ABHA

Rich Costumes: A Symbol of Prosperity and Protection

-

These artists represent only a few Ladakhi villages in Dosmochey. Their costumes reflect geographic­al and social affiliatio­ns instead of highlighti­ng body contours. Most of the artists wear big and small headgears. One even covers the face (6). A few perform without headgears (5). Maroon is a common color in most costumes for its medicinal and dirt resistant properties. Use of three materials is evident: wool, sheep skin, and Banarsi brocade. Women wear lots of jewelry. Both men and women sport headgears featuring a variety of items, including coins, ear flaps, feathers ((8) a Kashmiri headgear), flowers, and precious and semi-precious metals and stones.

Heavy layered dresses protect against severe cold. The headgears have name and purpose too. Brokpas from Dah village (3 and 7) call their elaborate high headgear “tepi.” They think tepis ward off evil spirits and metals prevent illness. In fact, every piece in the headgear probably has a medicinal property. For example, peacock feathers prevent paralysis.

Another common headgear is “perak” of cotton, cowrie shells, lambskin, yak hair, and semi-precious metals and stones. The ear flaps of perak protect against chilly fast mountainou­s wind. Perak (4 and 6) resembling a cobra hood has link to mythical serpent deities that protect against evils. The headgear also symbolizes wealth. The stones are removed and added depending on financial situation of the owner. The number of frills on perak indicates social rank of the woman.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Near Leh Palace. A young enthusiast intently watches an experience­d wool weaver from Shey.
Near Leh Palace. A young enthusiast intently watches an experience­d wool weaver from Shey.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? (Foreground to Background) Artists perform on a high stage in Polo Ground near permit office. Leh Palace.
(Foreground to Background) Artists perform on a high stage in Polo Ground near permit office. Leh Palace.
 ??  ?? Young and mid-age monks leave the monastery for procession. The former finds simultaneo­us holding and playing trumpet difficult. Actually the latter smiles.
Young and mid-age monks leave the monastery for procession. The former finds simultaneo­us holding and playing trumpet difficult. Actually the latter smiles.
 ??  ?? Selected devotees carry a colorful cross featuring multiple ritualisti­c objects.
Selected devotees carry a colorful cross featuring multiple ritualisti­c objects.
 ??  ?? (Left to Right) A pensive young monk holds a ceremonial flask. A devotee carries a storma that receives monetary offering from the audience.
(Left to Right) A pensive young monk holds a ceremonial flask. A devotee carries a storma that receives monetary offering from the audience.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Storams on ground near Moti Market. Monks perform rituals before offering these symbolic sculptures to the fire.
Storams on ground near Moti Market. Monks perform rituals before offering these symbolic sculptures to the fire.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India