20.11.12

Kandyan aristocrat's dress of the 19th century


Jonathan Forbes in his book "Eleven years in Ceylon" gives such description of a Kandyan Chief's costume. "The Court dress of a Kandyan Adikar- minister of state and justice - consists of a square cap resembling a huge pincushion. Sometimes made of white stiffened muslin, but in a full dress of Scarlet cloth embroidered with gold, and having an elevated peak in the middle, surmounted by a precious stone. The jacket is of tissue, with short plaited sleeves, very full upon the shoulders, and fastened with amethyst buttons; over this is worn a white tippet of plaited muslin, with gold edging. On the lower part of the body, over white trousers, which are tight at the ankle and terminated by a frill, a number of white muslin and gold figured cloths are bound in cumbrous folds around the waist by a broad gold belt; in this is stuck a knife with a richly carved handle. Gold chains are worn around the neck and hanging down upon the chest, bangles on the wrists, and immense rings, which almost conceal their small hands, complete the decoration of a Kandyan Adikar.
The dress of the other chiefs differs but little from that of the Adikars, except that their caps are white and circular.

photo from here

The dress of the chiefs and their wives are very similar; only the ladies have their clothes bound tighter to their shape, have no head-dress and wear gold ornaments in their hair. Both sexes of all ranks except the lowest have their hair long, divided smooth from the middle of the forehead and turned up in a knot.

No comments:

Post a Comment