Skip to main content


Masked Faces: Untold Stories from the Arabian-Persian Gulf

A new exhibition for the Street Gallery, by Manami Goto

Manami Goto, a PhD student at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, presents this new exhibition for Summer 2018. The female face mask, regionally known as burquʿ or baṭūla, is a part of the traditional but disappearing material culture of the Arabian-Persian Gulf. Each face mask is handmade to fit the wearer’s face and conveys an intricate amount of socio-cultural detail about the wearer. The shape, colour, material, design, and embroidery are selected depending on the wearer’s age, origin, marital status, ethnicity, religious or tribal affiliation, number of children, and socio-economic status. Wearing the face mask is also strongly associated with honour, piety, and pride. Through the presentation of material collections and photographs of masked women, this exhibition intends to shed light on the women in the region and their intimate and unique relationship with their masks. The exhibition is open weekdays 09:00 - 17:00 in the Street Gallery and is free to enter.

Event details

Masked Faces by Manami Goto


Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies