A Look at the Origins of Head Coverings in the Middle East


Thursday, March 13, 2014
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Lecture by Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, M.A., M.F.A., textile artist and art historian.

Head coverings have been a part of Middle Eastern cultures since biblical times.  Munroe will discuss their origins, which predate the faith of Islam, the wider historical frame for this type of headwear, known as the hijab, and the aesthetics and cultural significance of various textiles used in its creation. 

Although the concept of “hijab” in the modern day vernacular refers to the head covering worn by Muslim women, the roots of the practice were widespread throughout the Near East in the centuries predating Islam. This study provides a historical overview of head covering practices from Classical and Late Antique societies, pre-Islamic Iran and Arabia, as well as looking into various styles of hijab as developed throughout the Islamic world. The mystical concept of veiling will also be explored as a metaphor within Sufi poetry.

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, M.A., M.F.A., is an artist and art historian specializing in Islamic art. Drawing upon her extensive background as a textile designer and weaver, Munroe explores and reinterprets the application of Persian motifs and themes in her multimedia art installations. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States at venues including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Detroit Institute of Arts, and San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. In addition to her studio practice, she is an independent curator and scholar, and has published several articles on historical textiles. Since 2011, she has been working at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a Lecturer and Teaching Artist with the Education and Islamic Art Departments.


Presented with support from the New York Council for the Humanities.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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31 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Times: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event
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Presenter: ArtsWestchester
Presenter Phone: 914-428-4220

Sponsor Message

The lecture series is made possible with support from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council for the Humanities.
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