April 14, 2017
The Sherpa costume has a remarkable value in the Sherpa society. The various costumes the Sherpa's wear for different occasions denote the different meanings.
Traditionally, male Sherpa's wear a warm ankle-length woolen gown called Chyuba, which is bound around the waist by a long kara (sash). Chyuba's upper portion forms a large pouch while they pull it up at their waist and bind around the waist.
In the past, Chyubas were made from handmade woolen strips of white sheep wool. Later on, they started dying the wool into black and brown. Men pull their chyubas up to the knee-length and often withdraw their arm from the right sleeve. Sherpa's wear the garments such as bure tetung, a short worn under the chyuba.
Sherpa's use kara, a sash made of raw silk. They wear head garment called syomung - Chhiring Kingab on the special social occasion. The se-zha is a flat hat worn during the festive occasions. Wa-zha, a warm hat made up of fur is worn by traders and yak herders. Kho-dzin, traditional boots are made from woolen clothes with leather soles. Likewise, shang-zin, another type of boot containing woolen cord soles, is worn only by the male Sherpa's.
Nowadays, only few numbers of Sherpa's wear traditional costumes. Young Sherpa's are used to foreign clothes such as down-jackets, jeans, sweaters, shirts, pants and sport shoes. However, the Sherpa's prefer traditional dresses while paying visit to the Lamas and participating in the religious, social or festive occasion like wedding and Lhosar.
Sherpa women wear a sleeveless long woolen gown called aungi. Over the aungi, especially the married women wear striped woolen aprons on their front (dongtil) and back (gyaotil). The corners of the front aprons worn on festive occasions are often decorated with brocade patches while the rest of the common aprons are worn to cheat the cold. Over the festive cloths, women wear a long coat (aungi tangtza) with panels of wool and brocade. A newer style of festive hat Chhiring Kingab, a high crowned brocade hat with four fur-lined flaps, is worn by both Sherpa men and women.
Sherpa women wear a small diamond-shaped hat called mo-shya and shoes called kacha. There are mainly three types of kacha such as syangsen, kosen and kwa-kacha. Syangjen is made up of leather and colorful strings which is worn by bride and bridegroom's mother and rich people. Kosen is made of leather and wool which is worn in the cold season and cold places.