18.10.12

Traditional costume of Tibet


The national dress of Tibet is the chuba, a long-sleeved loose coat worn by both men and women. The men wear a shorter version with pants underneath.
Chubas are often made oversized to accommodate the Tibetan way of living. When tied around the waist by a belt or sash, the upper part of a chuba turns into a huge pocket for carrying things, from personal items to small livestock and even a baby. When it is hot in the daytime, Tibetans undress the right arms to disperse heat. If it is even hotter, then one may undress both arms and tie the sleeves around the waist.


The belt is usually made of red, yellow or light green (young female may use pink) silk and is well decorated. Men hang flint box, needle box and Tibetan knife on it. Women hang copper or silver hook with butterfly and water lily designs.
Underneath the chuba a variety of shirts, vests, jackets are worn to keep out the cold. Long woolen breeches are tucked into knee-high felt boots. Women wear long, sleeveless dresses and blouses, and an apron of brightly coloured horizontal stripes.



The garments of the Tibetan costume can be made of brocade, silk, embroidered silk, satin, jacquard, leather, animal skin, wool and cotton.



Hats were once a very important feature of Tibetan dress. People were generally identified by the kind of hats they wore. Women's hats were made of a wooden frame covered in cloth and ornamented with precious stones. The number and size of the stones indicated her wealth. Today hats are often made of fur and brocade and shaped like flowerpot with flaps at the ears. Common men's hats nowadays are trilbies and homburgs.



The important element of the traditional Tibetan costume is jewelry worn by both men and women. Over their clothes women wear silver amulets, coral and turquoise beads. Men often carry a tiny statue of a lama, a prayer wheel or a rosary and wear one earring.






Photos were taken during celebration of Tibetan Losar in Kathmandu
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