THE SPATIALITY OF VEILING – MUSLIM WOMEN LIVING PRACTICES IN MINNESOTA HOMES

Samaneh Vahaji, Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v3i2.270

Abstract

Although much controversy surrounds the Muslim veiling tradition, little has been studied about how immigrant Muslim veiled women navigate the practice of veiling while living in western-type houses. Through interviews with ten Muslim veiled women in Minnesota, this study explores the relationship between veiling and domestic environments. The findings point to both dress and interior spaces as being forms of enclosure, one being mobile (dress), that help women construct their cultural and religious identity while providing them with privacy, protection, and a sense of control. Residing in typical, suburban American homes however, the women we interviewed experienced difficulties being unveiled in one of the few places where the veil can come off. Designers who are cognizant of cultural differences in housing needs can create homes that support various ways of living, that is, culturally sensitive housing.


Keywords

Housing; women; Muslim; culture; identity

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