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6/7/09 The Moroccan Triple-Wrap

It's a misnomer. I realize this.

But it's still the way I think of it.

When I wear a scarf, which I do whenever I travel and most other times, too, 90% of the time - maybe 99% of the time - it's wrapped loosely over my shoulders, in "The Moroccan Triple-Wrap". Like this:

(Quick captioning: This shows me visiting the lab of the researcher I partnered with last summer, and hopefully will continue to work with once his grant is approved. He's trying to produce and market medicinal and not-medicinal-but-still-yummy herbal teas, using herbs that grow wild in the national park near me. He had me surveying my friends and neighbors to find out what herbs they gathered/bought, and what medicinal properties they believed the herbs had; he then took specimens of each, analyzed the chemistry, combined them in various ways, and offered taste tests. Here, I'm sitting in front of a row of tea blends, sampling an anise-wild mint (nf3a + n3n3) that was pretty fabulous.)

The "triple" in "triple-wrap" comes from the fact that three separate parts of the scarf are in front of me: the two tails and the central loop. Of course, it's really only wrapped once, hence the misnomer, but it makes sense in my head. :)

The beauty of wearing a scarf this way is that it covers me in a bulky, shapeless way that is handy for deflecting unwanted attention, plus it's loose enough not to be warm (which is a plus in the heat of a Moroccan summer day!). As an added bonus, it keeps the scarf handy, for times when the sun goes behind a cloud (or sets), and the temperature plummets thirty degrees. Then I can either tighten it around my neck and add an extra loop, for maximum snuggle-warmth, or I can open it all the way out and wrap up in it like a shawl.

This kind of scarf is usually called a shesh or a zif. (I think one is Tam and the other Arabic, but I'm not actually sure.) The headscarf that most Moroccan women wear every day is smaller and lighter, and called a telkusht.

(By the way, a year ago today [as I write this, which is actually the 12th, not the 7th], I rhapsodized about the adaptability of scarves. I agree with everything I said then, plus have used scarves to keep dust out of my face, to hide my nose when near unsavory smells, and, of course, to look fabulous. Scarves are awesome.)

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