Sulu (skirt)

Guard at the Fiji presidential palace

A sulu is a type of skirt traditionally worn by men and women in Fiji. It is regarded as Fiji's national dress.[1]

It consists of a rectangle of cloth of varying length, between below-knee and ankle-length, wrapped around the hips and legs and traditionally fastened by tying at the waist. Modern men's sulus may be fastened with buckles.[2]

Women's casual or everyday sulus are known as sulu-i-ra, and more elegant full-length ones for dressy occasions as sulu jaba.[3] Men's sulus are known as sulu vakataga.

Tailored sulus with pockets are commonly worn as part of Fijian men's business and formal wear,[3][4][5] with shirt and sandals and optionally western-style jacket and tie. In certain situations, such as entering a church, wearing a sulu is seen as respectful.[6] Tailored sulus also feature in police and military uniforms.[7] Official uniform sulus come to below the knees and feature a distinctive zigzag hem.

In Fiji the sulu is seen as an expression of ethnic Fijian identity. While wearing a sulu is often mandatory for Fijians in certain settings,[8][9] members of other ethnicities are sometimes discouraged from wearing it.[10]

See also

References

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