Taliban hood and mask female mannequins in Kabul

Covered mannequin heads at a women’s clothing store in Kabul, Afghanistan (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Under the taliban regimethe mannequins of women’s clothing stores in Kabulthe Afghan capital, are an eerie sight, their heads covered by cloth sacks or wrapped in black plastic bags.

The hooded mannequins are a symbol of the Taliban’s puritanical rule over Afghanistan. But, in a certain way, they are also a small sample of resistance and creativity of the clothing merchants of Kabul.

At first, the Taliban wanted the mannequins to go directly beheaded.

Shortly after taking power in August 2021, the Taliban Ministry of Vice and Virtue decreed that all mannequins must be removed from shop windows or decapitated, according to local media. The order is based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law that prohibits statues and images of the human formsince they could be worshiped as idols, although it also fits with the Taliban’s campaign to remove women from public view.

Some clothing vendors complied. But others objected.

A mannequin's head is covered in a woman dress shop in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Under the Taliban, the mannequins in women's dress shops across the Afghan capital Kabul are a haunting sight, their heads cloaked in cloth sacks or wrapped in black plastic bags.  The hooded mannequins are one symbol of the Taliban's puritanical rule over Afghanistan (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Under the Taliban regime, the mannequins in women’s clothing stores in the Afghan capital, Kabul, are a haunting sight (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

They complained that they would not be able to display their clothing properly or would have to damage valuable mannequins. The Taliban had to modify their order and allowed the merchants to cover the heads of the mannequins.

Shop owners then had to find a balance between obeying the Taliban and trying to attract customers. The variety of solutions they came up with are displayed on the street Lycee Maryama middle-class shopping street lined with clothing stores in a northern part of Kabul. Shop windows and showrooms are packed with mannequins in evening gowns and dresses bursting with color and decoration, all wearing different types of headdresses.

In one store, the mannequins’ heads were covered with sacks made from the same material as the traditional clothing they modeled. One, in a purple beaded cowrie dress, wore a matching purple hood. Another, in a red dress elaborately embroidered with gold, was almost elegant with a red velvet mask and a gold crown on her head.

A mannequin's head is covered in a woman dress shop in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Under the Taliban, the mannequins in women's dress shops across the Afghan capital Kabul are a haunting sight, their heads cloaked in cloth sacks or wrapped in black plastic bags.  The hooded mannequins are one symbol of the Taliban's puritanical rule over Afghanistan (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
A business owner decided to put metallic paper on the faces of his mannequins to give color to his clothes (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

I can’t cover the heads of the mannequins with plastic or ugly things because it would make my shop window and shop ugly.“, He says Bashir, owner. Like other owners, he spoke with Associated Press on the condition that he be identified only by his first name for fear of reprisals.

Store owners have to maintain appeal: the economy has collapsed since the Taliban takeover and the consequent cut off of international financing, plunging almost the entire population into poverty.

Elaborate dresses have always been popular in Afghanistan for weddings, which even before the Taliban used to be segregated by sex, giving women the chance to dress in their best clothes in the country’s conservative society. Under the Taliban regime, weddings are one of the few remaining social gathering opportunities. But with such low revenues, they have become less elaborate.

Bashir he says his sales are half of what they used to be.

Mannequin's heads are covered in a wedding store in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Under the Taliban, the mannequins in women's dress shops across the Afghan capital Kabul are a haunting sight, their heads cloaked in cloth sacks or wrapped in black plastic bags.  The hooded mannequins are one symbol of the Taliban's puritanical rule over Afghanistan (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Some Kabul merchants were able to cover the heads of their mannequins with more sophisticated fabrics to attract customers while still complying with the regulations of the Taliban regime (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Buying wedding, evening and traditional dresses is no longer a priority for people“, it states. “People think more about getting food and surviving.”

Another store owner, Hakim, place aluminum foil over the heads of your mannequins. He decided that it added some sparkle to his merchandise. “I took advantage of the threat and the ban and made it so that the mannequins were even more attractive than before“, Explain.

Not everyone can be that elaborate. In one store, all the mannequins in sleeveless dresses wore black plastic sacks over their heads. The owner said that he couldn’t afford more.

The owner of another store, Azizsaid that agents of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue they regularly patrol stores and malls to make sure the mannequins are headless or covered. He did not accept the Taliban’s justification. “Everyone knows that mannequins are not idols and that no one is going to worship them. In all Muslim countries, mannequins are used to display clothing.”

A mannequin's head is covered in a woman dress shop in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Under the Taliban, the mannequins in women's dress shops across the Afghan capital Kabul are a haunting sight, their heads cloaked in cloth sacks or wrapped in black plastic bags.  The hooded mannequins are one symbol of the Taliban's puritanical rule over Afghanistan (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
The Taliban regime, through its Ministry of Vice and Virtue, controls that businesses in Kabul, Afghanistan, do not have mannequins without their faces covered, as indicated by Islamic laws (AP Photo / Ebrahim Noroozi)

A small number of male mannequins can be seen in shop windows, also with their heads covered, suggesting that the authorities are applying the ban evenly.

Initially, the Taliban said they would not impose the same harsh rules on society as they did during their first rule in the late 1990s. But have been progressively imposing more restrictions, especially women. They have banned women and girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade, barred them from most jobs, and required them to wear face coverings when out on the streets.

Not long ago, a woman who was shopping on the street Lycee Maryam He looked at the hooded mannequins.

“When I see them, I feel that these mannequins are also captured and trapped, and I have a feeling of fear,” said the woman, who gave only her first name. rahima.

“I feel like I see myself behind these windows, an Afghan woman who has been deprived of all her rights.”

(C) The Associated Press.-

Source-www.infobae.com