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Home > Indian Traditional Costumes > West India > Gujarat
Gujarat Traditional Costume

Main Male Attire: Chorno & Kediyu.
Main Female Attire: Chaniyo & Choli.

GujaratThe commonest type of dress worn by males in rural areas consists of cotton drawers called `chorno` and a short `kediyu` or `angarakhu` covering the upper part of the body. Most of the people especially agriculturists still continue to put on the typical head dress, thickly folded `phento` or turban.

Women in villages put on `chaniyo` the coloured petticoat often embroidered with `abhala` or glass pieces, a similarly embroidered blouse or bodice called as `choli` or `polku` along with `odhani`, a coloured piece of coarse cloth covering the body and the head. Elderly males of higher classes put on `dhoti` (waistcloth) and `kafani` or `peharan` (shirt).

Gujarati males generally wear dhoti, long or short coat and turban cap. Nowadays, pants are becoming common instead of dhoti. The women wear sari and blouse. Parsi males wear pants, long coat and a headgear. The Parsi womens clothes are identical with those of the Hindu women with a slight difference marked by long sleeves of the blouse and a scarf on the head.

Ras and Garba Costumes
The Ras dance is considered to be the form of Ras Leela, which Krishna used to perform when he was leading the life of a cowherd boy at Gokul and vrindavan. The Ras is by itself very simple and is generally performed by a group of youthful people who move in a circle to measured steps, marking time by sticks called dandias keeping in their hands and singing in chorus accompanied by dhol, cymbals, zanz, flute or shehnai.

The typical folk costumes for this dance is a small coat called Keviya with tight sleeves and pleated frills at the waist with embroidered borders and shoulders, tight trousers like chudidars and colorfully embroidered cap or coloured turban and coloured kamarbandha i.e. waistband, which stands direct contrast to the general colour scheme the costume.

The traditional dress for women in Gujarat is the lehenga choli or ghagra choli. These cholis are brightly embroidered, waist-length barebacked blouses. Ghagras or lehengas are gathered ankle-length skirts secured around the waist. The attire is completed by a veil-cloth called odhni or dupatta draped across the neck or over the head. The lehenga-choli or ghagra choli is extremely colourful, adding verve and colour to the surrounding landscapes. Tribal women in these area be deck themselves from head to toe with chunky silver jewellery. Indian dressing styles are marked by many variations, both religious and regional with a wide choice of textures and styles.

Abhas - Traditional Costume of Kutch Region
Chaniya CholiExquisitely styled and intricately embroidered, Abhas, the traditional costume of the region of Kutch, has entered the world of high fashion. Successfully adapted to modern styles by Anjali Mangaldas, this beautiful garment has become a rage with the fashion conscious women.

In the village of Kutch, the women looked beautiful in their fabulous Abhas as they swayed to the music. The twinkling lights played mischievously over the gold and thread embroidery while the sequins and badla work sparkled continuously. A woman in an abha, the traditional costume of the Khatri, Memon and Korja Muslim communities of Kutch is a sight to behold. This garment from Kutch, a district in Gujarat, has a history that is as colourful and exciting as the garment. In ancient times the women wore the abha embellished with beautiful tie-dye designs, zari thread embroidery that was very minute and intricate embroidery in coloured silk or cotton thread in a combination of a variety of stitches, integrating minuscule mirror discs into its elaborate and distinct pattern.

The word abha-has been derived from aba a word commonly used in the Middle Eastern countries which means a top garment or a mantle. The abha based on an age-old traditional classical cut and style, is basically a kalidar kurta without a slit on the sides, with a lose flair and it hangs lower than a normal kurta. The abha has been a collectors item since the last four generations. The abha has been a collectors item since the last four generations. The best have even been part of collections auctioned in the west by Christys and Sothebys Research scholars have not yet been able to pinpoint the historical period or influence on these costumes. Unfortunately modernity has compelled these lovely costumes into museums or wooden boxes in far off villages. The genuine abhas could be date back nearly a century.

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