for the Death
Young Woman in the 19th century
Kent State University
In Amidiya, Kurdistan, when a
young woman died , women hennaed and dressed her body as if preparing
for her wedding. This would let her enter the afterlife joyous
beautiful, as on her wedding day. They sang her wedding songs, Dim
and Narike. In the 19th century, the girl was elaborately
adorned with wedding henna, but in the early 20th century, the women
hennaed her little finger.
Her parents hung up her
clothing by the bed where she once slept.
In Sinne, women prepared
the dead girl, but did not henna her body. They ululated, klililililili,
if for a bride, amid rounds of weeping.
Young women were not
in their wedding finery, as grave robbers might plunder their
and steal their wedding jewelry.
The Jews of Kurdistan
and edited by Raphael Patai
Wayne State University
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