Dupatta

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Women from Jaipur, India wearing gagra choli and dupatta

Dupatta (Hindi: दुपट्टा, Punjabi: ਦੁਪੱਟਾ/ਚੁੰਨੀ, دوپٹا, Urdu: دوپٹا‎), also Chunari or chunri (Hindi: चुनरी, Urdu: چنری‎) (also pronounced chunni), Odhni or orni, Chādar-odhni, Orna (Bengali: ওড়না) or unna (Sylheti: উন্না) and Pacheri is a scarf that is like a shawl and is essential to many South Asian women's clothing (usually matched with the garment). The dupatta is most commonly used as part of the women's shalwar kameez costume and worn over the kurta and the gharara, but is originally part of the gagra choli outfit. The dupatta has long been a symbol of modesty in South Asian dress as its main purpose is as a veil.[1] In recent times the trend of dupattas for men, worn over the kurta or sherwani, has become commonplace.

History and origin

Bedi Mahal-Lady with blue chunni
Bandhani Dupatta

The word dupatta is a combination of 'du-' meaning two, and 'patta' meaning strip of cloth, originally from Sanskrit.[2] Early evidence of the dupatta can be traced to the Indus valley civilization, where the sculpture of the Priest King whose left shoulder is covered with some kind of a chaddar, suggests that the use of the dupatta dates back to this early Indic culture.[3][4] Early Sanskrit literature has a wide vocabulary of terms for the veils and scarfs used by women during ancient period, such as Avagunthana meaning cloak-veil, Uttariya meaning shoulder-veil, Mukha-pata meaning face-veil, Sirovas-tra meaning head-veil.[5] The dupatta is believed to have evolved from the ancient Uttariya.[6][7][8]

Use

Indian actress Shriya Saran in a modern style of draping dupatta over the neck, while wearing ghagra choli or shalwar kameez

Dupatta is worn in many regional styles across South Asia. Originally, it was worn as a symbol of modesty. While that symbolism still continues, many today wear it as just a decorative accessory. There is no single way of wearing the dupatta, and as time evolves and fashion modernizes, the style of the dupatta has also evolved.

A dupatta is traditionally worn across both shoulders and around head. However, the dupatta can be worn like a cape around the entire torso. The material for the dupatta varies according to the suit.[citation needed] There are various modes of wearing dupatta. When not draped over the head in the traditional style, it is usually worn with the middle portion of the dupatta resting on the chest like a garland with the ends thrown over each shoulder. When the dupatta is worn with the shalwar-kameez it is casually allowed to flow down the front and back.[citation needed] In current fashions, the dupatta is frequently draped over one shoulder and even over just the arms. Another recent trend is the short dupatta, which is more a scarf or a stole, often worn with a kurti and Indo-Western clothing. Essentially, the dupatta is often treated as an accessory in current urban fashion.[1]

When entering a mosque, dargah, church, gurdwara or mandir, it is the habit in the Indian subcontinent for women to cover their head with a dupatta.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b Mark Magnier (23 February 2010). "For Pakistani women, dupattas are more than a fashion statement". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ "American Heritage Dictionary Entry: dupatta". www.ahdictionary.com. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  3. ^ "Dupatta: a statement of style". [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Condra, Jill (2008). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-313-33662-1. 
  5. ^ Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (1951) "Indian Costume.", p.236
  6. ^ Simmi Jain (2003) "Encyclopaedia of Indian Women Through the Ages: The middle ages.", p.200
  7. ^ Anupa Pande(2002) "The Buddhist Cave Paintings Of Bagh", p.49
  8. ^ Prachya Pratibha(1978) "Prachya Pratibha, Volume 6", p.121
  9. ^ Goldman, Ann; Hain, Richard; Liben, Ann Goldman Richard Hain Stephen (2006). Ox Textbook Palliat Care Child Oxt:ncs C. Oxford University Press. p. 224. ISBN 9780198526537. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 

External links

  • "Indian Dupatta From Behind the Veil," an article about the dupatta
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