Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Usage and History of Dupatta

Dupatta can be used in various formats. It can be worn with ghagra choli, with one end of Dupatta tucked at the waistband of the ghagra (long-skirt). This style is most often used by Rajasthani women. They are also known for using the dupatta on their head and both end of it flowing outwards. We can also see its usage with jeans, sometimes as a sarong or turban or sash. In south India, a different nomenclature is used for dupatta worn over a low skirt. It’s called half sari whereas in Assam it is called chaddar. In Gujarat, they call it chunri, whereas it is known as Dhathu in Himachal Pradesh. These dupattas or orhni or odhni comes in different texture of silk, cotton and chiffon. It also varies in length according to the region and culture of the place.

Going by the history, we don’t see any trace of dupatta in ancient civilization. Even archaeological evidences of Mohenjadaro and Harappan civilization don’t give us any proof of this particular garment. Though, vedic Indian people used to wear three garments; an under-garment called nivil, a garment known as vasas, and an overgarment known as adhivasa. Adhivasa was similar to dupatta or can also be termed as chaddar of modern times used by both male and female to cover their upper parts. Gradually it developed on its own as Indian women became more aware of their modesty.