Wednesday, 27 July 2011

' When I opened my door next morning, a girl with perfect features was standing there, dressed in the complete panoply of all that a young woman of Hajarain can wear, and her face done up to match. A thin scarlet line marked her plucked eyebrows, like laquer on the yellow varnish of her face: her nostrils, too, were scarlet, and a green design like a 7 came over the left eyebrow down her nose: her lips: perfectly chiselled, had a blue tattoo line on the upper and a pattern of dots and dashes below, and her dress, richer than that of Do'an, was short to the knees in front and trailed behind her, with bands of spangles from the shoulders and a spangly star just in the middle of the back, which a judiciously swaying walk could show off its prominence to best advantage. She had amulets in silver cases like a crown round her head and a cap of coral strings above them: and each ear under the many plaits was heavy with seven ear-rings. In her hand she carried a wooden platter, with eggs and some pancakes of  bread soaked in oil for my breakfast. '

from The southern gates of Arabia: A journey in the Hadhramaut
by Freya Stark

No comments:

Post a Comment