The richness and diversity of Malaysian traditional costumes can be seen throughout the length and breadth of Malaysia. There is a great variety of beautiful costumes which differ in style and design from state to state.
The birth of modern Malaysia in 1963 continues to add more of the amazing collection of traditional costumes. Sabah and Sarawak, also rich in tradition and culture from its many ethnic and indigenous people, further contributed to the fashion heritage of Malaysia.
Today we are most fortunate to witness the rich legacy of traditional costumes of various ethnic groups and communities in Malaysia as our very own cultural identity that we can be proud of. The Malaysian traditional costumes becomes a kaleidoscope of colours. It is a visual delight to one and all.
Malay Traditional Costumes
The man is dressed in a Baju Melayu Cekak Musang matched with hand woven songket sarong with floral design and a headgear know as songkok. The lady is beautifully dressed in a flowery songket Baju Kurung Telok Belanga matched with a sarong neatly tied in the ombak mengalun (flowing waves) technique. The outfit is complimented with a shawl.
Chinese Traditional Costumes. The couple is wearing classical Chinese attire which has been given a modern touch. The man is wearing a Chinese satin samfoo intricately woven with Chinese motif matched with trousers. The maiden is wearing a modern red Cheongsam with exquisite design woven with motif symbolising prosperity. These outfits are usually made from soft materials such as silk or satin.
Indian Traditional Costumes
The traditional clothing for Indian men is the Vaishti. It is matched with a cotton cloth woven with gold thread. Indian ladies adorn beautiful silk gold thread bordered saree matched with a tight choli.
Iban Traditional Costumes
The male Iban is dressed in Baju Burung or vest and sirat woven loin-cloth which is a warrior's outfit. They also wear accessories such as a belt, armlet and anklet made from silver and a headgear decorated with hornbill feathers. The Iban maiden wears the ceremonial dress consisting of the bidang cloth, marek empang which is a chest adornment, the sugu tinggi headdress and other silver ornaments such as the coin belt and bangles.
Kadazan Traditional Costumes
The male Kadazan is wearing a ceremonial costume usually worn during the Sumazau dance. It comprises of a jacket and trousers with gold trimmings and a woven destar cloth headgear known as siga. The female is wearing a ceremonial Kadazan Papar costume made of embroidered colour and gold thread. It is worn with a headgear made of bamboo strips known as siung and silver coin belt. These clothes are usually made from black velvet or silk.