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    Abstract

    Medieval Indian Dress.—Mr. K. de B. Codrington contributes to the Indian Antiquary for August the first instalment of a study of medieval Indian culture as illustrated in the frescoes of the Ajanta Caves. The style of the frescoes, though mannered, is based on a minute observation of life; and there is no reason to doubt that the textiles, arms, and accoutrements are a faithful witness to vanished originals, except in the case of the frescoes of Buddha, of which the piled-up head-dresses and the jewelled necklaces never existed outside the tradition. With regard to chronology, four, or at most five, sequence styles can be detected, and the work is of the sixth and perhaps part of the seventh century, but certainly not later. Mr. Codrington here deals with costume and embroidery and textiles. It is usually said that cut and sewed garments were unknown in ancient India. Though this is borne out by the early sculpture at Bharhut and Sanchi, it does not apply to Ajanta. The indoor costume of the women consisted of a waist-cloth of varying length, usually supported by a beaded or jewelled belt. Occasionally a breast-cloth or scarf is worn. On other occasions a knee-length garment was worn, apparently slipped over the head, fitting tightly on the shoulders, and opening up on either side. With it was worn a long-sleeved waist-length bodice. The waist-cloth is the chief costume of the men, though the hunters and other forest people wear the small loin-cloth. A long-sleeved tunic to the knee is worn by soldiers and horsemen. Another type of jacket had short sleeves and ended at the waist. There are embroideries at the wrists, upper arm, and neck, and sometimes down the front. In some cases the dress seems to be a uniform. Here a waist-cloth is worn, but princes and heroes wear paijamas or tight-fitting ‘jodhpurs’. With these one prince wears scarlet leather slippers.

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    Research Items. Nature 126, 380–382 (1930). https://doi.org/10.1038/126380a0

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