Oriental Costumes
Their Designs and Colors

by Max Tilke

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Velvet kaftan of an Avar woman.

The cut is similar to that of the archaluk or beshmet. Hem and seams are decorated with gold braid. Ornamental enamel-work pendants are attached to the bodice seams.

Orig. in the Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 66 S.-E. CAUCASUS.
Udin woman's shirt-garment and divided skirt.

Both garments are typical underwear of the S.-E. Caucasus. They are made of calico.

Origs. in the Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 67


Plate 68

Lesghian overcoat from Kubátshi.

The garment is made of strong blue-black woollen material cut in the Persian manner. The long sleeves, which are slit at ends, and only loosely sewn together underneath, usually hang down from back, or are folded together behind. Gold braiding is used as trimming. The lining--only in body piece and sleeves--is flowered calico.

Cartridge cases are not sewn on over the chest. Instead of these the Lesghians carry a leather cartridge-case slung from a string over the shoulder.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

[Page 21]

Plate 69 S.-E. CAUCASUS.
Lesghian jacket (archaluk or beshmet) from Kubátshi.

The beshmet is made of cotton. It is quilted like most of these garments. The trousers are of coarse woollen material and cut in the Persian fashion.

Lamb's skin cap ("papache").

The high black leather boots of the Lesghians have long sole points bent upwards, and the heels are iron shod.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 70 S.-W.CAUCASUS.
Armenian woman's kaftan from Achalzich.

This kaftan is made of striped wool interwoven with silk. The lining is ramie. Long, so-called, "false sleeves" are meant to simulate an undergarment of. another colour. The edges of the sleeves are dentated. On them gold cord is sewn, as is als o on the Armenian apron worn over the kaftan.

Red cap with long silk tassel worn by Armenian women in Achalzich.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 71 S.-W.CAUCASUS.
Armenian woman's shirt from Artwin.

This skirt is similar in cut and use to the Turkish djubbeh. It is of red velvet, lined with flowered calico and trimmed with gold cord and green facings.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 72 S.-W.CAUCASUS.
Armenian woman's under-jacket from Achalzich.

This jacket, which shows the shape of the Turkish mintan, is made of damask and trimmed with gold cord. The sleeves are made to button at the end in the Persian-Kurdish fashion and provided with a triangular point.

Women's trousers from Achalzich.

They are made of striped cotton interwoven with silk

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis

Plate 73 S.-W.CAUCASUS.
Armenian woman's shirt garment from the Nachitsev district near Erivan.

This garment is chiefly of red taffeta. Those parts that are covered by the over-garment and are not visible, such as lower part of neck and upper arm, are replaced by cotton for the sake of economy. Gold braid along slit over breast.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

[Page 22]

Short underu-jackets called tshepks.

Of richly braided cloth with open pendant sleeves. They are worn by Kavasses in Syria, and by Kurds in Erivan over the mintan or the striped sleeve-vests. The dark red jacket is lined with olive green velvet. The area of distribution of the jackets reaches from W. Persia to the Balkan Peninsula.

Wide cloth trousers.

The cut of the trousers is slanting. They are richly ornamented with gold cords; and are part of the dress of a Kurd from the district of Erivan. The same trousers are also worn in Syria.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Sleeve-vest (mintan) of a Turk from Kars and of a Kurd from Erivan.

Such vests are worn under the blue Turkish cloth jacket, under the salta, or under the tshepke.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus. Tiflis.

Kurd winter coat. Mashla type.

This coat is shaped like the aba to which square sleeves have been added. It is made of a carpet-like fabric made of sheep's wool with long hair on the inside. This material is also often used to make the black Caucasian burka. The opening in front can be fastened over the upper part of the chest by means of strings and knots. Usually blue cords as employed in Turkey are used as ornamentation.

At sides two fur-caps around which many multicoloured and black lengths of cloth are wound like a turban.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Jeziden woman's dress; red velvet with apron and breast-bib.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus.. Tiflis

Plate 79 S. CAUCASUS.
Jacket (gedjalyk) and trousers (shalvar) of an Aissor.

These are made of gray-black, hard, loosely woven woollen material. The seams are embroidered with yellow and green silk threads. The sleeves, open below, are lined with red calico. Aissor woven material is 26--28 cm wide and has a crease running down the middle which looks as though it had been ironed in. This probably originates in the making.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

[Page 23]

Aissor and Kurd over-jackets and shirt.

The peculiar sleeveless over-jackets are made of thickly felted woven woollen material, and are about, 1 cm thick. For this reason, only the outer edges can be sewn together. These thick stuffs have also a crease as mentioned in connection with Pl. 74.

The shirt is of ramie ("sitar"), and has pointed, pendant sleeves which, if in the way, are wrapped round the waist or buttoned at the ends behind the back.

The Aissores and Kurds wear felt caps which are wrapped around with black and coloured cloth.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 81 PERSIA.
An aba from Ardebil, Azerbijan.

This mantle is made of stout brown woollen stuff interwoven with gold threads. The front part (not shown on Pl.) corresponds to the makeup of the aba on Pl. 31. The ornamentation on back (shown on Pl.) is peculiar in its position on sides. This is not a Persian peculiarity. The aba is often decorated in this manner in other parts of the Near East.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.

Plate 82 PERSIA.

The Persian shirt is characterized by the side slit running down from neck-opening

Persian trousers, mostly made of black or blue stuffs, consists of two straight legs with a gusset-like enlargement of seat.

The head of a young Persian shows favourite manner of dressing the hair which is covered by the "kula", lamb's-wool cap, or a dome-like felt cap.

Origs. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.


The Persian overcoat, like the Caucasian jacket, which originated from the former, is a combined jacket and overcoat. It is usually made of natural colour camel-wool and ornamented with dark cords.

Orig. in Caucasus Mus., Tiflis.


The Afghan shirt is characterized by a wide opening for the neck which can be buttoned on both sides. It belongs to the Persian-Sassanid type (cf. Pls. 92; 28, and 16).

Lambskin jacket with the shouder seam ("nimsha"; neemcha according to Rattrey) is worn with the fleece inside. It is ornamented with floss-silk embroidery.

Cap, quilted gold brocade, lined with red calico. The large turban is wound round the cap.

Origs. in Private coil.

[Page 24]


Trousers (460 cm wide) shown on this plate are not even the widest worn in Afghanistan. They are fitted in folds to the waist by knitted silk band. They are usually of white muslin or shirting material. But blue striped cotton stuffs are also used .

Orig. in a private coll.

Afridi woman's shirt garment.

The material of this shirt is strong wool dyed a deep indigo colour. The ornaments are painted on the garment with yellow, red, and grey wax which readily adheres to the material. The grey stripes are powdered with mica. Both sides of the garment, excepting a small triangular piece in back, are decorated in the same manner.

Orig. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Plate 87 CASHMERE.
Sikh prince's coat, Lahore:

This garment is made of Cashmere wool. The lining is raspberry colour and green taffeta, the selvedge, being of another colour, is also used as decoration. The ornamentation consists of a fine gold cord sewn (not embroidered) onto the cloth. The shoulder seam is strongly pronounced. Rather tight silk trousers, dyed crimson with white stripes, are worn with this suit.

The turban is made of fine muslin and provided with an interwoven gold edge. An aigrette of black heron feathers is stuck in the turban and fastened in its folds.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Plate 88 CASHMERE.
Upper garment of a member of the upper-classes.

The decorations of this coat made of green Cashmere wool are quite similar to that of the garment on last plate. Here too the shoulder seam is pronounced.

Orig. in a private coll.

Camel-wool over-garment, "tshoga".

The Punjab tshoga is reminiscent of the shape of Turkestan garments. It always has a shoulder seam. Plaited silk cords are attached to slit over breast to close garment.

in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

[Page 25]

Plate 90 PUNJAB.
Man's shirt, Cashmere.

It is made of ramie. The opening for neck is Persian in shape. (cf. Pl. 82). Man's trousers, Cashmere. Wide shape.

Orig. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Woman's garment, Cashmere.

These garments are made of diagonally woven Cashmere wool, braided and embroidered. Underclothing: shirts made of shirting, but same shape, and also embroidered with black threads.

Cashmere women, as well as men, wear rather tight trousers. They are always striped, and made of silk or cotton.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Plate 92 INDIA.
Woman's shirt, Benares?

Made of fine light cotton material patterned by the favourite tying and dyeing method. The triangular ornamentation below opening for neck consists of silk embroidery in conjunction with little pieces of red cloth and small round chips of looking-glass. The opening for neck has same shape as those in Afghanistan (cf. Pl. 84).

Orig. in a private coil.

Plate 93 INDIA.
Women's and girls' dresses.

Child's dress made of shot taffeta and embroidered with red floss-silk. Hyderabad, Sindh. Small jacket ("tsholi") for Baluchistan women. Punjab. Wedding jacket for Hindu country women. Punjab. Child's shirt ("khurti"), shirting. Multan. Khurti for festival occasions, rough cotton. Printed and painted in white water colours. The ornamentation is supposed to imitates a garment drawn over the khurti (cf. P1. 12). Small jacket for country women in Bikaner, Rajpootana. The material is rough cotton. Cotton threads and small chips of looking-glass are used for embroidery.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Plate 94 INDIA.
Hindu jacket. Ancient Mongolian shape; light cotton material.

Dhoti. A cotton cloth; selvedge (often coloured); worn by Indians as loin-cloth or puttee.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

[Page 26]

Plate 95 INDIA.
Angarkha, Bahawalpur.

The angarkha is the national Indian dress. It is usually made of white muslin to suit the climate. But it is also made of calico, silk or woollen material of various colours.

Our plate shows the three parts of which the angarkha consists: In the middle: back piece; left: right front side which is tied over the left front side. Arm-pit holes are left open.

Orig. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

Plate 96 INDIA.
Suit, Bahawalpur.

The jacket is shaped like a shortened angarkha. The upper corner of the chest flap can be buttoned at side of neck. The wide trousers, as well as the jacket, are made of ramie and remind one of the straight Persian shape, which have a curved piece at the fork. Such garments are much worn in the country extending from Lucknow to Bengal.

Origs. in Berlin Ethnogr. Mus.

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