A man's wedding coat, Pakistan. The coat is of cream undyed wool decorated with multi-coloured embroidery, with facings of factory printed synthetic cloth. Small area of moth damage near hem. Local name: choga.
Donor Paul Whiteman writes: ‘It was given to me by the village schoolteacher in Barkhulti village in Yasin District of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The area is set in the remote Hindu Kush mountains and is an isolated Burushaski-speaking valley community (the same language as is spoken in Hunza). The people are predominantly Ismaili muslims. Through the schoolteacher I was introducing new varieties of apple on dwarfing rootstocks and establishing small orchards near the homesteads that were protected by stone walls from grazing damage. I was given the gown in appreciation of my help in 1983, and I promised to wear it if I ever got married –which I did in 1986. It is a custom for the women of a family household to make such a gown to present to any sons on the occasion of their wedding. The long sleeves accentuate arm movement when dancing, and also double up to act as a scarf in the bitterly cold winters. The cloth is woven in the household from the wool of local sheep and the embroidery done by the women.’