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Sari

Sari

The sari, sometimes spelled saree, is a draped dress, created from a single piece of fabric five to nine yards long, which is wrapped around a woman's body in a variety of ways. The resulting garment can be practical working attire or an elegant ceremonial gown, depending on the type of fabric used and the style of draping. While women wear the sari, men wear a version of the wrapped garment called a dhoti. A daily garment worn by approximately 75 percent of the female population of India during the twenty-first century, the sari is one of the oldest known items of clothing that is still in use. Saris were mentioned in the Vedas, the ancient sacred literature of the Hindu religion, which has been dated back to 3000 b.c.e., and many people believe that saris may have been worn even earlier.

Like the Greeks and Romans who followed them, the ancient people of India mainly wore garments that were wrapped and draped, rather than sewn. This was not because they did not know the art of sewingearly Indian people were experts in fine weaving and embroiderybut because they preferred the flexibility and creativity that draped clothing allowed. Loose, flowing garments were practical in the hot climate of southern Asia, and the sari, woven of cotton or silk, was both cool and graceful. Though rich and poor alike wore the sari, the wealthy could afford to have fine silk fabric with costly decorations, while the poor might wear rough plain cotton.

The basic wrap of a sari usually involves winding it around the waist first then wrapping it around the upper body. Women frequently wear underclothes of a half-slip tied around the waist and a tight blouse or breast-wrap that ends just below the bust, which provide the basis for wrapping the fabric of the sari. There are many different styles of wrapping and draping the sari, and these vary according to gender, region, social class, ethnic background, and personal style. Instead of wrapping the fabric around the chest, the ends of the sari can be simply thrown over one or both shoulders. Sometimes an end is pulled between the legs and tucked into the back of the skirt, making it into loose pants, which are practical for working. Many men wear saris that only cover the lower half of their bodies. Though saris are usually wrapped to the left, people from some regions of India favor wrapping to the right. When the abundant material of the sari is wrapped around the waist, it is usually pleated to create graceful folds and drapes. The number of pleats and the direction they fold can vary and is sometimes dictated by religious belief. Though many modern saris are mass-produced, saris made of handwoven cloth are important to many people as a political symbol of Indian pride.

Though many Indian people, both those living in India and those who live in other countries, have adopted Western dress, it is very common for Indian women to wear the sari for important ceremonies, such as weddings.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Chishti, Rta Kapur, and Amba Sanyal. Saris of India. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1991.

Lynton, Linda. The Sari: Styles, Patterns, History, Techniques. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002.

[See also Volume 1, India: Dhoti and Lungi ]

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"Sari." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sari." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sari

"Sari." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sari

Sari

Sari. The traditional dress of Hindu women, now frequently worn by women of other religious groups in India as well. It consists of a 4-foot-wide length of cloth, generally varying in length, 5–9 yards, though for daily wear a 6-yard length is favoured. Saris for daily wear are generally of cotton or, these days, nylon, but beautiful silken ones are worn for festivals or religious ceremonies.

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"Sari." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sari." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sari

"Sari." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sari

Sari

Sari (särē´), city (1991 pop. 167,602), capital of Mazandaran prov., N Iran, near the Caspian Sea. It is the trade center for a farm region where citrus fruit, cotton, rice, and sugarcane are grown. Manufactures include textiles, carpets, and mosaics. The city is served by roads and a railroad.

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"Sari." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sari." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sari

"Sari." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sari

sari

sa·ri / ˈsärē/ (also sa·ree) • n. (pl. -ris or -rees ) a garment consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body, traditionally worn by women from the Indian subcontinent.

sari

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"sari." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"sari." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sari-0

sari

sari, saree XVIII (saurry). — Hindi sārhī, sārhī.

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"sari." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"sari." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sari-1

sari

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"sari." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sari