Colorful Burmese Traditional Clothes, part 1
One of the most unique things about Myanmar is the fact that it is a melting pot of people from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Myanmar is home to seven district ethnic races and the country has been geographically divided to represent races by states. While each ethnic races is special in its own way, here’s some information about the traditional dress of four states: the Chin, Kachin, Bamar and Kayin.
Burmese Traditional Clothes: Chin
Chin State is famous for the tattooed faces of the local women. Chin traditional dress for both men and women is also a sarong or “longyi” and is easily recognizable by bold, vertical stripes. Women wear long skirts, short-sleeved shirts and broad, silver belts adorning their waists. Chin jewelry is made from colorful beads that are turned into beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Burmese Traditional Clothes: Kachin
Kachin women wear longyis or sarongs with bold, colorful patterns and the color red is especially common for men and women. Tops are usually black and decorated with silver tassels. In addition, they wear beautifully crafted headdresses with a similar pattern to the longyi they are wearing. Since longyis are unisex, men wear similar tops and bottoms but in more subdued colors. Kachin traditional dress is usually worn at ceremonies and cultural events and showcased with dancing sequences that are also unique to the Kachin region.
Burmese Traditional Clothes: Burma
The Burma, or Burmese, are the predominate ethnic race in Myanmar and that is where the country’s previous name, Burma, originated from. Bamars are identifiable by their own unique dress which is a sarong, called a “longyi”. Formally, men wear a sarong called a “paso” and a “htamain” for women. The dress is typically made from silk in bright, shiny colors and both men and women wear velvet sandals to complete the outfit.
Burmese Traditional Clothes: Kayin
In Kayin State, men and women wear a loose tunic called a “thin-daing” and it is made from two pieces of straight-cut fabric sewn together with a v-neck cut. The intricacy and the design give Kayin clothing its own unique flair. These tunics are often decorated with ornate stitching in different patterns for men and women. The tunics are worn over longyis which are usually designed with simple horizontal stripes. In addition, the colors and designs are used to signify certain aspects or rank of the wearer. For more formal occasions, men will wear turbans.
Longyis and other traditional clothing items are still very fashionable in Myanmar for, so the markets throughout Myanmar are a great place to find some of this clothing if you don’t have enough time to travel to the states themselves.