10.11.12

Traditional costume of Nepal

Talking about traditional costume of Nepal it would be right to say not "costume" but "costumes" because though Nepal is a small country there are many ethnic groups living here and each group has their unique traditional dress. I will tell about a few that I find most interesting.


The Newars. This ethnic group has many different styles of dress among themselves but there is one common thing - they prefer combinations of black and red colours. The most common seen Newar woman's dress is the hakku potashi, a black sari with red borders. Young girls wear it knee level,  but older women prefer to completely cover their legs. The sari is complimented by a white patuka wrapped aroud the waist and a cotton shawl wrapped diagonally over the blouse.



Men wear a double-breasted shirt (daura) with flaps fastened by ties diagonally across the chest, and tight trousers called suruwal. The costume can be supplemented by a belt, a vest and a cap called topi. Actually, men of other Nepal's ethnic groups have similar costume.

The Limbus. Dhaka weaves adorn Limbu women who wear shawls and blouses made from it. Another striking feature is their use of jewelry, especially impressive is a large decorative piece of gold known as samyanfung. It is worn on the head, made of flat circular gold plate with coral stone embellished in the center. Two nose adornments - in the centre and the left side, big round earrings and a necklace of gold beads and red felt pads are traditional jewelry of Limbu women as well. 

photo credit Ashish Lohorung

The Sherpas. Traditional Sherpa costume is similar to that of Tibetans. The basic garment is the chhuba. Men wear  their chhubas to knee length and under it they have a jacket or shirt with a stiff high collar and extremely long sleeves, tetung. Women wear a sleeveless chhuba called engi, or a sleeved one called tongok. Over it they wear striped woolen aprons called pangi which also determines the marital status of the woman. Hats are an important part of the costume and are worn by both men and women.



The Magars and Gurungs. Their traditional dress is very similar to each others. Women wear dark coloured sari with a bright yellow or blue cotton cloth wrapped around the waist (patuka) and a wrap-up blouse. The shoulders are covered with a shawl worn diagonally and another shawl is worn on the head.
Men wear a wrap-on-knee-length loincloth (kachhad) with a short vest tied at the shoulders and a dhaka topi on their heads.

photo from  here


The Tharu. This ethnic group lives in the Tarai region of Nepal. Tharu women are acknowledged by their bright colourful dresses. They wear a blouse and a sari that is wrapped around the waist in a way that looks more like a skirt. The blouses are decorated with bright pompons, mirrors, coins. The women also wear necklaces made from a large amount of coins sewn together.
Tharu men's suit is very simple - a loincloth in the form of lungi and a vest over the naked body.

photo from here

The Tamangs. Tamang women wear red or black coloured blouses and blue with red horizontal patterns saris wrapped around the waist and supplemented by yellow patuka. Men and women wear a special kind of woolen cap.

photo from  here


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17 comments:

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  4. Oh come on tamang people. Who the hell invented this new dress that looks like tharu dress below the stomach? If you want to promote original and traditional dress that was passed to tamang people from their ancestors refer any if this site..
    http://www.asianheritagetreks.com/nepal/trekking-in-nepal/langtang-region/tamang-heritage-trail.html
    http://www.treknepalinc.com/tamange-heritage-camping-trekking.php

    In the above photograph tamang people look like pepole living inside kathmandu and trying to promote imaginative tamang dress which they may rationalize as such. They have used this in their village but which actually cannot be found in the village/place they came from if traced back. A portion of tamang people is faking this new dress as tamang dress which is not true. Go and google for tamang dress and you will found real indigenous tamang in their real locality wearing real tamang derss. Unfortunately you can also find this fake dress that were invented on 21 century. tamang in valley wear shirt, jeans, t-shirt and so on. what you have to say about this. If you want to represent a culture it had to be a old culture but invented in mid 20ies. the above dress was hand loomed in mid 20ies modifying other cultural dress.

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  6. Very informative blog..Came to know about tradition of Nepal...Keep on updating :)

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  11. Nice blog and very useful to gain knowledge of culture and so and so about Nepal... Good job!!!! Keep on updating

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  14. Villagers go about their everyday business in a leisurely fashion and you see little girls in traditional garments just like their mothers strolling across a busy market place.ao dai

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