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  Tibetan Costume  

The Tibetan people always take great pride in their dress and the accessories they wear. This is evident in the heavy and well-preserved dresses passed down across generations and still shining on happy Tibetans, as well as the devotion of tailors and peddlers to their traditional dress. The short article here describes the traditional Tibetan dresses.

Robe and Belt

Typical Tibetan clothes are made of sheepskin or wool. It is usually home-made by man. In the agriculture area the wool will be made 'pulu' first. Then the `pulu' or sheepskin will be made into a gown with cloth or silk exterior cover called `qugba. In the grassland, sheepskin is common. A sheepskin will be sun baked and then cleaned. It will be soaked for a few days in the liquid of milk after butter is extracted. Then it is ready for men to tailor.

The Tibetan robes, which serve as blankets at night, are very long and are worn down to the knees with the extra length tucked and held up by a waistband or belt. The robe produces two large pockets, one in front and another at the back, for people to carry things, including baby. When it is hot in the daytime, Tibetans will undress the right arms to disperse heat. If it is even hotter, then one may undress both arms and tie the sleeves around the waist.

For good clothes, the collar and hem are made of special materials. For man, the collar is sometimes made of leopard belt, fox belt. For woman, the collar is made of red cloth or several strips of bright colored cloths or corduroys. For hem, otter belt and silk will do.

It is necessary to have belt to tie up the Tibetan dress. Usually the belt is made of red, yellow or light green (young female may use pink) silk. The belt is well decorated. Man hangs flint box, needle box and Tibetan knife on it. Woman hangs copper or silver hook with butterfly and water lily designs.

The belt is usually around the waist twice and then is tied behind with a knot. For a person in mourning of the dear ones, the knot is tied in front.


It may snow in any day. To protect oneself, felt hat and felt clothes are necessary. The sleeves of felt clothes are longer than the finger tips which will allow a rider to grasp the whip warmly inside.


There are many different hats in Tibet. Traditionally, Tibetans have 'golden flowered hat', English felt hat, etc. In the summer, people wear heavy woolen hat, in the spring, felt hat, in the winter, fox belt hat or kid belt hat. The noble women use to wear headpieces called 'bazhug' which are decorated with pearl, coral and precious stones, and a chest ornament called 'keu'. Now they are common.


There are many different styles of shoes, 'songba', 'jialou' and 'duozha'. The Tibetan shoes are open from rear and tied from rear. On the grassland, Tibetans like knee-high long boots. It is made of ox skin or 'pulu'.


It is popular for Tibetan women to wear aprons. There are two kinds of aprons wide stripes ones and narrow stripes ones. The wide stripes one is with contrast, bright colors, as beautiful as rainbows. The narrow stripes one is with harmonic colors, elegant and graceful.


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