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Men's Costume in Maharashtra

Districts/ Region

Maharashtra, India.

Unique Features

The men in rural Maharashtra are seen wearing a Dhotar or Dhoti. A Dhoti is a single piece of cloth tucked around the waist. Dhoti covers the entire leg till the ankle. The colour of Dhotis usually ranges from saffron, cream or white. Dhoti is an unstitched piece of clothing that does not require any proper measurements. Feta is the headdress Marathi men wear. Feta is even known as a 'topi' too. It is a headcover usually made up of cotton. Travellers and people working outside, under the sun especially wear this. It is also worn at ceremonies and festivals. Maharashtrian men usually wear cotton tops or Kurtas along with Dhoti. They are useful in the hot and humid conditions that exist in Maharashtra. These tops are thin and loose and usually white in colour. The Maharashtrian men occasionally wear waistcoat-s that make the Maharashtrian attire look more formal and proper. It is useful keeping in mind the local climatic conditions which do not allow men to wear normal coats or overcoats. Traditionally the men wear simple but sturdy footwear. Their footwears are open sandals making them comfortable for them to wear. The sandals are strong and sturdy footwear that are prepared from leather. Traditionally women wear sarees that are nine yards long. There are many variations in how women wear their saree. Some only wear knee-length sarees. Some of the women like to wear it in a skirt manner without the tuck in the middle. However, the 9-yard saree is the traditional costume of women in Maharashtra State. Women do not use separate headwear as the men do and hence, it is noticing that they simply use the end of their sarees to cover their heads. The Maharashtrian women wear choli or blouse underneath the saree to cover the upper half of the body. Similar to men's clothing, women's clothing is also made up of cotton and sometimes silk. Nath or a nose ring is part of the traditional Maharashtrian attire for women. They are normally made up of gold, pearls, rubies and emeralds. Different kinds of jewellery are also part of their traditional attire. A Mangalsutra, green bangles and sindoor on the forehead are enough to recognise a married Maharashtrian woman. Toe rings are also an important part of a Maharashtrian woman’s attire. It is a reality that, due to urbanisation, a majority of Maharashtrian people have adapted the western style of clothing and even a merger of the Indian and western styles (kurta and pants etc.). However, elderly people still prefer to wear traditional clothes. For them, comfort is a subsidiary to tradition.

Cultural Significance

The costume is designed as per the climatic conditions and subsistence which the common Maharashtrians are accustomed to. The festive season gives variety though the common cultural trend is maintained