Traditional Newari attire

The majority of the population living in the Kathmandu valley consists of Newars whose facial features are a mixture of Mongoloid, Caucasian, Australoid and Tibetanish. The community rich in culinary expertise, Newars are culturally, religiously and traditionally rich community. Over the period of time, although the valley has varied communities living together and most of the communities being influenced by one or other communities, the Newars has been successful to conserve their cultural heritage and practices.

One of such practices is of wearing traditional jewelries. The jewelries worn by the Newari women have specific names and purposes. Among the various, one distinct ornament is the Loonswan, a gold plate worn at the center of the head with superb designs all over and a coral image of Lord Ganesh in the middle. Another one is the huge golden necklace called Tayo that hold significant meaning. A golden pendant with stones joined to necklace, a Ghau is also an impressive ornament they were. Kilip is the one worn at the back of the head and the word was probably derived from the English word ‘clip’. Another ornament worn on the head is the Teek Ma which has many small strings attached to a point and is worn on the side.

haku patasi

Apart from these, Patachin shikha, a simple gold necklace, Company shikha, necklace made of coins and Bhimpuma, necklace made of coral are some of the ornaments or jewelries that they wear traditionally. The u-shaped earrings they wear are called Makansi and the silver bangle worn around the ankles is called kalli. They also wear gold rings and bangles in their fingers and hands.

Most of the Newars wear sarees, however, they call it a parsi and instead of putting the end at the back (as in case of the saree), they wrap it around their waist above the pleats. Above it, a patuka is worn and the blouse is the clothing worn on the upper part of the body but the Jyapu community wears a distinct saree which is popularly known as Haku Patashi and is plain black saree with a red border, along with a full sleeved blouse tied at four different corners and is known as Thana tagu kapoya lan. It is complimented by a shawl known as haku gacha over it and this altogether completes the attire worn by Newari women.

The men usually wear a knee length dress with the upper part of it resembling the women’s clothing, however, it is slightly loose and is called lan worn along with the trousers known as suruwa.