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Head Coverings With Masks - Page 2

post #21 of 124
Yes, that's a burqa.

When I asked why it was frightening, I didn't mean why you thought it might frighten your son. You said it frightens you, and I'm curious why.
post #22 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Yes, that's a burqa.

When I asked why it was frightening, I didn't mean why you thought it might frighten your son. You said it frightens you, and I'm curious why.
But it wasn't really a burqa, the fabric was open to the face, and the face was covered with a metal mask, perhaps a partially fabric one as well, that is just the only picture that looks remotely like what I am talking about because it seems like there is something over her mouth under the fabric.

Anyway, I don't know why it frightens me. I think because it looked like a device from a house of horrors or something, like it was meant to make it so these women could not talk or eat. They looked machine like, or sci fi like, not person like. And in this culture, masks are frightening, they appear in horror movies, on robbers and bandits, or on doctors and dentists - and I find all those things scary or anxiety producing. So, when I see a mask on a person, my first instinct is anxiety, and when the mask was a sort of horrible metal thing that seemed very mean to make a woman wear, I had a sick to my stomach sort of response. Now the fabric masks make me think of those metal ones and that adds to the anxiety.

I guess I'm wondering if the women who wore the metal masks chose to, or where made to. And it seems that no one here has the vaguest idea what I'm even talking about, so unless I can take a pic one day on my camera phone, I guess I'm not gonna get an answer. Thanks anyway...

And I realize the fabric ones are a choice the woman makes to wear, it just seems frightening and I wondered why she has to wear a face mask as well as a head covering. No one really seems to know, so thanks anyway on that one too
post #23 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post
And I realize the fabric ones are a choice the woman makes to wear, it just seems frightening and I wondered why she has to wear a face mask as well as a head covering. No one really seems to know, so thanks anyway on that one too
They wear niqab/face veil (it's not a mask) for the same reason they cover their head - a religious observance. Some believe it's required, some believe it's prefered, some just like it. The niqab gives a woman power as you are forced to deal with her intellect rather than her looks. I wore niqab for a couple of years and it was an amazing experience.

I have never heard anyone express fear of how niqab looks. I'm curious if your fear is more about the unknown, the mystery of their faith, than it is about how they look?

eta: They could be Rashaida people. The women adorn their face veils with metal.
http://saharanvibe.blogspot.com/2007/02/rashaida.html

Perhaps what you saw was just a woman with a tribal niqab or burqa which just happened to hang low, thus over her mouth.
post #24 of 124
I think it sounds more like some weird sect, or maybe fetishists... But thats just my two cents...
post #25 of 124
Now that I think about it I kind of vaguely remember seeing something (pictured, not personally) with a clearly metal piece at the mouth area once, but I can't for the life of me remember where. or with regard to what people.

FWIW, I don't think it's necessarily out of line to be uncomfortable with styles of dress that are out of one's norms, because dress ordinarily is used to say something about ourselves, with unfamiliar dress it can be hard to have a feel for what it is being used to represent, and sometimes styles of dress from one culture can coincide with negative imagery in another. Facial coverings that may have everything to do with faith, privacy, respect, tradition, culture, and even beauty, in America do not natively carry any of these connotations. An initial emotional response that reflects this is, I think, totally normal.
post #26 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Facial coverings that may have everything to do with faith, privacy, respect, tradition, culture, and even beauty, in America do not natively carry any of these connotations. An initial emotional response that reflects this is, I think, totally normal.
Thank you
post #27 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmBnB View Post
I have never heard anyone express fear of how niqab looks. I'm curious if your fear is more about the unknown, the mystery of their faith, than it is about how they look?
I think it was just that they were wearing a mask, (it tied on, not like a veil that wraps around loosely).

Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmBnB View Post
eta: They could be Rashaida people. The women adorn their face veils with metal.
http://saharanvibe.blogspot.com/2007/02/rashaida.html

Perhaps what you saw was just a woman with a tribal niqab or burqa which just happened to hang low, thus over her mouth.
Nope, not it, but getting closer. This was a circular metal piece that covered the entire mouth and appeared to inhibit movement of the mouth. It wasn't pretty either, it wasn't like jewelry.
post #28 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabbe View Post
I think it sounds more like some weird sect, or maybe fetishists... But thats just my two cents...
This is what I'm starting to think too. I'd seen them a couple times, so thought it was just another known group, but I can't seem to find any photos at all or get people to understand at all what I mean.
post #29 of 124
just to add something, i'm not a muslim, but i was a religious studies major in university. i have taken a half dozen courses on islam, but i have never heard of this as part of female dress. i agree with some of the previous posters that said it might be a cultural dress of say, yemen, or something. or it could signify something tribal. i am certainly curious about it, since i have lived in a number of large east coast cities with lots of immigrant communities and have not seen anything like what you describe.

curiously, besides muslims, does anyone know other religions that prescribe veiled women? maybe they are not muslims at all?
post #30 of 124
I think it would help if we knew some other details. Did the women wear all black or did they dress colorfully? From what you could tell were they of African, Middle Eastern or Asian descent? From what you could tell were the women old or young? Were they in groups? Did all the women have the same sort of face coverings or just a few? Modest dress is practiced a lot of different ways and for a lot of different reasons, and it is like looking for a needle in a haystack to say why a mystery woman with any specific kind of face covering would be wearing modest dress.
post #31 of 124
Also, if it's a circle covering the mouth ... do you mean like a disc in front of the mouth, like if you're looking at the person head-on you see a circle? Or do you mean something encircling the mouth, like a band that wraps around the head? Does it come down over (or over and under) the chin, or just the mouth? Is it only covering the mouth, or is there a band up across the nose and forehead, or up the nose and across the brow, even just a very thin one?

I must admit this has me very curious.
post #32 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
FWIW, I don't think it's necessarily out of line to be uncomfortable with styles of dress that are out of one's norms, because dress ordinarily is used to say something about ourselves, with unfamiliar dress it can be hard to have a feel for what it is being used to represent, and sometimes styles of dress from one culture can coincide with negative imagery in another. Facial coverings that may have everything to do with faith, privacy, respect, tradition, culture, and even beauty, in America do not natively carry any of these connotations. An initial emotional response that reflects this is, I think, totally normal.
I appreciate your comment. Yes, we send "messages" with our choice of clothing, and it can be hard to interpret what unfamiliar clothing represents. I am used to religious headcoverings of various kinds, and feel comfortable with them. But when I see a woman with her face covered, it upsets me. I tend to react like Jennica, seeing it as something "mean." I can't help but feel that people who would make a woman go out with her face obscured must despise women; or if she truly chooses it for herself, then she must despise herself. It is a gut reaction I have never been able to get past.
post #33 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
I think it would help if we knew some other details. Did the women wear all black or did they dress colorfully? From what you could tell were they of African, Middle Eastern or Asian descent? From what you could tell were the women old or young? Were they in groups? Did all the women have the same sort of face coverings or just a few? Modest dress is practiced a lot of different ways and for a lot of different reasons, and it is like looking for a needle in a haystack to say why a mystery woman with any specific kind of face covering would be wearing modest dress.
They were in Rochester, Minnesota, where the Mayo clinic is. There is a large population of some type of people there who wear black veils, some with face coverings, and a handful of times I saw these women with the metal masks (I used to travel to Rochester every year and saw them there more than once). To answer your questions, they dressed in all black from head to toe, I couldn't see enough of their faces to be sure about age but all of the women in the group had the masks on, the men were just dressed "normally", I would say they were middle eastern. They were in groups, usually about 5 or 6 women in the center clumped together with the men on the sides of and in front of them. All of the women had what appeared to be the same metal face masks on.
post #34 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Also, if it's a circle covering the mouth ... do you mean like a disc in front of the mouth, like if you're looking at the person head-on you see a circle? Or do you mean something encircling the mouth, like a band that wraps around the head? Does it come down over (or over and under) the chin, or just the mouth? Is it only covering the mouth, or is there a band up across the nose and forehead, or up the nose and across the brow, even just a very thin one?

I must admit this has me very curious.
Imagine a surgical mask, but a little smaller, and it's made out of metal with breathing holes in it. It wasn't a perfect circle or anything, but not the winged type that people have been posting pics of. These were like metal cupped masks that went over the mouth and looked like they inhibited movement. I think the metal spread around to other parts of the face, but I can't totally recall.
post #35 of 124
Honestly, my thought is always "How can she breathe comfortably?" - but I have a real fear of suffocating so it is me projecting my fears onto that person. I put on a burqa once and was completely freaked out because it was so stifling and I couldn't see well. My peripheral vision was completely blocked out and I couldn't breathe in it.
post #36 of 124
Jumping in here.......two of my belly dance teachers were in the Middle East recently and described to me what Jennica is describing. At least I think. It is sort of a box like thing that goes over the mouth. A woman cannot speak or eat without her husband's permission since he has something like a key.

My two teachers were astounded because they'd been all over the Middle East and one lived there for years and *never* encountered it before. It is considered rather extreme and even bizarre in the few areas where it is practiced. Very, very few people ever use it.
post #37 of 124
Could they actually be from Afghanistan perhaps? There's an Afghani restaurant in St. Paul, I know, not sure how big of a population in general though.

I don't blame you for being freaked out by that. I saw something similar but not as severe in the mall here once, the women looked like they were wearing almost like a gas mask under a veil they were so severely covered. It seems punitive and extremist to me.
post #38 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post
Jumping in here.......two of my belly dance teachers were in the Middle East recently and described to me what Jennica is describing. At least I think. It is sort of a box like thing that goes over the mouth. A woman cannot speak or eat without her husband's permission since he has something like a key.
That's...I guess I'd better not say what I think of that.
post #39 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post
Imagine a surgical mask, but a little smaller, and it's made out of metal with breathing holes in it. It wasn't a perfect circle or anything, but not the winged type that people have been posting pics of. These were like metal cupped masks that went over the mouth and looked like they inhibited movement. I think the metal spread around to other parts of the face, but I can't totally recall.
Sounds almost like some kind of heavy duty air filtration mask. Short of that I wind up imagining Hanibal Lector masks, which probably isn't going anywhere good. Kmeyrick, where in the mid-east?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshoes View Post
Honestly, my thought is always "How can she breathe comfortably?" - but I have a real fear of suffocating so it is me projecting my fears onto that person. I put on a burqa once and was completely freaked out because it was so stifling and I couldn't see well. My peripheral vision was completely blocked out and I couldn't breathe in it.
When I've worn niqab it's been this sort of style, and it's quite light ... I know sometimes people's first thought is that it must be horribly hot and stifling, especially when black, but well made garments will almost always be extremely thin materials specifically chosen for their breathability, and black material can go thinner than others while maintaining its opacity. It can be quite comfortable. (Now, the heavy cheap 70s-grandma-pants polyester versions on the other hand ...)
post #40 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post
Jumping in here.......two of my belly dance teachers were in the Middle East recently and described to me what Jennica is describing. At least I think. It is sort of a box like thing that goes over the mouth. A woman cannot speak or eat without her husband's permission since he has something like a key.

My two teachers were astounded because they'd been all over the Middle East and one lived there for years and *never* encountered it before. It is considered rather extreme and even bizarre in the few areas where it is practiced. Very, very few people ever use it.
Yes, this sounds like what I am talking about! Thank goodness, I was beginning to think I had hallucinated the whole thing : I didn't realize how rare this is, but there must be a group in Rochester, MN, because I saw them there on a couple different occasions. And yes, I got very bad vibes from them, and felt really like the women were being made to wear these things. It was really a horrible thing to see, and now when I see any face masks with veils it kind of freaks me out.
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