Indian Regional Costumes

In northwestern India, the women of Gujarat and Ra-jasthan wear a wrapped skirt, jimmi, or a wide skirt, gha-gro, with a fitting backless blouse, and a veil. The blouse has many variations, as described in the ancient literature. In Saurashtra and Kutch, men of the Kathiawari ethnic group, descendants of the Huns, wear a pleated blouse (kedia), tight pajamas, a large shawl around their waist, and a turban, a costume similar to some peasant costumes in the Balkans. People in the Tharparkar and Sindh areas of Pakistan dress in a similar manner. Hindu women wear a skirt, a backless blouse, and veil, while Muslim tribal women wear a thigh-length backless blouse, an embroidered salwar, and a veil. In the urban areas of Gujarat, men wear a dhoti with a shirt, while women wear a fourteen-and-a-half-foot sari with a cross border worn in the front.

In central India and the western coastal area, Hindu and tribal men and women wear unstitched garments. Urban men wear stitched upper garments during winter or for special occasions. Women of different groups wear saris of 137 inches to 312 inches in length (3% meters to 8 meters in length). Tribal women wear shorter saris, while urban and more affluent women wear longer ones. They are wrapped so as to create unstitched pantaloons by taking the front pleats, passing them between the legs, and tucking them into the back. This style of sari wrapping is associated with women's chastity. Women in south India (including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) wear the sari in a variety of styles, depending on geo-climatic conditions and cultural traditions.

Women in Kerala, in southwesternmost India, wear sarongs instead of saris, while men wear a white double-layered sarong, with an upper-body cloth along with a shirt.

Muslim men and women throughout India wear stitched garments. The common dress for men is a kurta (long tunic) and pajama. The affluent wear an embroidered coat, angarkha, and embroidered cap. For official occasions they wear a fitting long coat, sherwani, and tight pajama. The turban varies according to their vocation, the occasion, and their age. Women wear a tight pajama, a fitted shirt (often with a jacket), and an embroidered veil. For outdoors many women wear the burqa. Among the affluent, farshi payjama, a trailing, wide divided skirt, is worn for special occasions. Among non-Muslims, such as Hindus and Jains, stitched garments have to be removed by men and women for religious ceremonies or for entering a temple.

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