By SALIM AL AFIFI
Omanis have always been firmly attached to their beautiful heritage, and it is well manifested in their colourful ensembles that are finessed to perfection and accessorised with hints of traditional elegance, giving them a prominent status in the cultural department.
This week we are exploring the kumma, a chic headgear that embodies the identity of the Omani gentleman. Here are eight things you need to know about it.
1. The kumma takes the form of a round-shaped headpiece that is similar to an upside-down flower pot, folded and sewn into two layers, and adorned with colourful and unique selections of embroideries and patterns.
2. Kumma patterns are rarely found in traditional outfits from other countries including the Gulf, which puts it in a class of its own.
3. It is a fundamental part of the men’s national attire and is considered less formal than a mussar (head wrap worn to official ceremonies)
4. The design is inspired by contemporary Islamic art, architectural structures, and lots of flowers.
5. The origin of this symbolic piece is up for debate, as some sources say that it originated from the island of Zanzibar, while others state that it came about as a result of the Omani trading culture.
5. Handmade caps sewn by the locals are expensive, starting with a price tag of OMR60.
6. Machine-sewn chums can be found as cheap as OMR3 in Mutrah Souq, Seeb Souq and other traditional markets.
7. Kummas are items that display its wearer’s personal taste and sense of style.
8. Kummas are also worn underneath the mussar, to maintain the desired shape.