Some of the material in the TriCollege Libraries Digital Collections is available only to members of the TriCollege community. Please use your institutional credentials to log in. By logging in, you may be able to gain access to certain collections or items that are not visible by guest users. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact page.
At their henna celebration, Hanan and Naim preside over dancing on the women's side of the room while the men dance separately on the other. An older sister of the bride carries on her head a platter of henna decorated with maple leaves.
Katrina Thomas's notes: I photographed Arab Muslim celebrations billed as engagements, henna evenings and weddings in Brooklyn, NY and also in Dearborn, MI, which maintains the largest concentration of Arabs in the U.S. Couples may be matched; some meet at family weddings. Muslims make a distinction between marriage and a wedding. The marriage solemnizes a written or an oral agreement, al-mahr, money awarded to the bride by the bridegroom, and usually takes place privately in the home. It is not photographable because the bride and groom remain in separate rooms. Presumably, the marriage is not consummated until after the wedding, which announces the union of man and wife to the community. It takes place any time from a few hours after the marriage to a few years. A henna evening may be celebrated before either or both. The bridegroom's family pays for all festivities. What is distinctive besides the lack of alcohol, except clandestinely, and the sexes being divided so that women dance on one side of the hall and men dance -- dipping, hopping, stamping their feet -- on the other side, is that the bride and groom do not participate. They sit like royalty on a dais presiding over their jubilant guests.