A Muslim funeral procession, and some Hindu costumes

Source: ebay, Mar. 2006

"Order of figures: Fig. 1. Burial of a Moslem, 2,6. Istrivechnou Brahmin, an official in the Vishnu pagodas and his wife - Vishnu sect, 3. Wife of Brahmin astrologer, 4. Brahmin Tattouvadi - Shiva sect, 5. Pauper, Sattania caste - Vishnu sect.

The Hindu population of South Asia comprises about 2,000 castes whose members wear clothes and ornaments that clearly indicate their caste.  Here are some of the principal features of upper-class Hindu and Muslim  dress: Men's costumes  consisted of the jamah, a long-sleeved coat that reached to the knees or below and was belted  in with a sash, and wide trousers known as isar. These garments and the farji, a long, gownlike coat with short sleeves, which was worn by priests,  scholars, and high officials, were made of cotton or wool, silk being forbidden to men by the Qur`an. Somewhat modified, these traditional styles  continue to be worn by upper-class men of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Women's garments, dictated by the Muslim conquerors, consisted of wide-topped trousers snugly fitted around the calves of the legs, a long shirtlike  garment, and a short, fitted outer jacket. Silk was not forbidden to women; and highborn women, forced to spend their lives in seclusion, devoted  much time and money to their costumes. The Mughal emperor Akbar's Rajput wives, inspired by the profusion of luxurious fabrics available in  India, designed a graceful new style of dress, which Muslim women adopted forthwith. This costume consisted of an open-front pleated skirt, or   ghaghra, worn with a long apronlike panel over the front opening, and a short-sleeved, breast-length blouse called a coli. The ghaghra and coli  continue to be basic elements of Muslim women's dress, the loose front panel replaced by the traditional sari, which is worn as an overgarment, one  end draped around the hips, the other carried up over the shoulder or head.