Here are a few of the traditional dresses of Maldives that are unique to the island that you will find men and women sporting around-
Women's Traditional Dress of Maldives
1. Dhivehi LibaasDhivehi Libaas, the traditional Maldives dress adorned by women is unique to the island boasting its embroidery techniques. It is all about highlighting the embroideries which are called Kasabu Viyun. They usually surround the neckline or sometimes on the dress borders. They are undoubtedly beautiful designs. They look best when weaved on bright fabrics. There are kurtas and long dresses which behold the embroideries. Kasabu viyun is nothing but gold and silver laced weavings pasted on a patch of clothing attached to Dhivehi Libaas.
One can see these traditional dresses of Maldives being widely worn in local islands and the city of Male. Dhivehi libaas is worn with an underskirt called feyli. It is best matched with it. Feyli is black or dark blue wrap-around which has a border at the bottom with different types of stripes. With the evolution of this piece of apparel, the original black lines have been replaced by gold and silver to match best with the libaas.
These dresses are widely worn during ceremonial occasions and dance performances. Dhivehi libaas is a little difficult to purchase as you have to get it tailored, but you can find it at some traditional dress shops and souvenir shops of Maldives.
2. Dhigu HedhunAlso treated as the national dress of Maldives, it serves an essential purpose in representing the island's identity. This apparel is a gown made with lace. It is elegant, made to fit the body contours well. The charm of the outfit lies in the elegance it reflects when it is worn. It is a lace creation, but with evolution, other textiles are also used. They are worn at important occasions such as formal and national functions. However, simpler versions of it are worn regularly by traditional ladies of the island. They are not as elaborate as the party Dhigu Hedhun outfits. They are worn along with minimal ornaments.
3. Hedhun BuriAnother traditional dress of Maldives is the Hedhun Buri. It was a daily-wear outfit in the earlier era. The young women of Maldives commonly wear this dress, especially at festivals and dance programs. The costume consists of long shimmery jacquard blouses with wrap-around skirts to pair with. They often come with headbands matching with blouses. The attire is classy and beautiful. The skirts are worn with matching coloured skirts. It is an accurate representation of the Maldivian tradition. The outfits are rare to find, and if you get a hold of them, they are usually available in souvenir shops, or you have to get them tailor-made.
4. BurqaDue to Arabic influence in Maldives, women wear black robes and headscarves. They are worn mainly by their community, and one can identify them by their attire. It is out of religious respect that women continue to wear black robes and cover their heads. Not all those who wore Burqas adhered to the etiquette that went along with the traditional attire. They are worn with evolved and fashionable robes and scarves.
Men's Traditional Dresses of Maldives
5. MunduMen’s traditional dress of Maldives are simpler. They sport Mundu which is a long cloth wrapped around their waist, usually blue with white stripes. They are very similar to Feyli- that which is worn under Dhivehi Libaas. It is matched with either a white long or short-sleeved shirt. The men usually wore this simple attire, mostly weaved in cotton fabrics. The Mundu is a smart, and light wear clothing piece.
Along with Mundu, they usually wrapped their heads at times to cover their heads, either out of religious culture or to keep their heads protected from the scorching heat.
These traditional dresses of Maldives uphold Maldivian culture and customs. It is a true reflection of their history and traditions. It is sporadic that the attires have carried forward since aeons and stayed close to the hearts of the people. If you take a trip to this eye-catching and spell-bounding island, make sure to get your hands on their traditional dresses and take back home some as souvenirs and keepsakes for yourself. You are bound to look charming after wearing these outfits. Don’t miss out on them!