Example Pictures of Different Belly Dance Costumes Styles Needed

Amulya

Moderator
So I am going to educate someone on all the different costume styles but I discovered a whole lot is no longer easy to find on Google!

It is easy to find modern examples of course but I am looking for old styles like 40-50s, and way before. I found some Ghawazee pictures and that is it! Could not even find a good old fashioned saidi dress picture (I have one from the 90s and that’s not proper long ago haha) or everything else.

Also from different countries please 😃
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
matahari.jpg
Mata Hari

Middlesex.jpg
Apparently from WW2


Ouled Nail late 1800s Algeria.jpg
Ouled Nail from late 1800s.

samiagamal.jpg
Samia Gamal

SamiaGamal1952.jpg
Samia Gamal again, dated 1952


bellydancer.jpg
I don't think this is vintage, but looks it...
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
fatoush.jpg
Took me a bit to find this one. Other than looking like she's about to fall out, I don't know anything about it...

Hope these help!
 

Amulya

Moderator
Thanks Zorba, all great examples. The Oulet Nail, did they do a dance similar to belly dance or was it very different, I realise I have never seen a video of that!

It is also impossible to find old saidi dress pictures, of how they would have looked like before they became tight and more revealing. Or pictures of costumes before the ‘Hollywood-isation’ of belly dance costumes. Orientalist ones, but that would not come close to realistic.

The one you said looks vintage, I think is modern, those big shapes on the belts have been used quite a lot in this century in tribal.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
I also could have sworn there were better resources for this online, but I can't find a single, really useful site.

As always, Shira has something http://www.shira.net/costuming/dresses.htm.

There are a couple of Pinterest boards, and this one looks like a good collection https://www.pinterest.com/acousticlady/bellydance-historyvintage/.

The Oulet Nail, did they do a dance similar to belly dance or was it very different, I realise I have never seen a video of that!
It's not my area of expertise, but I found these...

These look like pretty old clips once it gets going.

These are contemporary performances. I don't know if this one is dubbed onto something else or intercut with a story, but I hope the dancer just tripped and didn't get shot in the foot around 2:00....


This has some better glimpses of the footwork.

As does this one, albeit of the men dancing...

It is also impossible to find old saidi dress pictures, of how they would have looked like before they became tight and more revealing.
If you want Assuit, Davina is probably your source https://www.davina.us/blog/books/the-cloth-of-egypt/.

Or pictures of costumes before the ‘Hollywood-isation’ of belly dance costumes. Orientalist ones, but that would not come close to realistic.
Google Images has lots of old photos, but you almost need to know what you are looking for to find it.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
The Ouled Nail dance we did in DCM years back now was very similar to the vintage clip Tourbeau posted, but our costumes were about halfway between that and the first "modern" clip. Definitely NOT Belly Dance - but interesting and fun. I've been told the proper pronunciation is "WOO-LED NYE-EEL".
 

Tourbeau

Active member
I've been told the proper pronunciation is "WOO-LED NYE-EEL".
Apparently, the pronunciation of their name is almost as vigorously debated in the dance community as 3/4 shimmies. I haven't been able to find a fully marked Arabic spelling, so I can't say for sure--not that it may matter, because the indigenous pronunciation might not be well rendered in Arabic anyway.

I have found a more marked spelling أولاد نائل that looks like the pronunciation should be "Oolaad Naa-iil," and some examples of Arabic speakers saying the name (below), but even then, there are variations.

I'm fairly confident that there's an "Ooo" at the beginning (waw as a vowel), not a "W" (waw as a consonant), because the spellings are always either أولاد or اولاد. If they wanted to start with a "W" consonant, this isn't how they would spell it (they'd just start with وِ, not او), and since you rarely see "Awlad," this last possibility seems more like an uncommon transliteration variation than a pronunciation rendering.

It's the second word that is really the problem for me, particularly نائل versus the more common spelling نايل. At first, I was thinking there should be a glottal stop in the second word so that it's two syllables instead of one, especially since I also keep seeing the French spelling "Naïl", that is, "N+long A+glottal stop+long I+L" or "Naa--iil". But it seems weird that people would so frequently go the trouble of making sure the hamza was in the first word but not the second if it was supposed to be there, so "N+long A+Y+short A+L" or "Nayal." On top of that, things get mushed together when speaking quickly, so both pronunciations kind of compress down into "N(long I)L", and maybe that's part of the confusion. Everything depends on what is going on in the middle of the word, and I don't have a conclusive answer for that.

This video is captioned من هم أولاد نائل؟ (Who are the Ouled Nail?) and it's where I first found the hamza-marked spelling of the second word.


These two sound almost like they're saying "Oulaad Nayal" (0:02, 0:27).


This guy sounds more like "Ooled 'nail'" (0:06).


I can't tell if these are dialect variations in pronunciation, they're not equally correct, or something else. The water's too deep for me to swim in here...
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I'm fairly confident that there's an "Ooo" at the beginning (waw as a vowel), not a "W" (waw as a consonant), because the spellings are always either أولاد or اولاد.
That would be my assumption as well, simply from the transliterated spelling, but my very knowledgable teacher insisted on the "W" sound. *shrug* It may have been how she heard it from someone... I learned long ago to not trust transliterations, I see significant problems with transliterated Greek all the time - but I can read Greek to check it, I only know numbers when it comes to Arabic! ;)

BTW, what is that song in the first video? I've heard it a couple or three times in a Middle Eastern context - yet I know it as a Russian song "Meadowlands"...
 

Tourbeau

Active member
That would be my assumption as well, simply from the transliterated spelling, but my very knowledgable teacher insisted on the "W" sound. *shrug* It may have been how she heard it from someone... I learned long ago to not trust transliterations, I see significant problems with transliterated Greek all the time - but I can read Greek to check it, I only know numbers when it comes to Arabic! ;)
I would have been more confident in the pronunciation if I could have located a clip of someone from the Ouled Nail pronouncing their own name, but even that doesn't guarantee other valid pronunciation variations don't exist, either within their own subgroups or across history. Part of the problem here is that أو or او could be pronounced "ooo", "ow", or "aw," depending on what was intended by the missing markings and the speaker's pronunciation/interpretation. Learning Arabic is like one grand adventure into the metaphysical question, "At what point does the letter 'W' become Double 'U'?"

I've heard so much challengeable nonsense come out of the mouths of "experts" and so much backdoor gossip about dancers inflating their own credentials that I take everything with a grain of salt--and although I try to provide citations for my own stuff when it seems questionable, I expect people to take me with a grain of salt, too. No matter who you are in this dance--even a cultural insider--there are so many variations in authenticity that it's like the story of the blind men and an elephant. Honestly, I believe there were times when Mahmoud Reda, clearly once the world's leading authority on the Reda Troupe, said stuff, and Farida Fahmy rolled her eyes and said, "No, he's wrong. That's not how it happened."

BTW, what is that song in the first video? I've heard it a couple or three times in a Middle Eastern context - yet I know it as a Russian song "Meadowlands"...
I don't know the name, but the YouTube AI Copyright Police say it's

Song: Song of Plains
Artist: Tacettin Ocak, Ataç Aydın
Album: United Colors of the World
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I don't know the name, but the YouTube AI Copyright Police say it's

Song: Song of Plains
Artist: Tacettin Ocak, Ataç Aydın
Album: United Colors of the World
That would at least be consistent with "Meadowlands".
 
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