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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 – also spelled burnoose, or bournous; from the Berber and Maghreb Arabic burnus – is a long cloak of coarse woollen fabric with a hood, usually white in color, worn by Berbers and the Arabs throughout North Africa.[1]

It became a distinctive part of the uniform of the French colonial army's Spahi soldiers. It was also sometimes worn unofficially by officers or soldiers of other units in North Africa. The burnous remains part of the 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. ^  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. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Burnus at Wikimedia Commons