Mansoojat Foundation

Museum of Saudi Arabian Costume online

Harb tribe

The great oasis in the lava-flows of the northern Hijaz, known as al-Madinah al-Munawwarah or “The Illuminated City”, was the place where the Prophet Muhammad took refuge on his flight from Makkah in AD 622, the date at which the Muslim calendar begins. Here he established the first Muslim community, and here he died in AD 632, having finally succeeded in establishing Islam and the pilgrimage at Makkah.

The region in which al-Madinah sits was dominated by the great bedouin tribe of Harb. They conducted the caravan trade between central Najd, al-Madinah, Makkah and Jeddah.

Typical Harbi dresses are decorated with buttons and embroidery, with heavy patchwork on the hem. Blue cotton cloth was a particular Harbi trademark. Coins were often used as jewelry, as on this burqu‘.

Harb thobe in blue with alternating green on the sleeve panels, and patchwork on the shoulders. The burqu ' (face mask) is made of yellow silk and the front is embroidered with real pearls.

Geography, Architecture and Natural History

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