Traditional Costumes In Maldives – Going Native

The thousand or so islands that comprise the Republic of Maldives are situated in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, some four hundred kilometres south-west of India. While currently a popular tourist destination whose identity has been inextricably linked to pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, Maldives is much more than just a beach resort island. The island nation has had a long and colourful history, and while the local culture is a blend of the customs and traditions of immigrants from countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Arabia, it manages to be unique and distinct from its individual components. Tourists interested in learning more about the local culture have to look no further than the island’s traditional costumes.

The traditional costumes of Maldives are quite simple. Men wear sarongs (a length of clothing wrapped around the waist) with a long sleeved shirt, which is invariably white. Cotton is the preferred fabric due to the island’s tropical weather. The traditional dress for women is called libaas. The costume, which resembles a dress, is typically worn during special occasions, festivals and during dance performances. They are usually adorned with gold or silver coloured threads, and the best ones are hand stitched. In addition to looking nice the costumes make excellent souvenirs.

Foreigners can also learn more about local culture by watching performances of traditional music and dance. The indigenous music is called boduberu, and is dance music performed by a fifteen-person band, including a lead singer. There is also thaara music which is performed by a twenty two-person band. There are numerous traditional dances such as the bolimalaafath neshun, the maafathi neshun (which is only performed by women), fathigandu jehan (which is performed by men) and bundiyaa jehun or pot dance.

Tourists looking for Maldives luxury hotels with a good beach will enjoy staying at the Anantara Dhigu Maldives. The Maldives resort is situated on Dhigufinolhu Island and has a multitude of facilities for various water sports such as surfing, parasailing and kite surfing. It also has a divine spa for guests who would prefer less activity and more relaxation.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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