In the Northern reaches of the African continent, among the Berbers and other ethnic groups of Arabic heritage, a curiously symbolic article of clothing called a Burnous is worn.
Counterpart to its sleeved cousin, the Gandoura, the Burnous takes the form of a hooded cloak in a soft, off-white hue.
Of the Berbers there is much good to be said. Among them the virtues of honesty, hospitality, and good-nature are conspicuous. It is not their misfortune alone that the lowlands know them no more[…]
– Melville William Hilton-Simpson, Among the Hill Folk of Algeria (1921)
A burnous is to be worn on big occasions, granting the wearer an air of importance and age-old sophistication.
Besides helping men make a positive impression at important gatherings, a burnous also helps them stay warm throughout the trying chill of winter. It’s a lot like wearing a blanket.
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