costumes

>The easiest way to identify an Indian woman is by her sari, a garment or attire unique to India. Each region has its own special fabrics and weaves and there are hundreds of styles of wearing them. Essentially, the six-yard long garment is tied around the waist with pleats tucked into an underskirt. The end piece is used either as a veil or placed over the left shoulder. The ladies of Kerala prefer a veshti- a two-piece garment with much less yardage but the effect is similar. Maharashtrian saris perhaps have the most distinctive style of being worn. Other popular ladies' garments are the two-piece ghagra choli and salwar kameez.

The traditional garb of North Indian men, especially Muslims, is the sherwani- a kind of long coat with a high collar. There is the ubiquitous dhoti kurta, of course. South Indian men keep it simple- they just wear a shirt with a sarong, called a lungi here.

Headgear is as diverse as the clothes. The Sikhs sport turbans which have a religious significance for them. Slightly more elaborate turbans are worn in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In the hills, one can see colourful woolen caps.

Tribal costumes, as anywhere else, are the most inventive. Often every tribe will have its signature dress.



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