The Bakhmar of the Bride of Oued Righ: Beliefs and Practices
Dr. Bu Aysha Fatima
University of Tlemcen, Algeria
Folk heritage plays an important role in communities that still hold on to the traditions passed down from generation to generation, and it is regarded as an integral aspect of peoples' identities. It is the manifestation of the history and future of nations and individuals. The desert community attempts to sustain its existence with habits that demonstrate its unique culture and that distinguish it from others.
This paper attempts to introduce the cultural legacy that differentiates the bride of the Oued Righ area, El-Bakhmar clothing, which is widely regarded as an essential bridal garment on the wedding day, and the rituals and beliefs that surround this sacred garment throughout the wedding preparations. At the conclusion of this analytical study, the researcher underlines the extent to which the social and cultural components are oriented, and what follows the ritual of marriage preparations on the wedding night.
In essence, we show that everything related to women reflects the society’s extreme interest in women’s physical dimensions in preparation for marriage and childbearing, which depicts the extent to which these customs and rituals are rooted in the foundation of the region based on real examples and the testimonies of women who experienced these rituals. The group's mindset and the roots of the culture as a whole reflect a form of masculine fantasy that dictates women's status in that community.
In such societies, a woman is seen as an entity that serves a family and as assuming of the social role of reproduction to ensure the continuity of the community of the Oued Righ region in the Algerian desert.