Traditional Spanish clothing is a fascinating mixture of Roman, Spanish, Arab, Berber and Latin influences. The mantilla is a traditional headscarf made of lace, which covers the head and shoulders. Traditional clothing also includes the gilet, a sleeveless jacket which can go down to the knees and is generally straight-sided.
The traje de flamenca is the dress worn by female flamenco dancers. It is a long dress with ruffles in the skirt and in the sleeves, and is generally brightly colored. Men would traditionally wear high waist trousers with a short jacket (traje corto), linked together by a wide colored scarf on the waist. They also frequently wore hats.
There are many varieties of traditional Mexican clothing, depending on ethnic group, gender, and social status. Traditionally, women wore a skirt called the “huipil” (a richly embroidered cotton blouse) and a “rebozo” (a long scarf covering the head and shoulders). Men’s clothing was very European-inspired. Items consisting of trousers and shirts, and also the more traditional “sarape” (a blanketlike shawl often of brightly colored wool). During the Carnival, men wear the “Charro” outfit (referring to a traditional horseman, see image), which consists of the iconic sombrero.
The Igbo women of Nigeria traditionally wear wraps. Igbo men generally wear cotton wrappers, shirts, and sandals. The Yoruba people are renowned for their exquisite clothing, which symbolizes social status and wealth. Yoruba women wear Gele, a traditional cloth which they wrap around their heads. Agbada is a robe that men often wear over their clothes during formal events. A buba, which can be worn by both men and women is a loose blouse with long sleeves. Iros are long wrap-around skirts, and sokotos are loose trousers. Hausa-Fulani men wear a babban riga, which is equivalent to the agbada. They also wear a round cap called a fula, and women wear colorful wrappers called abaya. Western-style clothing is also very popular in Nigeria.
Dhoti worn with a kurta is the traditional Indian clothing for men. Dhoti is a piece of cloth that is tied around the waist and legs. The kurta is a long loose shirt that falls below or just above the knees. Men also wear sherwani, which is a long coat that is buttoned up to the collar, and falls below the knee. Turbans are headdresses that carry a lot of significance for Indians.
Women traditionally wear salwar kameez, which is commonly referred to as Punjabi suit. Sari (see image) is also one of the beautiful dresses traditionally worn by women in India.
As in each country, there are various types of traditional Chinese clothing. Traditional Han Chinese clothing (which became known as the Han Fu) refers to the clothing that the Han people used to wear. It consists of long gowns with a cross collar, wrapping the right layer over the left, no buttons, and loose wide sleeves.
The Chinese Suit (Tang Xhuang, see image) is usually straight collared, with coiled buttons, and is tailored in a Western manner but features chinese colors and designs.
The Chinese Tunic Suit (Zhongshan Zhuang), which is also called the Yat-sen Suit, has a turn-down collar and four pockets with flaps. Westerners call it the Mao suit, as Mao Zedong wore it quite frequently. It is still worn today by Chinese leaders.
Women’s traditional dresses include dvuprestilchena, a costume with two aprons, sukmanena, a type of gown, sayana, a dress with a slash in the front, and ednoprestilchena, a single-apron costume. All of these dresses are embellished with bright embroidery.
Men traditionally wear “white” and “black” costumes. The “white” one consists of a chemise, gashti (an inner pair of trousers), benevretsi (trousers with tight-fitting legs), dimii (tight or looser breeches, pants), poyas (wide girdle), belt and white top clothes. These clothes are embroidered and have gaytani (colored woolen braids) on the bosom, the chest, the sleeves, and the legs. These traditional outfits are generally worn during festivals and carnivals, to celebrate the nation.
Local Aborigines, Australia’s indigenous peoples, traditionally wore little clothing. They often had a vast selection of jewelry and accessories, from necklaces, to hair combs and headbands, to waistbands and belts, headdresses and masks. They usually wore clothes that reflected the elements of the landscape. In more rainforest-like areas cloth was beaten from the tree fibre, while in other areas, people used kangaroo skin as clothing.
Papua New Guinea
Each province of Papua New Guinea has its own traditional dress. Most traditional headdresses are made from the feathers of the bird of paradise, which is a main symbol of Papua New Guinea (it figures on the national flag). Traditional grass skirts are made from the bark of trees. When working indoors or in gardens, Papua New Guineans usually wear a simple apron, sometimes with a bark belt, and do not cover their heads. Face painting is a very popular tradition in Papua New Guinea. The patterns and colors are often remembered as the names of animals and plants. Additionally, men in the Iatmul area often have crocodile patterning on their skin made by scarification.