Suresh Vedak vedak at GLOBALNET.CO.UK
Fri Oct 23 20:27:10 UTC 1998

Samar Abbas wrote:

> Thank you for this eye-opener, Prof. Vassilkov.  The upper and lower
> garments for men (consisting of a precursor to the `dhoti' and an upper
> cloth thrown around the chest) and women are mentioned as being in use in
> the period 1000-1200 AD [ `Social and Cultural History of Northern India
> 1000-1200 AD', Prof. B.N.Sharma, Abhinav Publications New Delhi 1972 ].
> Thus it seems that Indo-Aryan dress hadn't changed much from 1500 BC -
> 1200 AD, a period of 2700 years !
> Samar
> On Tue, 20 Oct 1998, Yaroslav V. Vassilkov wrote:
> >         Though the information on the dress of the Vedic Indians is scanty
> > and far from clear, we can surmise it hardly was very different from the dress
> > of the Epic period, which consisted (for both sexes) of two pieces of cloth
> > ("lower and upper garments" throughout the Mbh, but see especially the Tale
> > of Nala in Book III) of which one was wrapped around the hips and another
> > somehow covered the shoulders (cf. Vedic words adhIvAsa-, upastir-). The upper
> > cape could be sometimes made of skin or fur (Vedic carman-, kRtti-), but
> > the trousers, leather or cloth, were absolutely unknown. It is a historical
> > fact that the trousers as a dress item were invented by the Scyths - the
> > first really nomadic people who started to spent most of their lives on
> > horseback (the Vedic Aryans were not true nomads, their way of life was
> > rather "pastoralism cum agriculture"). Leather boots and belts with metal
> > buckles too may be traced to the cultures of the Scyths and their eastern
> > nomadic neighbours in the Great Steppe: Hunns, Tokharians, Early Turks. All
> > these items we can first see in India on the statues and coins of the zaka and
> > KuSANa rulers, but since the Gupta period or so some of them became common in
> > India (I mean the designs only, but not materials, because leather and fur
> > were very soon discarded in the Indian climatic conditions).
> >         The history of Indian and Iranian dress is not a special field of
> > my studies, so I may be wrong in some details. Thanks in advance for any
> > corrections.
> >                                                 Yaroslav Vassilkov
> >

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