Saturday, October 6, 2007

Costumes of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is colorful because of what its people wear. The dull-colored monotone of the sands and hills look cheery with the vibrant spirits of the people who wear bright colors to make up for the absence of blossoming flowers. Interesting costumes and jewellery of these desert people are not mere ornaments for them. Everything from head-to-toe including the turbans, clothes, jewellery and even the footwear establishes the identity, religion, the economic and social status of the population of Rajasthan.

The dresses of the males and the females are well defined and are made to go with the climate and conditions in which they live. While pagari (turban), angarakha, dhotis or pyjamas, kamarband or patka (waistband) form integral part of a male`s attire, the female`s attire includes Ghaghara (long skirt), kurti or choli (tops and blouses respectively) and odhani.

Rajasthan - Women`s ClothingWomen`s Clothing
Rajasthani women wear ankle-length long skirts, known as the Ghagara, with narrow waist that increase width like an umbrella at the base. The width and the number of pleats in the `Ghaghara` symbolize ones wealth. It comes in many colors and styles. The skirt is not folded at the lower end like normal skirts but a broad colored fabric known as sinjaf is sewn below to make it stronger. Ghagaras come in many styles but the most popular ones are colored or printed cotton Ghagharas with laharia, mothra and chunari prints just like the turbans of the males.

Odhni is 10 feet long and 5 feet wide; one corner is tucked in the skirt while the other end is taken over the head and right shoulder. Colours and motifs are particular to caste, type of costume and occasion. Both Hindu and Muslims women wear `odhnis`. An `odhni` with a yellow background and a central lotus motif in red called a `pila` is a traditional gift of parent to their daughter on the birth of a son.