The Women’s Souk of Ibra, – no men allowed.

Ibra located about 170 km (2 hours) from Muscat is one of the oldest cities in Oman and was once a centre of trade, religion, education and art. Ibra is home of the huge Al-Harthy tribe, one of the biggest and most powerful tribes in Oman

“Once per week this souk, opposite the main souk, attracts women-only buyers and sellers from all over the region, selling a variety of handicrafts such as baskets, woven cushions and camel bags. Men are not welcome and photographs are prohibited in the only souk in the country dedicated to female shoppers.”

This was the only information I could find on the web regarding the Souk we were about to visit. As far as not taking photos, I asked permission and a few ladies said no, but most of them said yes.

Set opposite a  busy market souk is the Women’s Souk held on Wednesdays.

The women dressed very differently to the women in the city of Muscat. Their clothes were bright and a mixture of patterns and colors.


The goods being sold were sewing supplies, embroidery, clothes and herbal beauty supplies.

P1170152I don’t know what these are, but I know they were used for beauty.


The women wear heavily embroidered cuffed pants and some of our ladies  tried them on and purchased them.

P1170157The cuffs are heavily embroidered by hand.


The base fabric is a black cotton from India. A pattern is drawn on it and then embroidered and attached to the bottom of the pants.


I bought some of the black patterned pieces to add to a project in some way.


My friends also purchased, threads and bright colored fabrics.


One group of women insisted I shared their meal, hot coffee, dates and fruit. I was honored.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. eileenkny says:

    Beautiful colors and people! Love the soulful eyes of the baby looking over mom’s shoulder. I had to look Oman up online; I’d heard of it but wasn’t sure of the location. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you Pam for sharing this post – I love the colours and the concept of their embroidery Judy Evans Peterborough

  3. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful look at Oman and the traditional fabrics, designs and spirit. Just awesome!

  4. Helen says:

    Gorgeous colors! I’d be curious to know how much one of those embellished pants cost in USD.

  5. Love reading about your travels, and seeing your pictures. Doris Faircloth

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