Traditional Garments of Ancient Civilizations Still Worn by Women Today

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Asia Saree / Sari The sari (or "saree") is a cloth with a length ranging from five to more than nine yards that is tied and folded loosely around a woman's body to create it in a form of a dress. The sari is weaved primarily made from cotton threads, but other variations, such as linen and silk and recently, polyester, have also been used to create the fabric needed for this popular dress among the Indians (Kamat, 2012). The sari is reported to be 5,000 years old, originating from the Indus Valley civilization, dated between 2800-1800 B. C. It is said to have evolved from the word Sattika or Sadi (Prakrit), which simply means, "strip of cloth." Further, tracing the history of the sari, it was construed that the sari actually originated from the male dress "dhoti," which is the male counterpart for the sari. From the sari, an idea for a women's dress developed, and throughout the centuries, this dress became more elaborate and developed, eventually becoming to what is known as sari today (Kumar, 2001). One of the unique characteristics of the sari (and dhoti) is that these dresses are unstitched. Apparently and reportedly, there is a certain 'sacredness' to the fact that the sari is not a stitched garment (Kumar, 2001). While the sari is currently used as a functional and aesthetic dress, it initially served as a functional dress: the cotton material used for the sari and its initial use as worn only around the waist and over the shoulder (reportedly women use the sari
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