Traditional Costume in Myanmar

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Asia » Burma
January 14th 2006
Published: January 14th 2006
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In Myanmar, there are about 135 ethnic groups. Among them, the major races are Bamar, Shan, Kayin, Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Mon and Rakhine. They all have their own dialect, tradition, culture, legendary and traditional costume.

Our traditional costume consist “longyi” (sarong) and “eingyi” (blouse) & (shirt)
Centuries ago, firstly the people from India, Tibet and Mongolia came into Myanmar. The way of the dressing of our earliest people “Pyus” was like Indian people. When King Anawyatha won the battle in India, he brought also Indian traditions and cultures. So, on that time, Indian culture influenced in Myanmar.

Bamar men wear ankle -length patterns of checks, plaids or stripes “Longyi” in any kinds of color. Kayin traditional “longyi” has solid reds bordered with horizontal stripes at the middle. Rakine patterns fracture a thick, high- relief weave in light, reflective grays and blues. Kachin “longyi “is in checks of black, green and deep purple. Mon longyi is in small checks on red, bordered with horizontal stripes at the middle looks something like in Kayin “longyi”. Chin “longyi is like Bamar “longyi” But it has a column.

Shan and Kayah men’s traditional costumes are quite different, because they wear loose trousers. Shan trousers have light brown, brown, terracotta or grey color but Kayah trousers are only in black.

These traditional “longyis” have about 2 meters length swan lengthwise. This makes the cloth for the unfinished garment. These are made by cotton.

To wear, they tie them, they gather the front of the “longyi” to create two short lengths of material, then twist them into a half knot, tucking one end in at the waist, while allowing the other to protrude from the knot. Shan men tie their trousers like “longyi” Kayah men tie them pink band at the waist on their trousers.

Their white “eingyi” looks like shirt has mandarin -collar. Bamar, Kachin, Mon, Shan, Kayah and Rakhine men wear traditional Jacket called “teik -pon “on their “eingyi”. It has white, grey, black or terracotta color. But kayin and Chin men wear their long dress instead of “tiek-pon”.

They put the “gaung-baung” turban on their head and for footwear , simple rubber or velvet slippers.

Bamar women’s calf-length “longyis” are in solid colors, flower prints and many kinds of designs. One of the famous designs feature wavy or zig zag “ acheig” patterns. Rakhine women traditional “longyi” is also in “acheig”. Mon “longyi “has red base colour, on it partial stripes and very small checks design. Kayin and Kayah “longyis” are in horizontal stripes on red or green colour. Kayah women tie them beautifully with very long band in front of them, at the waist. Shan “longyi” has horizontal or vertical stripes at the middle part. Upper and lower parts are in plain colour. Kachin “Longyi” has the “manaw” columns, on the red or black colour base. It’s quite short, not swan. Ng like us they tie them like this. They wear many loose cane belts. At their legs, they tie two pieces of cloth.

It’s made of wool as their “longyi”. Bamar, Kayin, Chin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine and Shan women’s “longyis” are nearly the same, made by cotton. It’s like men’s “longyi” swan lengthwise. A black waistband is stitched along the waist end, to wear; this waistband is folded in front to form a wide pleat, and then tucked behind the waistband to one side.

Kachin “eingyi “has only black colour and it is very interested and very beautiful because it is decorated by many pieces of silver. Kayin women wear long dress called “thin-dai” decorated by many threads. Bamar, Mon, Rakhine, Chin, Kayah, and Shan women’s” eingyis” are nearly the same .It has a form-fitting waist length blouse. Kayah women tie this traditional shawl on their “eingyi”. It is embroiled of male and female royal birds of them called “Keinayee & Keinayah”. Bamar, Rakhine and Mon women put the shawl on their shoulders.

Kayah, Layin , Shan , Kachin, Chin women tie a lovely band on their head Bamar, Mon and Radhine women wear beautiful flowers in their hair.

The footwear is simple slippers of leather or velvet.
Our traditional costumes are very elegant, interested, beautiful and comfortable. So, I like them very much.

Also in India, Thai, Malaysia, Indonesia and some other countries in Asia wear “longyi” (sarong) and “eingyi” (blouse) (shirt) something like us.


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