India being a diverse country has a lot of different things on offer and this is one of the good things about India. People not only from different parts of the country but abroad love exploring the cities and enjoy the offerings. Apart from the attractions, cuisines, and activities, there is one thing that has been attracting the attention of the visitors. Yes, that’s the traditional dresses of a state.
In this blog, we will be talking about the traditional dresses of Kerala. You might have already gone through a lot of blogs talking about the beauty and activities on offer in Kerala. But there are not many blogs talking about its traditional dresses. So here we delve into knowing the beautiful and elegant attire of this Southern state.
Here are some of the famous traditional dresses of Kerala for Men and Women
1. Lungi or Mundu
Lungi is one of those bottom wears that has been popular in not just Kerala but a lot of parts of India. You often get to see people wearing Lungi in Kerala and other Southern regions. In Kerala, Lungi is also referred to as Mundu. It is one of those attire that makes men comfortable throughout the day. As we already are well aware of a fact that Lungi is a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and left loose from the bottom.
Knowing the temperature and climate of Kerala which remains hot and humid, this is a perfect attire for men to give them all the comfort they want. It keeps them away from fungus, infection, and other sweat related problems. Nowadays a lot of women have also started wearing Lungi in their houses.
If you go back to the traditional ways of wearing Lungi, men used to pair it with Jubba. Which again was a cloth like a towel or shawl that was wrapped around the torso. In the ancient period, men used to wear this attire on special occasions like marriages, yagyas, and festivals. Although Lungi is still being extensively worn and loved by even the youngsters, Jubba is kind of getting pushed towards the villages.
Jubba is now replaced by shirts and t-shirts. People prefer wearing white shirts because that’s one of the dominant colors worn by people of the state. Lungi and Jubba was initially made of silk but now it is being made in a lot of different materials.
Mundum-Neriyathum is one of the extensively used or worn attires of women. From casual days to occasions and festivals, Mundum-Neriyathum is worn in multiple places. It is an attire that is made of three different clothes and when worn, looks similar to a saree. In this costume, a cloth is wrapped around the waist like a lungi but it has folds like a saree in front. Then another cloth that resembles Jubba is wrapped around the upper body and is worn over a blouse (Choli).
When it is put together; one gets the look of a saree but it is different. And looks elegant. Usually, women of Kerala wear this dress in white color but a lot of females do wear it on occasions too.
4. Silk Sarees
Another very popular and most worn women’s attire in the entire country is the saree. But people from Kerala take pride in wearing silk sarees which are comfortable, lightweight, and very beautiful. Saree is also the common bridal dress of the state and if you see anyone marrying according to their culture or ritual, saree is surely going to be their first choice.
The prints, embroidery, and other things are very professionally done and you get a huge range of options in terms of bridal sarees. Women in Kerala still love to wear saree as it has been an integral part of our Hindu culture too.
5. Manga Mala
When it comes to women, right from the very beginning an attire was never considered complete without accessories. And that remains the same even today. And when it comes to married women, they have to wear accessories in gold and gems (not necessary but can be done if one can afford).
Manga Mala is a necklace made of gold and it touches the upper stomach portion. This was the length of Mala during the initial time and according to their tradition. The necklace looked beautiful because they are made in intriguing designs. It also consists of tiny pendants made in mango shapes.
6. Mulla Motu
This is another type of amazing necklace that can be seen here worn by ladies on special occasions. The Mulla Motu is an elegant piece of artwork that is a mandatory item for the brides. And this has been a thing for them since the very beginning. This necklace is made from Jasmine Petals kept in a sequence. It looks exceptionally beautiful and improvises on the beauty of the bride, several times.
7. Karimani Mala
Where Mulla Motu is a must-have item for the brides, during their marriages it is now not as practical for them to wear it throughout their life. The main reason being the amount of gold. Therefore, the people of Kerala prefer Karimani Mala over Mulla Motu after a few days or months of their marriage.
Karimani Mala is a Keralian version of Mangalsutra and is worn by ladies after they take out the Mulla Motu. Karimani Mala is not like any usual mangalsutra but a beautiful Kerala styled Mala.
If you have a look at the men of Kerala who are wearing Mundu or Lungi; the traditional dress of Kerala; it is paired with a Melmundu. This is also an part of the entire attire that is worn by men here or well-said that it is draped around the upper body. The Melmundu is worn like a shawl or towel covering the chest region and it goes over the shoulders. But melmundu is nowadays replaced by a white shirt.
The Muslims in Kerala wear a Kulla which is a cap like headwear and it also works as a differentiating factor. Although, it is not worn by them all the time (it depends on a person’s choice to wear it all the time) still in special occasions you will see them wearing it.
We know, most of the traditional dresses that we have mentioned above were already known to you. But the important question here is, have you worn them or tried them at least once? There surely are some common things that you might have seen in other places but what about those that are rooted to the culture and traditions followed by the people of Kerala.
If you wish to get some diversity in your wardrobe, make sure to have a few.
See Also: Traditional dresses of India | Traditional dresses of Rajasthan
Traditional dresses of Tamil Nadu | Traditional dresses of Sikkim
Traditional Dresses of Punjab | Traditional Dress of Assam