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Covering the Moon
An Introduction to Middle Eastern Face Veils

Authors:  Vogelsang-Eastwood G., Vogelsang W.

Year: 2008
ISBN: 978-90-429-1990-7
Pages: X-247 p.
Price: 78 EURO

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The subject of veiling and face veil is nowadays one of the most controversial topics in the media and the public domain. Most people, and especially politicians and journalists, in both Muslim and non-Muslim societies, seem to have a strong opinion about it. Many books and articles have been written about the question as to why women wear a face veil and whether or not it represents a form of oppression. In contrast, there is very little information about the face veils themselves, the various types and the regional variations.

This book describes and illustrates the history of face veils, from its pre-Islamic origins to the present day. It tells about the many regional variations, from Morocco in the far west to Central Asia in the northeast. It emphasises the role of face veils as a form of dress and identity, rather than a garment that conceals an individual's persona.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (Ph.D. Manchester, 1989) is director of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands. She is a textile and dress historian specializing in the Middle Eastern dress, notably archaeological items from ancient and medieval Egypt. She has been working in the field of veils and veiling since the early 1980s.

Willem Vogelsang (Ph.D. Groningen, 1990) is the former curator for Southwest and Central Asia of the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Netherlands. He is now cultural and regional advisor to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and mainly works in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. His interests focus on the archaeology, history, culture and political developments in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. One of his main publications is The Afghans (Oxford 2002; updated reprint 2008).

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