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Ceremonial KALASH headdress (kupas), Chitral area, Northwest Pakistan

Ceremonial KALASH headdress (kupas), Chitral area, Northwest Pakistan

$95.00


Circa late 20th century. Hand embroidered, hand-woven wool, cowrie shells, metal bells, blue beads. 

Description below from Powerhouse Museum Collection website, Australia

The ceremonial headdress, kupas is attached to the shushut, a band encircling the head and is "part of the traditional dress still worn by Kalash women in the isolated valleys of Northwest Pakistan. Kalash women still dress mainly in their traditional style although the men have mostly adopted modern Pakistani attire. The women wear a long black dress decorated with braid or embroidery, a shushut and a large number of bead necklaces. The kupas, which is worn over the shushut on ceremonial occasions.

All women's clothing in the Kalash area is made by the women themselves, from weaving the wool and cotton to dyeing, embroidery and applied decoration. The wool cloth they use is woven from the fleece of local sheep and dyed brown with walnuts. Beads and other ornaments for application to their clothing are acquired from Peshawar traders who exchange them for locally-grown walnuts.

The Kalash people are a small and dwindling group of non-Muslims who inhabit the Rumbur, Birir and Bumburet valleys of Northwest Pakistan. The Kalash of Pakistan are animists who worship goats and scrape a living by subsistence farming. Many are now converting to Islam and are prohibited from returning to their old traditional ways.

Only some 3000 strong, the small Kalash communities have managed to retain their ancient traditions and religion. While the men have largely adopted modern Pakistani dress of shalwar kemeez, the women still mainly dress in traditional Kalash style, in long black woollen dresses ornamented with yellow embroidery (now more often applied braid) and beads.

Read more: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=343241#ixzz4Bu8i4PxU
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial