Treasures of Ours

Nabil Shash

Ethnicity: Ethiopian

Attached is a photo of a hat and scarf that’s gifted to Harari men when we get married. Although I rarely get to wear it, it symbolizes a step into adulthood. These two items were made in Harar, Ethiopia and gifted to me by a friend of my father. It also symbolizes the love my parents have received from the community, through to me.

As a child of diaspora, the closes connection I have to the harari community is through weddings. That’s where you see traditional clothing, hear traditional songs, and celebrate in a traditional fashion. I don’t know the language, how to cook the food and didn’t get married to a Harari woman. So these garments represent community, my community, and outside of my parents and my blood, are my only connection to it.

The hat is called a quofia, which I think literally translates into hat. I never learned what the scarf’s actual name is but let me check with my dad. They were gifted to me by a friend of my parents on the day of my wedding to wear. Traditionally, I should continue to wear it at weddings as a symbol that I am married.

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