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Set mundu with kasavu, a conventional women's wear

Set mundu is one of the traditional attires worn by the women of Kerala. It is two pieces of cloth in the form of a sari with cream colour. Their wearing takes much care and complication.

Set mundu is worn with a blouse. The accompanying outfits include jasmine garland on the hair and golden ornaments on the neck and wrists for the formal occasions. Set mundu has many varieties. A variety of set mundu has brocade along the edges known as ‘kasavu’, which is worn by the woman as shown in this video. Sometimes this golden brocade is laced with ordinary cotton thread of contrasting bright colours known as ‘kasavu kara’(border).

Usually, set mundu with ‘kasavu’ used to be worn by people on ceremonial occasions. Otherwise, people prefer to wear ‘mundu’ without ‘kasavu’. These are comparatively cheaper.

These days the wearing of such traditional dresses are limited to certain occasions like ‘keralappiravi’, birthday of the state (November 1st), Hindu marriage functions and celebrations relatied to new year etc. Interestingly people now prefer to wear casual wears like ‘churidar’ and ‘shirt and pants’ on most of the occasions, which allows easier handling and free movement of the limbs than ‘mundu’.