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Putting on a traditional kasavu mundu with border

Set mundu is one of the traditional attires worn by the women of Kerala. It comprises of two long pieces of cloth worn in the form of a sari. They are cream coloured. 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. Sometimes it has gold brocade along the edges known as ‘kasavu’. Sometimes this gold brocade is laced with ordinary cotton thread of contrasting bright colours known as ‘kasavu kara’ (brocade border), which is worn by the woman shown in this video.

Usually, set mundu with ‘kasavu’ or with ‘kasavu kara’ used to be worn by people on ceremonial occasions. Otherwise, people prefer to wear ‘mundu’ without ‘kasavu’, or with ‘kara’ only. 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 related to new year etc. Interestingly people now prefer to wear casual wears like ‘churidar’ and ‘shirts and pants’ on most of the occasions, which allow easy handling and free movement of the limbs unlike ‘mundu’.