Intro to Indian Garb

Intro to Non-Muslim Indian Garb

For thousands of years the primary garment of choice in the subcontinent of India has been a length of uncut cloth ranging from 2 yards to 11 yards and just about any color or set of colors imaginable. Around the 5th century C.E. the sari was paired with a fitted blouse called a choli. Centuries passed and the sari was replaced in the North by skirts, cholis and veils while in the South the sari still reigned supreme. What started out as a simple need to cover and protect the body has evolved into a breathtakingly elegant fashion that has stood the test of time.

When the Muslims came to North India they brought with them their own fashions. These are so diverse and so very different from what had been seen before that I do not have the time or knowledge to go into them properly. So here I shall focus on the clothing of non-Muslims in India between the years 300 C.E. and 1600 C.E.

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