- the seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers, practiced by some Muslims and Hindus.
- a screen, curtain, or veil used for this purpose.
"Visitors to Puebla are told that the style was originated by Catarina de San Juan, the pious, vision-filled Mughal slave whom I described in Chapter 8; the patterned skirt, one is solemnly assured, was inspired by her sari. But Muslim women like Catarina didn't wear saris; purdah was becoming popular, and they wore concealing garments."
- Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created