Thursday, August 27, 2009

ClothingLahu Sheh Leh

Lahu Sheh Leh clothing is preferably made of fairly heavy black cotton cloth with a sheen. Women wear three-quarter-length tunics which open down the front. All edges of the tunic are set off by narrow bands of white and pale yellow with touches of red and blue for accent. Strips of banding are also added across the shoulders, just below the waist, and on the sleeves. Some of the young women, however, are now sewing wide bands of red, white, and blue or gaily printed cloth on their sleeves.
Older women and young girls have only narrow strips of the banding at the back hemline, while young unmarried women make wide borders of exquisitely stitched bands and scallops. Tunics for festive wear are embellished with half-sphere silver buttons and coins, and are closed with a row of repoussed or engraved buckles to the waist.
Women's pants, resembling culottes, are trimmed with red and yellow stitching and reach to just below the knees. Black leggings with white and yellow banding have cuffs which turn down at the top.

Sheh Leh women wear quantities of small white beads wound closely around their throats, which consist of a single strand several metres in length. Wide silver bracelets adorn their wrists and silver neck rings are worn on festive occasions. Men dress in black jackets, knee-length loose pants, and leggings with blue trim, all lined with white. A hand-woven sash is used as a belt.

Traditionally men and women wore black turbans, but turkish towels now serve that purpose- bright flowered ones for women and white for men. Their black shoulder bags have the same type of trim as the women's tunics, young women's bags being the most lavish. The hand-woven straps are pale yellow with narrow stripes of other colours. Long fringe hangs down from the sides, and tassels of thread and torn cloth extend from the lower corners. Less elaborate bags of similar design are in everyday use.

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