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Colorful Traditional Myanmar dress, part 2

by | Dec 2, 2016 | Our Diary |

Traditional clothes in Myanmar are very important and since there are many different ethnic tribes, the dress can vary from region to region.  Four of these regions include Kayah State, Shan State, Mon State and Rakhine State.  They have their own unique dress for both men and women and it is an immense source of pride for the locals who still wear it daily.

Mon: Traditional Dress

Mon traditional clothing is described as being similar to the Bamar clothing styles as you can see above. They also wear longyis, even though the designs are subtler in comparison to their neighbors.  Red is the predominate color of choice. The longyi for both men and women is typically be red and for formal occasions, women wear red sashes paired with lighter colored tops. Women usually style their hair in a simple bun on top of their head while men opt to wear a turban.

Kayah: Traditional Dress


The natives of Kayah state are referred to as “Karenni”.  Kayah are quite well-known for their practice of stacking metal rings on young girls necks throughout their lifetime to achieve an elongated neck which they consider beautiful.  Traditional Kayah clothing is quite colorful and red is the main color used. The clothing is woven from cotton and made into shirts for both men and women and dresses for women.  They are adorned with fringe and tassels.

Shan: Traditional Dress


North of Kayah State is Shan State.  Here, men wear trousers called “koon” that are bunched and tied at the waist and women were sarongs called “phasin” which are embroidered with intricate designs. Shan people are also known for wearing large conical hats called “kup” which provide them protection from the sun’s strong rays.

Rakhine: Traditional Dress

Lastly, Rhakine State, also known as Arakan, is quite fond of the colors gold and yellow for their traditional clothes. The style is also similar to Bamar style as you can see above picture, but the women prefer to pair their longyis and tops with a sheer material draped over their shoulders. Men also wear a turban which is typically a white sash wrapped around their heads and then knotted in the front.  Women style their hair in a bun on top of their head that is decorated with fresh flowers and jewelry. This style of traditional dress is usually reserved for religious celebrations and cultural events.


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