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Kerala sari

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Kerala sari

Set-sari (Kerala sari) is the clothing of women in Kerala, South India. It is worn as a garment that closely resembles the mundum neriyathum (set-mundu) though it is not considered a true mundum neriyathum by classic definition. This is because the setu-sari consists of a single piece of cloth while a traditional mundum neriyathum consists of a two-piece cloth. Otherwise, the set-saree closely resembles the mundum neriyathum and is often worn by Malayali women as a quasi mundum neriyathum.

When set-mundu is worn, the kasavu border will be clearly visible on the left thigh of the person who wears it. This kasavu border is that of the neriyathu which is worn on the top of the mundu.

The mundum neriyathum is the cultural costume of women of the Malayalee community and often referred as Kerala saree.[1] The grace and appeal of the golden borders contrasting with the otherwise plain white mundum neryathum of Keralite women has come to symbolize Malayalee women. Both the traditional and modern styles of the mundum neryathum are depicted in the paintings of the Indian painter Raja Ravi Verma. The mundum neriyathum was modified in several paintings depicting shakuntala from the mahabharatha to a style of draping now popularly known as the 'nivi saree' or 'national drape'. In one of his paintings, the Indian subcontinent was shown as a mother wearing a flowing nivi saree.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Boulanger 1997, Ghurye 1951
  2. ^ Miller & Banerjee 2004

References and bibliography

  • Boulanger, C (1997) Saris: An Illustrated Guide to the Indian Art of Draping, Shakti Press International, New York. ISBN 0-9661496-1-0
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1992) Fashion styles of ancient India, B. R. Publishing corporation, ISBN 81-7018-723-0
  • Ghurye (1951) "Indian costume", Popular book depot (Bombay) (includes rare photographs of 19th century Namboothiri and nair women in ancient saree with bare upper torso).
  • Alkazi, Roshan (1983) "Ancient Indian costume", Art Heritage
  • Mahaparinibbanasutta (ancient Buddhist text)
  • Miller, Daniel & Banerjee, Mukulika; (2004) The Sari, Lustre press / Roli books
  • Bjorn Landstrom (1964) The Quest for India, Doubleday English edition, Stockholm.
  • T.K Velu Pillai, (1940) "The Travancore State Manual"; 4 volumes; Trivandrum
  • Miller, J. Innes. (1969). The Spice Trade of The Roman Empire: 29 B.C. to A.D. 641. Oxford University Press. Special edition for Sandpiper Books. 1998. ISBN 0-19-814264-1.
  • K.V. Krishna Iyer (1971) "Kerala’s Relations with the Outside World," pp. 70, 71 in The Cochin Synagogue Quatercentenary Celebrations Commemoration Volume, Kerala History Association, Cochin.
  • Periplus Maris Erythraei, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, (trans). Wilfred Schoff (1912), reprinted South Asia Books 1995 ISBN 81-215-0699-9

External links

  • Mundum NeriyathumImage and a short text on
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