A sarong or sarung (pronounced|ˈsaɾoŋ in Malay, and IPAEng|səˈrɒŋ in English) is a large sheet of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn as a
skirtby men and women throughout much of south Asiaand southeast Asia, the Horn of Africa, and on many Pacific islands. The fabric is often brightly coloured or printedwith intricate patterns, often depicting animals or plants, checkered or geometric patterns, or resembling the results of tie dying. Sarongs are also used as wall hangings and other forms of clothing, such as shawls, baby carriers, complete dresses or upper body clothing.
The dyeing technique of
batikis associated with sarong production.
In strict usage, "sarong" [Malay, "sheath"] denotes the lower garment worn by the Malay people, both men and women. This consists of length of fabric about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards long. In the center of this sheet, across the narrower width, a panel of contrasting color or pattern about one foot wide is woven or dyed into the fabric, which is known as the "kepala" or "head" of the sarong. This sheet is stitched at the narrower edges to form a tube. One steps into this tube, brings the upper edge above the level of the navel (the hem should be level with the ankles), positions the "kepala" at the center of the back, and folds in the excess fabric from both sides to the front center, where they overlap and secures the sarong by rolling the upper hem down over itself. Malay men wear sarongs woven in a check pattern; women wear sarongs dyed in the
batikmethod, with, for example, flower motifs, and in brighter colors. The sarong is common wear for women, in formal settings with a " kebaya" blouse. Malay men wear sarongs in public only when attending Friday prayers at the mosque, but sarongs remain very common casual wear at home for men and women of all races and religions in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysiaand Singapore.
Sarongs are widespread in the South
Indian state of Kerala, where they are called mundu, as well as in Tamil Nadu, where they are called Saremor Veshti, or Lungi (worn by Muslims) and are usually worn at home. Unlike the brightly coloured Southeast Asian sarongs, the Kerala variety ( Mundu ) is more often plain white and is worn for ceremonial or religious purposes. In Kerala the brightly coloured sarongs are called Kaily and the white ones are called mundu. The more formal, all-white Dhoti, is worn for formal and religious occasions. There are also dresses based on mundu which can be worn by women, however they more commonly wear sari. Sri Lanka
Sarongs are very common in
Sri Lanka, and worn only by men. It is the standard garment for most men in rural and even some urban communities. However, most men of upper social classes (whose public attire is trousers) wear the sarong only as a convenient night garment, or only within the confines of the house. Statistically, the number of people wearing sarong as their primary public attire, are on the decline in Sri Lanka; the reason being that Sarong carries the stigma of being the attire for less educated lower social classes. However, there is a trend towards adopting sarong either as a fashionable garment [http://www.travelsrilanka.com/index.cfm?PAGE=1176] , or as a formal garment worn with national pride, only in special occasions. Political and social leaders of Sri Lanka whom want to portray their humility and closeness to 'common man' and also their nationalism, choose a variation of the sarong nicknamed the ‘National’ as their public attire. Somalia
Sarongs are ubiquitous in
Somalia. Referred to as "macawiis", they are worn by both nomadic and urban Somali men. Sarongs first arrived in Somalia a couple of centuries ago via trade with the Southeast Asian islands and the Indian subcontinent. Prior to the 1940's, most macawiis were made of cotton. However, since the industrialization of the market for sarongs, they now come in many different fabrics and combinations thereof, including polyester, nylonand silk. Designs vary greatly and range from checkered square motifs with watermarked diamonds to simple geometric lines. The one constant is that they tend to be quite colorful; black macawiis are rare. Sarongs in Somalia are worn around the waist, and folded several times over to secure their position. They are typically sold pre-sewn as one long circular stretch of cloth, though some vendors offer to sew them as a value-addedservice. Western World
In North America and Europe, the fabric of the sarong is generally quite light, often
rayon, and may feature decorative fringing on two sides. They may also have ties, which are long thin strips of fabric used to assist the wearer in holding the sarong to his body so it does not fall off while moving around. In North America and Europe, sarongs are often used by women as a cover-up over swimwear.
ecuring as a garment
Numerous tying methods exist to hold a sarong to the wearer's body. In some cases, these techniques customarily differ according to the gender of wearer. If a sarong has ties, they may be used to hold it in place. If no ties exist, a pin may be used, the fabric may be tightly tucked under itself in layers, the corners of the main sheet may be around the body and knotted, or a belt may be used to hold the sarong in place.
The basic garment known in English most often as a "sarong", sewn or unsewn, has analogs in many regions, where it shows variations in style and is known by different names.
*In Eastern Africa, it is called either a kanga (worn only by African women), or a kikoi (traditionally worn by African men). Kangas are brightly coloured lengths of
cottonthat incorporate elaborate and artistic designs and usually include the printing of a Swahili proverb along the hem. Kikois are also made from cotton, but the fabric is heavier than that of the kanga and their designs are much simpler, usually consisting of a single colour with striped borders along the edges.
Madagascarit is called a lamba.
Malawiit is called a chitenje.
Mauritiusthey are called pareos.
Mozambiqueit is called a capulana.
South Africait is called a kikoi and commonly used as a furniture throw or for going to the beach.
Zimbabwethey are known as Zambias.
South Asiait is called a lungi. It is most often sewn into a large cylindrical shape, so there is no slit when the lungi is tied.
Indiasimilar articles of clothing are the dhoti(or dhuti in West Bengali, veshti in Tamil, pancha in Telugu,panche in Kannadaand Munduin Malayalam).
* In the
Maldives, and Indian state of Kerala, it is known as a munduor neriyathu.
* In Punjab it is a called maylee when worn by a man, and a gamcha when worn by a woman.
* In Sinhalese, it is known as the Sarama
Cambodiait is known as sampotsuhrong, or simply suhrong.
Indonesiait is known as a kain sarung ('sarong cloth').
Malaysiait is known as a kain, kain pelikat, kain sarung, or kain sampin (specialised sarong worn by men with Baju Melayu).
Myanmar, it is known as a longyi.
* In the
Philippinesit is also known as a malong.
Fijiit is known as a sulu.
Hawaiiit is referred to by the Anglicized Tahitian name, pareo.
Papua New Guineathe Tok-Pisinterm is lap-lap. Worn by men and women.
Rotuma, it is known as a "hạ' fạli"
Samoait is known as a lavalava(also lava-lava).
Tahitiit is known as a pāreu.
Tongait is known as tupenu.
The sarong in motion pictures
The American public is most familiar with the sarong for the dozens of
motion picturesset in the South Seas, most of them romantic dramas made in the 1930s and 1940's. Dorothy Lamouris by far the actress most linked with the garment, starring in multiple films of this genre, starting with "The Hurricane" in 1937. In fact, Lamour was nicknamed "The Sarong Girl" by the press and even wore a sarong on occasion in more traditional films. Among the other actresses to don the sarong for film roles are Maria Montez, Gilda Gray, Myrna Loy, Gene Tierney, Frances Farmerand Movita. Male stars who wore the manly sarongs on film include Jon Hall, Ray Milland, Tyrone Power, Robert Preston, Sabu Dastagirand Ralph Fiennes(in The Constant Gardener (film)). The sarong was also worn by Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair.
Kanga (African garment)
Sarong party girl
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