Sherwani is a long-sleeved outer coat worn by men in South Asia. Like the Western frock coat it is fitted, with some waist suppression; it falls to below the knees and is buttoned down the front. It can be collarless, have a shirt-style collar, or a stand-up collar in the style of the Mandarin collar. It evolved in India in the 19th-century as a result of the outer garment of the late Mughal period, the angarkha, itself evolved from the Persian cape, balaba, being given a western style with a button-down front.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The name of the attire is plausibly derived from Shirvan or Sherwan, a region of present-day Azerbaijan due to the folk dress of that area (Chokha) which resembles Sherwani in its outlook. Therefore, the garment may also be a Mughalized derivative of the Caucasian dress due to the ethnocultural linkages of Turco-Persian affinity during the Middle Ages.
History[edit | edit source]
Sherwani originated in the 18th century in South Asia, before being more generally adopted in the late 19th century. It is originally associated with Muslim aristocracy during the period of British rule. According to Emma Tarlo, the sherwani evolved from a Persian cape (balaba or chapkan), which was gradually given a more Indian form (angarkha), and finally developed into the sherwani, with buttons down the front, following European fashion. It originated in the 19th century British India as the European style court dress of regional Mughal nobles and royals of northern India, before being more generally adopted in the late 19th century. It appeared first at Lucknow in the 1820s. It was gradually adopted by rest of the royalty and aristocracy of Indian Subcontinent, and later by the general population, as a more evolved form of occasional traditional attire. The name of the attire is plausibly derived from Shirvan or Sherwan, a region of present-day Azerbaijan due to the folk dress of that area (Chokha) which resembles Sherwani in its outlook. Therefore, the garment may also be a Mughalized derivative of the Caucasian dress due to the ethnocultural linkages of Turco-Persian affinity during the Middle Ages.
Description[edit | edit source]
Sherwani evolved from a Persian cape (balaba or chapkan) and was developed into the sherwani, with buttons down the front, following European fashion.
Use[edit | edit source]
Sherwani is now famous as a wedding outfit and it has always been popular as an outfit which can be worn on formal events. The sherwani signified dignity and etiquette of the nobility and it used to be the court dress of the nobles of Turkish and Persian origin. It is the national dress of Pakistan for men. A sherwani carries a regal feel.
India[edit | edit source]
In India, the achkan has been generally worn, which is a much shorter than sherwani. The achkan was worn on formal occasions in winter, especially by those from Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad. The achkan is generally associated with the Hindus while the sherwani was historically and is favored by Muslims. The two garments have significant similarities, though sherwanis typically are more flared at the hips and achkans are lengthier than simple sherwanis. The achkan later evolved into the Nehru Jacket, which is now popular in India. In India, the achkan or sherwani is generally worn with the combination of Churidar as the lower garment.
Jawaharlal Nehru (left) wearing an achkan with churidar.
Achkan sherwani and churidar (lower body) worn by Arvind Singh Mewar and his kin during a Hindu wedding in Rajasthan, India.
In Bangladesh[edit | edit source]
In Bangladesh, the sherwani is worn by people on formal occasions such as weddings and Eid.
Pakistan[edit | edit source]
After the independence of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah frequently wore the sherwani. Following him, most people and government officials in Pakistan such as the President and Prime Minister started to wear the formal black sherwani over the shalwar kameez on state occasions and national holidays. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq made it compulsory for all officers to wear sherwani on state occasions and national holidays.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, is sitting on the Chair of Governor General, sometimes referred as Pakistan's Throne, wearing Sherwani.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (right), standing with his sister Fatima Jinnah (left), Leading member of Pakistan Movement. Muhammad Ali Jinnah is wearing a Sherwani and Fatima Jinnah is also wearing a female Sherwani.
Nawaz Sharif, longest-serving Prime Minister of Pakistan, wearing Sherwani in Washington in 1998
In Sri Lanka[edit | edit source]
In Sri Lanka, Sherwani was generally worn as the formal uniform of Mudaliyars and early Tamil legislators during the British colonial period. It is now no longer worn in Sri Lanka.
Modern sherwanis[edit | edit source]
Sherwanis are mostly worn in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.:571 These garments usually feature detailed embroidery or patterns. One major difference between sherwani wearing habits is the choice of lower garment, while in India, the dress is distinguished by their preference for churidars or pyjamas, in Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is mainly worn with shalwar instead.
Pakistani journalist, filmmaker and activist, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy appeared in sherwani to receive Academy Award in 2012 and 2015.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- ↑ Tarlo, Emma (1996), Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India, University of Chicago Press, p. xii,
Glossary: Sherwani Men's long coat, usually collarless
- ↑ Tarlo, Emma (1996), Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India, University of Chicago Press, p. 47,
The historian Abdul Halim Sharar ... shows how the Persian cape (balaba, chapkan) was gradually given a more Indian form (angarkha), and finally developed into the sherwani which had buttons down the front, following European fashion. In the early stages wealthy men's robes were made from the luxury fabrics of muslin and silk and often embroidered. But as they became more Europeanised, they became increasingly like the Englishman's frock coat, made from heavy dull material with less ornamentation and given tight sleeves. Some men added a white shirt collar to the sherwani to complete the look.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Jhala, Angma Dey (6 October 2015). Royal Patronage, Power and Aesthetics in Princely India. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-31657-2.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Tarlo, Emma (1996). Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-85065-176-5.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press. 29 January 1988. ISBN 978-1-107-39297-7.
- ↑ "The Traditional Dress: Sherwani". RiciMelion. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
- ↑ "What is a Sherwani?". www.bhangrakids.com. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
- ↑ "Shifting Sands: Costume in Rajasthan".
- ↑ Langkjær, Michael Alexander. "From Cool to Un-cool to Re-cool: Nehru and Mao tunics in the sixties and post-sixties West". Global Textile Encounters, ed. Marie-Louise Nosch, Zhao Feng, and Lotika Varadarajan. Ancient Textiles Series, Vol. 20, Pp. 227-236 – via www.academia.edu.
- ↑ "Nehru's style statement".
- ↑ Altogether book. ISBN 978-93-259-7971-0.
- ↑ "Nehru's style statement".
- ↑ Ahmed, Akbar S. (1997). Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity: The Search for Saladin. Psychology Press. pp. 99–. ISBN 978-0-415-14966-2.
- ↑ "The Traditional Dress: Sherwani". RiciMelion. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
- ↑ www.coursehero.com https://www.coursehero.com/file/89809687/A-little-bit-background-of-Sherwanidocx/. Retrieved 8 August 2021. Missing or empty
- ↑ Marcus, Lauren (1 December 2013). "Sources: Encyclopedia of National Dress: Traditional Clothing Around the World". Reference & User Services Quarterly. 53 (2): 197–198. doi:10.5860/rusq.53n2.197c. ISSN 1094-9054.
- ↑ "Pakistan's Oscar triumph for acid attack film Saving Face". BBC News. Nosheen Abbas. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- ↑ "Oscar-winning Pakistani Filmmaker Inspired by Canada".
- ↑ Clark, Alex (14 February 2016). "The case of Saba Qaiser and the film-maker determined to put an end to 'honour' killings". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- ↑ "Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is Pakistan's First Oscar Nominee". 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- ↑ "Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy fights to end honour killings with her film A Girl in the River". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 18 February 2016.