The Tribal Sari


Post on the tribal sari. 

Doing this post was an exercise in paring. The tribes in India (I am going with the nomenclature of tribes here though that itself makes one curious) are extremely varied, their dress changes with region as does their socio-economic status. I didn’t want it to be a post that trades on “forest dweller fashion” but merely a document of clothes and adornment that is quite distinctive.  In the end I went with the Central Indian tribes like the Gonds, Muria and Santhals because the post focussed on the short sari and the evolution of the wearing of a blouse-and that is best seen here.

I think himalayanbuddhistart had mentioned the accessories that you can spot in posts and in this particular case there is a whole lot going on here.  Chunky silver jewellery worn by tribals is very popular and is often marketed as “tribal” or “ethnic” chic (Emma Tarlo’s book Clothing Matters discusses the rise of ethnic chic in the 1980s in India which adopted (some may say appropriated) a whole lot of tribal elements).

This post set off a lot of thoughts but the purpose of tumblr/wordpress is to focus on clothing and so I will stop here. You can stop by and appreciate  (expensive) modern tribal saris for the urban market here (Note: I am not affiliated with or endorsing the site, it’s linked merely to indicate the kind of sari).

About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in Culture, Tribal, Vintage Blouse, Vintage Dress, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Tribal Sari

  1. Most interesting about the bodice being regarded as an immodest item of clothing likely to draw attention to the breasts. Social and cultural values and attitudes can be SO different from one place to the other.

  2. Its amazing how much it varies!

    It takes but a generation or two of outside influences for it to change though (as with tribal India or Kerala).

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