This is a vintage Kutchee gypsy women's eye veil, from Afghanistan, worn low over the forehead to shade and hide the eyes and upper part of the face. Kutchee women work in extreme temperatures and traditionally veil the top of their faces, rather than the bottoms, because of prevailing conditions.
This piece was personally collected by my father, Bernie Heaphy, on one his earlier trips to Afghanistan. As an aside, he told me that when a Kutchee encampment comes to the outskirts of a town, village men gather as close as they dare to try and glimpse the Kutchee womens' faces. Consequently, the Kutchee have very large dogs - and the men gather just outside of bullet range.
Hand beaded, with wear marks on the inside cloth facing consistent with the stated age of mid 20th century (aniline dyes indicate post war). Wool threads on the upper border indicate that it was once attached to a supporting device worn on the forehead.
Length 35 cm (14 in)
Height 9 cm (3.5 in)