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Costume of the Si La ethnic

May 09, 2008          2675 views

(Cinet)- The Si La’s costumes have their own identity of an ethnic. Besides the function of protecting bodies, they have distinct social, gender and aesthetic functions. Woman’s costume reflects clearly her age and marital status.

Like other ethnics in the areas, the Si La men wear chan que trousers (a kind of wide-legged pants that looked something like a skirt), split- breasted, buttoned, straight – necked, 2 – indigo blue – pocket shirts. The thing which helps to distinguish Si La men from others is the  scarf. Men always twist the white turbans in dau riu style ( like the old Kinh men). In stead of that, many men now wear the western clothes and the traditional ones are no longer used or  only worn on special occasions and wedding days.

Unlike men, Si La women’s costume are still preserved. The costumes include: dresses, blouses, belts and carves.

Dresses (Ti Bo): Si La women wear close, black and ankle - length dresses. Unlike Thai women, Si La women also wind dresses around the bell but  put the end to the back. It was this difference that they were called Kha Pe people by the Thai ethnic – or people wear dresses backward. Each dress contains 2 parts: hem and body.

Blouses (Pho Kho): Si La women wear indigo- blue, quite body- molded blouses buttoning on the right armpit. Unlike men’s shirts, women’s blouse necks are not straight but hemmed along cloth’s edge so follow close on bodies. The necks, sleeves, fringes are molded or sewn by different colorful clothes. These molds make their costumes more lively and graceful. The special of Si La blouse is the decoration on the front body. It is make from an isosceles trapezium cloth on which  72 silver coins are arranged into 9 horizontal lines. The red patterns are put between every two lines.

Turbans (Ty da i xu): The turban is  integral to  a La Si woman. It show her age as well as her marital status. There are two kinds of turbans: black and white.

White turbans: Girls wear turbans at the ages of 13 or 14, the pubescent period. Turban is made from a white rectangular cloth, about 80 centimeters long and 20 centimeters wide with a lot of red threaded squares made of patterns

Black turbans: Right after arriving at husband’s family, brides take off the white turbans and put on the black ones and they have to wear for the whole lives backward. The ceremony of wearing black turban is carried on the wedding day by mother in law or husband’s aunt. Besides ethnic, sex, age and marital status identities , the Si La costumes have no more other specific characteristic.

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