Kerala Dress

The people of Kerala are basically very simple and this simplicity is reflected in the traditional costumes as well. Though the women of Kerala generally wear saris, the traditional dress is a two-piece set known as the mundum neriyathum. The mundu is an unstitched piece of cloth that is worn around the waist. The neriyathu is worn diagonally from the left shoulder and one end is tucked in at the waist. The material is made up of hand woven cotton and is generally cream or white in color with a colored or golden (Kasavu) border known as the Kara. The blouse matches with the border. Nowadays this two piece set has given way to the Set-sari or the Kerala sari which is a full length sari of five and a half meters and is worn just like the normal sari. However the color and the border of the sari remain true to the traditional set. Men also wear a mundu and shirt. Though now, men prefer wearing trousers and shirts.

The traditional wear for little girls and teenage girls is the “Pattu Pavada” or a long skirt and blouse made of silk. But this dress is now generally worn only for functions, or on special occasions. The youngsters prefer more casual clothes with an eye on the comfort level. .

Wedding ceremonies in Kerala are very simple and short and the wedding dresses are very simple as well. While the Hindu bride wears a silk sari or the traditional mundum neriyathum or the set –sari, the bridegroom wears a traditional mundu with a gold (Kasavu) border and a shirt. The Christian bride generally wears a white silk sari and covers her head with a white veil to signify purity. The bridegroom either wears a suit or the traditional Kerala mundu and shirt. The Muslim bridegroom wears a sherwani or a white mundu and shirt while the bride wears a bright color sari. The brides always wear gold jewellery as in chains, necklaces, bangles earrings and rings.


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