The Belly Dance Studio

Why Do Belly Dancers Wear Coins? The Belly Dance Studio Knows…

From our friends at belly dance website

Belly dancing is a form of ancient dance from throughout the Middle East. During the Ottoman Empire, it spread into the rest of the Middle East through caravans of traveling Gypsies. The caravans entertained in the streets during festivals and even in palaces to entertain the women.

One item belly dancers wear that brings much folklore behind it is the coin scarves. While nothing is certain, there are three predominant theories behind the scarves.


Egyptian Women

One theory that is founded in historical evidence emerged through the infamous Turin Erotic Papyrus. This ancient Egyptian artifact reveals the culture’s view on intimacy through various indiscreet drawings. In many of the drawings, the woman is wearing a belt with coins attached. The current theory is that Egyptian women used the belts to attract the eye of their mates while walking and completing work. As the woman worked, the belt would move and jingle with her hips, creating a tantalizing sound.


Later Adaptation

The Egyptian theory then goes on to connect this belt by suggesting that the Egyptians adopted the belt into their belly dancing. The logic is that it only seems natural to add coins to a dance form designed to reveal the range of motion of a woman’s hips, belly, ribs, and shoulders. The only hole in this theory is that there are no archaeological findings showing early Egyptian belly dancers wearing the coins.


Gypsy Bank Account

Another theory for the origin of the coin belts comes out of Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire, Gypsies, Bedouins, and other street entertainers would have coins thrown at their feet by passers by during the…. (read more about Why Belly Dancers Wear Coins?  here on>> )

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