#56 I decided to do some research on Sarees, which I am so passionate about. 🙂

This is a brief history of sarees :-

The word ‘sari’ is believed to derive from the Sanskrit word ‘sati’, which means a strip of cloth. This evolved into the Prakrit word ‘sadi’ and the sound later decayed into ‘sari’.The origins of the sari can be traced right back to the Indus Valley Civilization.

A sari is a very long strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from four to nine meters in length, which can be draped in various styles.
In a sari the midriff is left bare. This is because according to Hindus, the navel is considered the source of life and creativity.

Once upon a time, saree was a unisex clothing in India.The climate of the Indian subcontinent is warm and humid. Saree and its male counterpart dhoti was most suited for this kind of temperature. In earlier days, saree was a two piece attire. This costume consisted of a dhoti or lungi (sarong), combined with a breast band called ‘Kurpasika’ or ‘Stanapatta’ and sometimes shawls or scarf like garment called ‘Uttariya’ that could at times be used to cover the upper body or head.It is believed that the one-piece sari is a modern innovation of clothing style.

It is also believed that both men and women used the same style of draping.
It is still unknown how blouse and petticoat originated, although it is largely believed that it was only after the arrival of the British that the Indian woman started wearing blouse and petticoat. Also, stitched clothes were considered impure by Hindus.

Being just long strip cloth between six to nine yards, it could be worn parted and tucked breech like, for horse riding, swimming and other sports. Tightly worn and a short length were suitable for martial sports and battle. Tight tucking of the front pleats in the back was called ‘Veeragacche’ or soldier’s tuck. Jhansi’s Queen Laxmibai, Tarabai and Belawadi Mallamma fought enemy troops on horseback, wearing sarees in this way.

Raja Ravi Varma, the distinguished painter of the 19th century, travelled the entire Indian sub-continent in search of the ideal attire for a female as he wanted the best dress for the various goddesses he was asked to paint. He selected the nine yard saree which drapes the women body beautifully highlighting all her contours.

It is a known and acknowledged fact that this garment has been worn by women centuries ago and had evolved in the drape and the style over the past several hundreds of years. Even the growing influence of the Western look or Salwar Kameez, one could not deviate a saree from its path of elegant, delicate and sophisticated look. Saree is the essence of our life style and the sentiment for the Indian Woman.

I am wearing a silk saree in a lovely almond and navy blue colour with dhoop chaav tone. This is one of my favourite sarees for two reasons. First being that these both colours are not very popular shades in my wardrobe and add uniqueness and variety. Second and the most important reason is that this saree is a gift from my father-in-law, which he bought 18 years back from Kumaran Silks, Chennai. I would earlier wear it with a traditional blouse but today I ahve chosen to wear it with a crop top in hakoba borrowed from my daughter.

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