People in Indiawore mostlycotton clothing. India was the first place where cotton was grown, even as early as 2500 BC in theHarappan period. By the Aryan period, women wore one very long piece of cloth called a sari, that they wrapped around themselves in different ways. The word “sari” comes from a Sanskrit word that just means cloth. Saris are first mentioned in the Vedas, about 600 BC. Rich women wore saris made of silk, but most women wore cotton ones.There were many different ways of draping saris – to dress up women wore them like skirts with a top part thrown over their shoulder or worn over their heads as a veil. Working women often pulled their sari up between their legs to make a sort of pants. Women who were fighting with the army tucked in the top part of the sari in the back, to free up their arms for fighting. Most saris were five or six yards long, although some saris were nine yards. Younger women generally wore brightly colored saris, but widows and other women in mourning wore only white onesMen also wore one long piece of cloth called the dhoti, which was generally white. They wrapped the dhoti (DOE-tee) around their legs to make sort of pants like the working women. Dhotis though were shorter so they didn’t have the part that covered the. chest and shoulders. Men also often wore long cotton cloths wrapped around their heads as turbans. With the Islamic invasions around 1000 AD, Persian fashions in clothing entered India and became popular especially in the north, though they never replaced the sari or the dhoti. Both women and men began to sometimes wear trousers with long tunics over them down to their knees. The trousers are called churidar. Women generally wore churidar with a long veil or scarf over it.
Indian women who could afford it generally wore a lot of silver or goldjewelry, especially earrings and nose-rings. Sometimes they also put a spot of red on their foreheads called a bindi (BINN-dee) as a decoration.
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