VEIL (O.Fr. veile, mod. voile, from Lat. velum, cloth, awning, sail), a cloth or piece of other fabric used as a means of con- 1 Some have considered Isola Farnese to have been the arx of Veii, but this is unlikely.
cealing something from the view, as in the veils of the Jewish tabernacle, which hung before the Holy Place, and before the Most Holy Place. The word is, however, chiefly used of a covering for the face and head, as worn by women. The veiling of the face by women is a practice among the Mohammedan races of the East and among those peoples which have come under the influence of Islam. It is observed only when outside the harem and not by slaves or by the very poor, and rarely by the Bedouin women. The face-veil (burka') is a long strip of white muslin covering the whole of the face except the eyes and reaching nearly to the feet. Among the poorer classes the burka' is made of coarse black crepe, or the tarhah, the head-veil, is drawn round the lower part of the face. There is also the double veil or yashmak, serving as a head- and face-veil (see India, Indian Costume). In European countries the veil has played a large part in the head-dress of women. It took many shapes in the early middle ages and could be brought over the face as a covering or protection. Later it became a mere ornamental appendage, hanging down from the high, peaked and elaborate head-dresses then worn. In modern times it has become a piece of gauze, lace or net attached to the hat or bonnet and used as a protection against dust, light or wind.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)