(Black and White)
Shwe Koako, Karen State
Jean de La Tour
Website: Designed, Built and written by Paul Keenan
There are a lot of Karen dresses for Karen women. People weave white, green, blue, red, yellow, black long and short dresses with many different colors.
people have many different types of traditions regarding dress. Costume is very
important for us. Our costume is very pretty, they have dignity and many other ethnic
nationalities like to wear it. All the costumes have different meanings. Our
ancestors wanted other people to recognize us and they made a sign when they
A long time ago there were no factories, people
planted cotton, made the cotton to become thread and they always hand weaved it.
Now there are many machines to produce clothes so many people have sadly,
forgotten how to weave.
(Say Moe Wah)
kinds of dress people weave all of it white, with no flowering. Usually people
wear this dress are eastern mountain Karen. This dress is woven very long and
white. People wear it beginning when they are children until they are teenagers.
Eastern mountain women who wear this are single or unmarried, If people get
married they do not wear it anymore.
Sewn dress (Say Sa Paw)
weave this kind of dress with all black thread. People sew flowers on this dress
with different colors. The hem is decorated by lacing thread. Most People wear
this dress in plains areas and who believe in animist traditions. They wear
it for a wedding ceremony, Karen New Year, or to recall spirits.
dress (Say Moe Thu)
woven with black thread, the hem of the neck and arms they lace the thread and
set it. Some people cut the clothes like a pagoda and head cock. They also wear
it in wedding ceremony, Karen New Year, and to recall spirits.
dress (Say La)
weaving, the thread is dyed green. They sew the hem of the neck and the arms with
red lacing thread. Under the neck and the arms they sew rice. This dress is
mostly worn in Western Mountain areas. People often wear this dress from
childhood until they become old.
dress (Say Sa Kee)
kind of dress is simple. You can choose any colors, as you like. People decorate
it with flowers. The flowers are like mountains, ocean waves, barns, fish bones,
and chicken foot marks.
Karen men wear white and red clothes. People wear red clothes mostly in the Delta and the plains. Eastern mountain Karen people also wear red 'Say p'lo' they pull out the long threads which hangs from the side.
woven strand of red and one strand of white. In the half of the middle they weave
strand and they make flowers. They do not pull the thread out. The hem of the
neck and the arms they lace the thread and sew it.
whole costume is white. The hem of the arms and the middle they make with
strands then the lower part they sew flowers. This dress also does not have
thread outside. The hem of the neck and the arms they take round flowers seeds
and lace. Then they sew it.