aboriginal races such as Bhils, Sonthals, Gonds, &c., whose costume is chiefly noticeable from its absence.
Mahommedan Men.—Apart from the two sects, Sunnis and Shias, whose garb differs in some respects, there are four families of Moslems, viz. Pathans, Moguls, Syeds and Sheiks. The first came to India with Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi in A.D. 1002; the second are of Tatar origin and came to India with Baber; the Syeds claim descent from Mahomet, while Sheiks comprise all other Mussulmans, including converted Hindus. It is now no longer possible to distinguish these families by their turbans as was formerly the case.
Hair.—In the hadis, or traditional sayings of Mahomet other than those to be found in the Koran, it is laid down that the head is to be shaved and the beard to be allowed to grow naturally to “a legal” length, i.e. 7 or 8 in. long. This is known as fitrah or the custom of prophets. The beard is frequently dyed with henna and indigo for much the same reasons as in Europe by elderly men; this is entirely optional. The wearing of whiskers while shaving the chin was a Mogul fashion of the 17th and 18th centuries and is now seldom seen except among Deccani Mahommedans. The mustachios must not grow below the line of the upper lip, which must be clearly seen; a division or parting is made below the nose. The lower lip is also carefully kept clear. Hair under the arms or elsewhere on the body except the breast is always removed.
Mahommedan clothing for indoor wear consists of three pieces: (a) Head-dress, (b) body-covering, (c) covering for the legs.
Head-dress.—This is of two kinds: the turban and the cap. The former is chiefly worn in northern India, the latter in Oudh and the United Provinces. What is known in Europe as a turban (from the Persian sarband, a binding for the head) is in India divided into two classes. The first, made of a single piece of cloth 20 to 30 in. wide and from 6 to 9 yds. long, is bound round the head from right to left or from left to right indifferently and quite simply, so as to form narrow angles over the forehead and at the back. This form is called amāmāh (Arabic), dastār (Persian), shimlā or shamlā, safā, lungi, selā, rumāl, or dopattā. The terms amāmāh and dastār are used chiefly with reference to the turbans of priests and ulema, that is learned and religious persons. They are usually white; formerly Syeds wore them of green colour. They are never of bright hue. The lungi is made of cloth of a special kind manufactured mostly in Ludhiana. It is generally blue and has an ornamented border. In the case of Pathans and sometimes of Punjabi Moslems it is bound round a tall red conical cap called a kullah (Plate I. fig. 1). The ends are frequently allowed to hang down over the shoulders, and are called shimla or shamla, terms which also apply to the whole head-dress. The names safa, sela, rumal and dopatta are sometimes given to this form of turban. The sela is gaudier and more ornamental generally; it is worn by the nobles and wealthier classes.
The second form of the turban is known as the pagri. This head-dress is of Hindu origin but is much worn by Mahommedans. It is a single piece of cloth 6 to 8 in. wide, and of any length from 10 to 50 yds. The methods of binding the pagri are innumerable, each method having a distinctive name as arabi (Arab fashion); mansabi (official fashion, much used in the Deccan); mushakhi (sheik fashion); chakridar (worn by hadjis, that is those who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca); khirki-dār (a fashion of piling the cloth high, adopted by retainers of great men); latudār (top-shaped, worn by kāyasths or writers); joridār (the cloth twisted into rope shape) (Plate I. fig. 6); siparali (shield-shaped, worn by the Shiā sect); murassa, or nastālikh (ornately bound), latpati (carelessly bound) (Plate I. fig. 4). Many other fashions which it would be difficult to describe can best be learned by studying pictures with the help of a competent teacher. The chīrā is a pagri of checked cloth. The mandīl is of gold or highly ornamented cloth; it is worn by nobles and persons of distinction.
The cap or topi is not bound round the head, but is placed upon it. It is made of cut and sewn cloth. Some varieties are dopallari, a skull-cap; kishtinumā, or boat-shaped cap; goltopi, a round cap of the kind known in England as “pork-pie”; bezwi, or egg-shaped cap; sigoshiā, or three-cornered cap; chaugoshiā, or four-cornered cap; tājdār, or crown-shaped cap; &c. Many other caps are named after the locality of manufacture or some peculiarity of make, e.g. Kashmīrē-kītopī; jhālardār, fringed cap, &c.
A form of cap much worn in Bengal and western India is known as Irānī kullāh, or Persian cap. It is made of goatskin and is shaped like a tārbūsh but has no tassel. The cap worn in cold weather is called top, topa, or kantop (ear-cover) (Plate I. fig. 2); these are sometimes padded with cotton. Caps are much worn by Mussulmans of Delhi, Agra, Lucknow and other cities of the United provinces.
The tārbūsh or tūrki-topī was introduced into India by Sir Sayyid Ahmad (Plate I. fig. 3). It must not be confused with the Moorish “fez,” which is skull-shaped. The tārbūsh is of Greek origin and was adopted by Sultan Mahmud of Turkey in the early part of the 19th century. To remove the head-dress of whatever kind is, in the East, an act of discourtesy; to strike it off is a deep insult.
Clothing.—The following rules from the hadith or traditional sayings of the prophet are noteworthy:—“Wear white garments, for verily they are full of cleanliness, and pleasant to the eye.” “It is lawful for the woman of my people to clothe herself in silken garments, and to wear ornaments of gold; but it is forbidden to man: any man who shall wear silken garments in this world, shall not wear them in the next.” “God will not be merciful to him who through vanity wears long trousers” (i.e. reaching below the ankle). The foregoing rules are now only observed by the ultra-orthodox, such as the Wāhabī sect and by ulemas, or learned elderly men. The Mogul court of Delhi, especially during the reign of Mahommed Shah, nicknamed Rangīla or the “dandy,” greatly influenced change in these matters. Coloured clothing, gold ornaments and silken raiment began to be worn commonly by Mussulman men in his reign.
For the upper part of the body the principal article of clothing is the kūrtā. The Persian name for this is pairahan and the Arabic kamīs, whence “chemise.” This kūrtā is the equivalent for the shirt of Europe. It is usually of white cotton, and has the opening or galā in front, at the back, or on either side indifferently. It was formerly fastened with strings, but now with the ghundi (the old form of button) and tukmah or loop. In southern India, Gujarat and in the United Provinces the kūrtā is much the same as to length and fit as the English shirt; as the traveller goes northward from Delhi to the Afghan border he sees the kūrtā becoming longer and looser till he finds the Pathan wearing it almost to his ankles, with very full wide sleeves. The sleeves are everywhere long and are sometimes fastened with one or two buttons at the wrist.
Mussulmans always wear some form of trousers. They are known as izār (Arabic) or pa’ejáma (Persian). This article of clothing is sometimes loose, sometimes tight all the way, sometimes loose as far as the knee and tight below like Jodhpur riding breeches. They are fastened round the waist with a scarf or string called kamarband (waistband) or izārband, and are usually of white cotton. The varieties of cut are sharai or canonical, orthodox, which reach to the ankles and fit as close to the leg as European trousers; rumi or gharāredār, which reach to the ankles but are much wider than European trousers (this pattern is much worn by the Shias); and tang or chust, reaching to the ankles, from which to the knee they fit quite close. When this last kind is “rucked” at the ankle it is called churidār (Plate I. fig. 4). They are sometimes buttoned at the ankle, especially in the Meerut district. The shalwār pattern,
- This has been Englished by Anglo-Indians into “puggaree” or “pugree” and applied to a scarf of white cotton or silk wound round a hat or helmet as a protection against the sun.
- Anglicized as “pyjamas” (in America “pajamas”), the term is used of a form of night-wear for men which has now generally superseded the night-shirt. This consists of a loose coat and trousers of silk, wool or other material; the trousers are fastened by a cord round the waist.