Tunisian brides traditionally aren’t shy to display their wealth. More than that, the more gold she had on, the more respect and envy her groom got because a lot of her jewelry pieces were his gifts to her. In the past, all this gold was her personal fund – she could buy, sell, exchange, or present her jewels however she liked, without her husband’s permission. It was her way of being independent and her insurance. Tunisians treasured gold highly, that’s why you’ll see so much gold embroidery on the bride’s costume below.
This is a vintage bridal outfit from Tunisia. It includes a sleeveless dress, an embroidered collar called “rakhba”, a vest called “farmla”, a pair of oversleeves called “ydein”, a pair of sleeves called “jabda”, and a headdress called “koufia”.
The sleeveless dress is called “great kmijja”. It is richly adorned with plenty of gold embroidery.
The densely embroidered round collar is called “rakhba”. It demands a lot of work to make one.
Also, there is a vest called “farmla”. It is very opulent and is embellished with gold embroidery, cute trimming, and lacing at the front.
The sleeves are called “jabda”. They are very delicate. The fabric is covered with intricate gold-embroidered patterns.
The oversleeves called “ydein” are short and decorated in a similar manner as the vest. But they are made of green velvet rather than a black one. You can even distinguish some of the cute embroidery designs.
And the last part of this wedding attire is a richly and skillfully embroidered headdress called “koufia”. It has the shape of a hood with a long back flap. Almost the whole headpiece is covered with gold embroidery.
On the forehead of a bride, a beautiful jewelry piece called “tawenza” is worn. It is a band adorned with embroidery, gold coins, beading, and carved gold plaits with gems.
Of course, a bride would also wear delicate shoes embellished with the same gold embroidery. And she would be covered in gold jewelry from the top of her head to her waist or even her knees.
Here is how a Tunisian bride dressed in traditional wedding outfit might look like.