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Urban Algerian man wearing a burnous, 19th century
A French Spahi uniform ca. 1960 with a distinctive white burnous

A burnous (Arabic: برنس ‎‎) also spelled "burnoose", or "bournous"; from the Arabic word [1][2][3][4][5] "burnus" is a long cloak of coarse woollen fabric with a hood, usually white in color, worn by the Arabs and moors throughout North Africa.[6][7][8][9][10] In North-Africa, the colour of the Burnous is white, beige or dark brown. The white Burnous is worn during important events and by people with high positions.[11]

Burnous in other cultures[edit]

The burnous became a distinctive part of the uniform of the French Army of Africa's Spahi cavalry; recruited in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. It was also sometimes worn unofficially by officers or soldiers of other units in North Africa. The white burnous remains part of the parade uniform of the one remaining spahi regiment of the French Army: the 1st Spahi Regiment.

Other names for a burnous include albornoz, sbernia, sberna, and bernusso.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Burnous". 24 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Burnous origin word". 24 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Origin word Burnous". Burnous. 24 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Revue des deux mondes. Quatrieme serie. Paris, 1842. M. Bazin. Page 1013. Date:02-08-2016
  5. ^ Pocket Oxford English Dictionary. Maurice Waite. 11th edition. United Kingdom, Oxford. 2013. Page 112. ISBN 978-0-19-966615-7.Date: 02-08-2016.
  6. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Burnous". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 855. 
  7. ^ African Holocaust: The Story of the Uganda Martyrs, Volume 1984. John F. Faupel. Page 29-30. Rowman And Littlefield productions. 2015. ISBN 978-0-7591-2148-5. Date:02-08-2016.
  8. ^ Castles, A Very Peculiar History. Jacqueline Morley, Jamie Pittman. (2012). E-Book. Date: 02-08-2016
  9. ^ Silver-age Writers on the "black" Continent: Russia, Africa, and the Celebration of Distance. Gwen Walker University of Wisconsin, Madison. (2003). Page 155-164. Date:02-08-2016.
  10. ^ Revue des deux mondes, Volume 3;Volume 15 Door François Buloz, Charles Buloz, Ferdinand Brunetière, Francis Charmes, René Doumic, André Chaumeix. Page 415. 1938. Date:02-08-2016
  11. ^ Encyclopédie du costume: des peuples de l'Antiquité à nos jours ainsi que, Nouvelles editions latines. Maurice Cottaz. (1990). Page 80. ISBN 2-7233-0421-3. Date:02-08-2016.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Burnus at Wikimedia Commons