Kurdish Jewish Bride's 
Betrothal Henna Traditions
copyright Catherine Cartwright-Jones c 2003
Kent State University

When Kurdish Jewish families arranged marriages for their sons and daughters, they celebrated a successful agreement with a betrothal party, a qadoshe.  The groom's family prepared a feast, and took the food to the bride's house on a Tuesday.  The next day, the bridegroom came in a procession to his bride's house, and sat in a seat of honor.  The bride's family brought his bride to meet him, and unveiled her, so everyone could be certain that he was getting the girl he bargained for, and not a substitute!  He kissed her hand, gave her a ring,  and smashed a wine glass as women ululated klilililililililili. Then, he went home to celebrate with his friends and dance until morning.

The bride's family celebrated the rest of the night at her house, and hennaed the bride's hands, feet and hair.  If fashion or circumstance didn't permit such thorough henna, the bride had at least her little finger hennaed. The bride's friends stayed with her all night, celebrating her good fortune. 

Additional material on Kurdish Jewish marriage traditions is in "The Jews of Kurdistan" by Eric Brauer.

The Jews of Kurdistan
Erich  Brauer, completed and edited by Raphael Patai
Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1993

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