Ethnic clothing trends in Kalash valley

By A. H. Khan

Clothing and clothing styles are a significant part of every society. You not only get lifted through the clothing you choose but also get identified by it as well. If you observe the people around you, you will surely realize the fact that people near you are being recognized on the way they dress up.

For instance, if you see someone wearing an Abaya, you will right away claim that person to be a Muslim. Do you know why this mentality has developed? Because we have started giving the tags to the people. This is some cases can be bad but, in some cases, can play a beneficial role for us as well. Through the dressing styles, we can get to know which country or tribe that person belongs to. This can sometimes create so much ease for us and we can keep our attitude in a certain way with them.

Different tribes and societies have their way of living and dressing up. They represent their culture through it and keep their roots alive in front of the whole world. There will be the people with hijab outfits, with long robes, with jewellery and so much more all depicting their culture. If you consider the Kalash community and then compare them to other cities of Pakistan, you will see a clear difference. This is not because they have different facial features or complexion. This is because they have adopted a certain type of clothing which helps people differentiate them from the rest of the world.


Clothing represents culture

There exist hundreds and hundreds of cultures all over the world. Sometimes you will find hundreds of cultures in only one country. All of them want to portray them different from the rest of the world. In this case, they find their clothing style a good approach for their identification by the rest of the people. Although the main purpose of clothing is body protection from harsh weather conditions like heat or cold now it depicts so much more than that. With the development of the world, there arouse a lot of other progressions as well. Where these included technological advances, the clothing styles became a part as well. In this way, people started bringing more and more innovation to the way they dress up so that they may get their individuality as a society or a nation. Contrary to now, the clothing symbolizes economic, political and cultural status as well.

Kalash community has a very unique style of clothing sense which they depict. If you happen to visit their area once in your life, you will see that most of the women wear a certain type of clothing with a traditional cap and braids hanging down their shoulders. The people of Kalash valley wear long robes. Different textures can be worn which may include tat of cotton and wool.


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