Men in Nubia cover their heads with a veil called in the Nubian language “Al-Kassir” and the wearer of the Kasir is referred to by the word “Al-Kasfi”. The Kassir in Nubia is the traditional head cover for the man, which appears to the outside eye as one for all, but the cultural approach tells us about the details of the cultural differentiation that the cover reflects. Al-Kassir consists of a piece of white cloth (gauze) whose material varies from cheap to expensive types of luxurious material that members of the community know and distinguish the wearer’s financial ability through it. Its price and thus the wealth of the wearer of the kassir, and the average length of the traditional piece of cloth used in the kassir is four and a half meters, so that its winding results in a huge white turban. This traditional head cover is for the adult man of all classes, which is distinguished only by the type of cloth used, which indicates the wealth of the owner of the Kassir or the delicacy of his condition. It should be noted that the kassir is always white – as is the dress – and this is due to its suitability for the intense heat in the Nubia region. And the first man’s Kassir in Nubia is his marriage one, which he wears on the day of his marriage; As neither children nor boys wear Kassir to cover their heads, but rather a colored or white “Takya” is sufficient for them, the Kasir becomes a symbol of the young man entering the stage of manhood and crossing the stage of youth, no matter how young he is.

The Kassir in Nubia represents a symbol of the social and cultural identity of its wearer, as it also refers to the belief affiliations of individuals; For example, those belonging to the Sufi groups, the sheikh of the mosque, or the village official, i.e. the clerics in general, are known by the kassir that they wear, which is made of a modest cloth devoid of any motifs or embellishments,  kassir for these categories is not wrapped so that it appears high, but rather it is preferable to be in a circular way, avoiding height. The way the kassir is wrapped, its size, and the material it is made of indicates modesty and asceticism that appear from the material and the length and austerity of the head cover. One of the traditions of the Nubian society is that in the case of a man mourning his wife, he does not take off his “Kassir” and does not change it with a clean one during the mourning period, which extends to forty days, so that its dirt appears to everyone who is an indication of mourning and sadness.

Reference (Bibliography, webography, communities link, UNESCO site link):
Saad El Khadem. Folk costumes, Cultural Library, Ministry of Culture, Cairo, 1968.
Saad El Khdem, Folk Art in Nubia, Ministry of culture, 1997.
Saed El Khadem, History of Egyptian Traditional Costumes, National center of theatre, music and folklore, ministry of culture, 2006.