The modesty code constitutes a fundamental pattern in Middle Eastern culture, found at the level of both its great tradition (Islamic law and Quranic ethics) and its little tradition (village custom and belief). The peculiar conditions of peasant life, however, make conformity to the code difficult and require accommodation at the level of both action and thought. It is the accommodation at the two analytically separate levels of thought and action and the interrelationship between these accommodations, rather than the search for the historical origins of discrete cultural traits, that should constitute the focus for studies relating the great and little traditions. This study demonstrates that accommodation in thought (Redfield's “social organization of tradition”) is intimately related to the success of achieving accommodation in action between particular groups in critical situations (Firth's “social organization” at large). It also demonstrates that the persistence and the pervasiveness of the modesty code in Middle Eastern culture can be explained only by a combination of structural, psychological, and historical factors.