Bellydance Museum © 1999 to 2013 : Origins of oriental dance, bellydancing and famous historic bellydancers
Why the spikes on the Ouled Nail bracelets?
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 Nail • pictures of Ouled Nail • Etienne Dinet
Oriental dance costumes from the 1700's, 1800's and the 1900's
Belly dance has evolved in many different countries through different ways and little is preserved to give an idea how it was centuries ago. This collection has pieces as old as 1714, probably the earliest account on printed paper.
It's origins are found in the Middle Eastern every day life. Women and girls dancing between themselves in schools, in their homes at weddings (separated from the men) and other festivities. Orientalists who watched women of gypsy tribes dancing at public places, witnessed one of the roots of oriental dancing
The very first Oriental dancer the Egyptians have known was "Shooq"
. She's reached the climax of her career in 1871 and starting from Shooq many Egyptian Belly dancers have successfully followed her footsteps.
One of her successors was "Shafiqah Alqebtieah"
whom later has become the Icon of the Oriental dance that remains in the Egyptian memory.
Series of legendary Belly dancers have emerged in Egypt such as:
Among all those names were a big number of belly dancers who played what you call "strange" role in the evolution of the Oriental dance in Egypt and they shared the same start which is escaping home in searching for gold...
They became very famous dancers in Egypt and beyond Egypt as well. These oriental dance stars are featured with a unique collection of photos and stories only
featured here in the Bellydance Museum. (copyright protected)