(Last Updated on : 12/11/2016)
Costumes of Kerala
reflect the inherent simple lifestyle of the Malayali people
. The people of the region, both men and women, generally dress in off-white or white attires. Kanjeevaram saree
is one of the most popular types of sarees
in Kerala. The traditional form of dress worn by the Keralites is Mundu and Neriyathu, a piece of white cloth having borders of golden zari symbolising royalty, for both men and women. The women also wear Saree, a 5-6 m long cloth which is embroidered with golden border and jacket.
Costumes of Kerala for Women
The traditional garment worn by the women of Kerala is the Mundum Neriyathum. The conventional piece is the Mundu which is the lower garment and it consists of two cotton
cloth pieces. The Mundu is worn around the hips and beneath the navel. The cloth is creamy or white in colour and possesses a coloured strip called border or Kara. The women of Kerala wear Mundu in different style from that of the women of Christian
origin. The Neriyathu is the name of the upper garment which is put over the blouse having one of its ends inserted in the Mundu and the other long end worn over the front torso. This is worn in a diagonal way, from the right hips to the left shoulder looking like a saree. The colour of the blouse indicates the marital status and age of the women.
Unmarried young Keralite girls take on green blouse whereas the married ones wear red blouse. The Mundum Neriyathum was the traditional costume of the people of Kerala. But today, it has become an old fashion and is mostly worn by the old women of the state.
Costumes of Kerala for Men
The men of the region are more conservative than the women. In keeping with the old tradition of Kerala they wear white, which was once universal for both sexes. Their main garment is the long cloth called Mundu, which is tucked at the waist and reaches to the ankle, giving its wearer a peculiar mincing walk, unless, to stride more freely, he kilts it to the knees. Many men wear no garment above the waist, but those who belong to the higher castes at least drape a towel-like cloth over the shoulders.
The traditional wear of the Hindu
men residing in the state of Kerala is Kasavu Mundu. This dress is very much popular in the rural or remote areas. This attire is a piece of cloth made of cotton, 3 to 4 meter long having a silk
or Kaily acts as an informal dress for Keralite men. But while moving out of their house, these men take on a shirt and Mundu as well as a Neriyathu over their shoulder and apply a paste of sandal on their chest and brows which provides them a much dignified appearance and a royal look.
The daily use garments for the people of Kerala are sarees and churidar
for women and for men, trousers and shirts. The western type of dressing is also well-known among the generation of the young. With continuous change in designing and fashion, the dress codes of the Keralites have changed considerably. The traditional form of dressing is reserved for special occasions and the women and men of Kerala are seen wearing a range of dresses in the new era.