Why belly dancers wear coins?

By Vintagemode - June 24, 2020


Belly dancing is an art form, where one takes in and feels the music while expressing it in the form of bodily movements. One could believe that belly dancing in its purest form started in the middle east and emerged across different countries, developing its history and stories. When performing belly dance, and as the name suggests, most of the moves are carried out through belly, specifically the hips, there are also movements of hands and facial expression which makes the performance more enticing. Notably, the dance form becomes more popular during the late 1960s making a viewer enchanted with the ever-gleaming beauty of the dance.

Transition in style:

There are various variations and styles when coming to belly dance and certainly, by comparison, every country, where belly dancing was ever performed has its inheritance of culture, that is distinct from that of another country, although it comes down to one singular form. Belly dancing was always performed by women during the time of celebrations, it’s a common misconception that people make of belly dancing as a sexual activity. Modern-day belly dancing is slightly different from that of the traditional one, modern-day belly dancing has almost an equal amount of emphasis on the movements in legs and thighs but the traditional belly dancing focused mainly on the torso region. 

The costume:

The apparel of a belly dancer is very colorful a belly dancers outfit includes a decorated bra, skirt, veil and scarf, the scarf is covered in all types of ornaments such as jewels, gems, and coins. All these props make the dancers act alluring, while the belly dancer is charming her way into the mind of her audience. There are certain myths and stories which may be true or may not be true when it comes to the coins that a belly dancer wears. In ancient times many belly dancers, danced in the streets of middle eastern countries as a means of earning a living due to the mere fact that some of them were poor, and the audience would pay them by dropping coins on the floor or in a container. So, the belly dancers sewed their coins to their scarfs, to keep an eye on the money that they had accumulated. 

Another story goes that, some people tend to believe that belly dancers wore coins as an indication of dowry and ultimately to attract a good husband and once they are married to their grooms, they could drop the profession of dancing and try making a noblewoman of themselves. But many historians are sceptical of this fact because unlike the ancient Greeks, the father of the bride nor the bride herself in the middle eastern countries were required to pay the dowry to the potential husband but it was suitor or the husband who would have had to pay the bride’s father a brief amount of wealth in any form as a sign that he can provide for his wife and children and give them the protection. 

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