The Patasi Sari of Lalitpur

The Patasi Sari of Lalitpur

The black sari or patasi is the distinctive dress of the jyapunis, the women agriculturalists of Lalitpur in the Kathmandu Valley. The women are instantly recognisable by this distinctive black sari with a broad red border. Village-dwelling women in Nepal retain a very traditional repertoire of colours and patterns in their clothing. Choice here is dictated not by changing fashions or taste - as it is in more urban contexts - but by a traditional community-based aesthetic. It is not uncommon to visit a village in Nepal where all the women are dressed in similar clothes, or to go to a fair and with ease distinguish the different communities.

Traditionally made of homespun and hand-woven cotton cloth this dress identifies the wearer's community; through subtle colour differences it also distinguishes the inhabitants of one village from another.

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