el rouh, a type of diadem traditionally worn by Algerian women.
The albumen print is in excellent condition and shows a rich tonality.
You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.