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Sikh women attire in puratan times???


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I know that salvar-kameez came in punjabi culture with influence of muslim punjabi culture.

But i wanted to know - what sikh woman used to wear in guru maharaj's time??

There are few pictures sikher posted one of them- sikhni was wearing keski, jewellery as well- ghagra as her outfit.

so were they used to ghagra or chola with pyjami???

Note: This is not a debate if sikh women should wear jewellery, chola, ghagra or not..i m simply asking what was it like in guru maharaj's time??

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There are very few examples of old punjabi female portraiture - In my family up until the 1950s unmarried women were not allowed to have their photos taken - a mixture of patriarchial Society and fear for Family Izzat if the photos got into the 'wrong' hands !!!

There are very few depictions of the Gurus' wifes - Only BeBe Nanaki seems to be favourite subject for portraits - Sikh women apart from depictions of Rani Jind Kaur don't seem to 'exist' when you look at portraits !

So an analysis of dress is quite hard to do - Nonetheless a few examples do exist ;

Here is a portrait of Bibi Bhani - The wife of Guru Ram Das from the 18th Century - in Jaipur style from the collection of Bhai Suchet Singh - Vill. Bhai Rupa, Moga

It shows Bibi Bhani wearing what appears to be a Ghagra.

bhani2rf.png

*taken from The Sikh Heritage - Dr Daljeet -2004

This picture is titled as 'Singhani' - Sikh woman soldier - it is from the early 20th century - she is wearing salwar kameez

sikhni6hq.png

*taken from Dr Daljeet 2004

This picture is from a sketch by Keher Singh - court painter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - It shows 2 ladies with what could be Keskis - or could be high Top Knots - They are wearing salwar kameez and thin dupattas.

keherkeski2ia.png

*taken from Marg - Vol XXX 3 June 1977

This document is a quote from Giani Gian Singh's Panth Prakash.

It documents when Baghel Singh walked unopposed into the Red Fort Delhi in 1783 - The Singhs were accompanied by their Singhnis - their dress is described - while some are dressed as 'warrior men' the rest are described as wearing salwars of 20 yards , silver ornaments weighing 10 ser ( 2 pound weight) and their hair was in 'Chundian' top knots one and a half hands high (Dedh gith) and their kurte (tops) were embroidered

pprakash0bt.png

*taken from Panth Prakash - Giani Gian Singh - Bhash Vibhag Punjab - 1987 , pg 1152

This last picture shows a Nihang and Nihangni - probably from a Keher Singh sketch - The Nihangni appears to have her hair in top knot (maybe a keski ?) wears a salwar and kameez and carries a chakar and mala around her neck and a Mala in her hand.

nihangni8is.png

* taken from The Sikhs - T S Randhawa 2000

Perhaps someone else can add more ?

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I am slightly obsessed ! - My family always take the 'mick' - The Mother-in-law calls me 'The Librarian' !! - But so what - if my posts get even just a few people to 'buy the books ' and support our authors , scholars and researchers then I consider that a 'job well done ' !!

Thanks for your kind words !

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I am slightly obsessed ! - My family always take the 'mick' - The Mother-in-law calls me 'The Librarian' !! - But so what - if my posts get even just a few people to 'buy the books ' and support our authors , scholars and researchers then I consider that a 'job well done ' !!

Thanks for your kind words !

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I love the picture of the Singhni in the red salwar-kameez attire with shastar in hand -this is the usual picture I've personally grown up seeing of Sikh Women either when relayed accounts of puratan times, or when hearing or seeing modern era Singhnia who practise martial arts or have been involved in confrontations where they have had to use weapons.

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