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How did Ouled Nail dancers defend themselves?

Why the spikes on the Ouled Nail bracelets?

Photo by: bellydancemuseum.com Link: http://www.belly-dance.org/ Photo by: bellydancemuseum.com Link: http://www.belly-dance.org/ Photo by: bellydancemuseum.com Link: http://www.belly-dance.org/ Photo by: bellydancemuseum.com Link: http://www.belly-dance.org/

Ouled Nail dancers had to go out on night times and perform in places only frequented by men. The dancers were most of the time young girls and they danced to gather a dowry to marry.

To protect themselves against unwanted avances of men, the girls wore amulets and charms, kept in small boxes on a necklace. The boxes held verses of the Holy Quran and sometimes also herbs tied together.
Besides the aid of the marabout, more practical was the bracelet that had cones of semi-precious stones or spikes of silver.
When the men became all too exited, the bracelets proved their value and were very effective as the men didn't want to come home to their wife and children, marked with the sign of a Ouled Naïl.

These dangerous bracelets are so organised - spikes on the wrists - that they easily could be removed when in a safe place. Some of the girls did even wore several spike bracelets, especially the younger and attractive girls.

more on the Ouled Nailpictures of Ouled NailEtienne Dinet


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