Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Single Girls'dress KAREN

Single Girls'dress From the time they are tiny tots until they marry, Karen girls wear long white cotton shifts. Girls as young as ten years of age learn to make their own dresses, consequently they are of simple design. As the girls grow older and become more skilled, they often weave more ornate designs into their dresses. Sgaw girls weave a band of red or pink just above the waist. That same color is used in all the stitching. (All shades of pink are considered variations of red.) Pwo girls embellish their dresses more elaborately. One style is similar to the Sgaw dress, but has scattered red diamond-shaped patterns woven into the lower portion of the skirt, with other colors used for accent. Another style has an all-over diamond-shaped pattern in red covering the lower portion of the dress. Traditionally the design extended from the knees to the hemline, but some girls are today weaving the pattern from the waist down, perhaps indulging in a little game of "one-up-manship" Another style of the Pwo girl's shift has a wide red yoke, a strip of color down the shoulders, and a wide border from the knees down. All of these designs are basically red. The yoke is woven in the usual manner, but designs on the shoulder and border are chenille. This is done by inserting thick tufts of thread while weaving, and later cutting them off short to give a fuzzy effect. For ceremonial occasions (primarily funerals) the girls insert long strands of red thread all around the dress at the yoke, making a fringe that hangs to below the knees.

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