Wooden grille or grate used to cover windows or balconies.
The word is derived from the niches used to store vessels of drinking water. The grilles are traditionally made from short lengths of turned wood joined together through polygonal blocks so that they form large areas of lattice-like patterns. The patterns formed by the lattice work vary from place to place although commonly the main lines of the grille are at a 45 degree angle. Mashrabiyya can also be made of metalwork although this is more rare and was usually reserved for the houses of the very rich...