Bangladeshi Dress

Topics: National costume, Shirt, Dashiki Pages: 11 (3400 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Dress  References to the use of clothing in the Gangetic plains appear in the records of the Rig Veda, Artha Shastra and upanisads. Earlier records in the mahabharata and the ramayana carry important references to fabrics and the attire of legendary heroes, describing their dress for rituals, ceremonies, hunting as well as the attires of holy mendicants and brides. Excavation at ancient sites of the Indo-Gangetic civilisation revealed spinning and weaving gadgets and dyers' vats. Clay and stone figurines and statuary from these sites provide representation of the dress worn by commoners, kings and queens. Medieval writings by the Chinese travelers to Bengal, fa-hien (5th century AD) and huen-tsang (7h century AD) provide details of the clothes worn by the people. The excellent terracotta plaques unearthed at dinajpur and mainamati (8th to 12th century AD) in East Bengal also testify to the social and cultural life of those times. Stone and terracotta sculptures of ancient India at Sanchi, Bharat, Amarawati, Orissa and the exquisite terracotta of kantanagar in Dinajpur, and Mainamati in comilla, throw ample light on social conditions during ancient and medieval periods. These stone and clay figurative works are a rich source of information of the dresses of the people and the nobility. Female figurines display loincloths of varying lengths held up by cords or girdles and some display shoulder drapes. Men figurines wear tightly clinging dhutis and sometimes shoulder drapes. Headdress and ornaments depict elaborate styles. Some garments bear patterns indicating embroidery or weaving. Warriors and attendants wore tunics, long cloaks, waistbands, turbans, headscarf and kilts. Enormous bangles, armbands, anklets, necklaces and earrings cover many figurines, even where the dress is scant. Huen Tsang describes garments that are not tailored or sewn. Most people wore white fabrics to beat the heat of the long summers. Men wrapped a length of cloth around their waist, and passed it under their armpits, returning it to drape the torso, hanging to the right. Women's robes were also wrapped around the body, taking the cloth over their shoulders and heads. Women's hairstyles show topknots, buns and loose hair. Men wore caps, either woven or embroidered, and necklets. In kalidasa (500 AD) references are made to the dress of hunters, ascetics and mendicants. Materials described indicate fabrics for hot and cold weather. silk is mentioned under the name cinamsuki, which etymology suggests that it was imported from China. Descriptions of cloth so fine that it could be blown away by a breath indicate that the production of Gangetic muslin took place in antiquity. The impact of Muslims on the dress and culture of the subcontinent reached the remotest hinterlands as early as the 15th century. Muslim invaders before theMughals, the Sultans and Khans wore tight fitting trousers, a long coat tight at the waist but flaring out in a full skirt, and with tight sleeves. Turbans were tied around the head and were five cubits in length. Women's clothes were similar and included caps. Such clothes were referred to as Tartaric (Tatoriyat). The caps of both women and men were four-cornered in shape and ornamented with jewels in a style that is seen even today in Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian States. Women plaited their hair, as was common in Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Central Asia, binding the hair with silk tassels. Both sexes wore belts and shoes, embroidered in gold and silver thread. The judges and scholars (ulema) wore ample gowns (farajiyat) and also Arabic garments. The costumes of the rulers gradually influenced the local people. The rulers wore Persian dresses: tight-fitting trousers, a long coat tight-fitting at the waist and flaring out into a full skirt. This was held with a waistband or komarband, often made of gold or silver, while the sleeves were narrow and extended up to the wrists. Embroidery and ornamentation with...
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