Sugar bowl (kase nabat)
Reconstructed according to the Afghani tradition, Jerusalem, 1997, by Esther Bezalel
Sugar, paper cutouts, cotton thread
H: 40; Diam: 36.5 cm
Accession number: B79.0422
During the betrothal ceremony's festive meal – at which a couple's intention to wed is proclaimed publicly – a special bowl with a large cone of hardened sugar, surrounded by smaller ones, is presented to the groom by the mother of the bride as a sign of her consent to the engagement. This custom symbolically blesses the couple with a life of fertility, purity, and sweetness. Decorated sugar cones are a central element in Jewish and Muslim wedding ceremonies throughout Central Asia and Iran.
Brides and Betrothals: Jewish Wedding Rituals in Afghanistan, Bar'am-Ben Yossef, No'am, ed., The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1997/1998
Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir