Although veiling in Iraq and other Middle Eastern societies is often associated

Although veiling in iraq and other middle eastern

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Although veiling in Iraq and other Middle Eastern societies is often associated with the practice of Islam, veiling actually has far reaching roots that outdate the formation of Islam. There are a number of nonreligious reasons that this practice can be sited for. To look at the reasons why this society in Iraq uses this practice, we can compare it to the Kung society that doesn’t. One major difference between the two societies that can give us insight into the differences in what women wear is their form of subsistence. Kung subsistence is made up of hunting and gathering that both men and women participate in. That being said, women that were out gathering food could not have clothes like the Iraqi women that are more restrictive and harder to maintain while out looking for food in the wilderness. On the other hand, Iraqi society has a very different form of subsistence that allows for differing attire from the Kung society. Whereas the Kung utilize hunting and gathering, the Iraqi societies rely on an agricultural structure to obtain their food. Additionally, women are not a part of the gathering of food; that responsibility lies solely in the hands of men. Because of this difference in subsistence, women from Iraq spend a substantial amount of time at their homes compared to women in Kung society. Being more routinely away from society, women are accustomed to being seen less, making it more reasonable to be veiled when in public. Another way in which veiling can be seen in Iraqi life and not Kung can be due to their differing ways of determining property ownership. In Kung society, property ownership doesn’t have much significance since most people can carry all that they own with them easily and often move homes depending on seasonal changes. In contrast, societies in Iraq place heavy importance on property ownership and the inheritance of that property through a lineage principal. Women play a major role in this lineage principle, passing on inheritance to the children they bear. That being said, women must be protected in order to keep that inheritance and family line safe. Veiling is a way to shield the sexuality of women from other men, and keep secure the inheritance that is so important to their families.
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