kolkata, west bengal
The breast band had been used since Vedic times, as with the Greeks mainly as a support for the breast rather than to cover them. There was in addition to the breast band and indigenous stitched garments known as cholka, chola, choli, Kanchohka which is mentioned in early Sanskrit literature. It is interesting to note the Tentonic like the Indians are of Aryan ancestry. Strangely enough the earliest form of a short blouse the choli that we first noticed at Ajanta in this period and which is still used by the women of Rajputana and Baluchistan, has almost the same primitive shape as that worn by the same Germanic races in the early bronze period the word choli (Blouse) clearly related to the Sanskrit chola, or cholaka angia or angina. The blouse (Choli) that is commonly worn today as the upper garment with a saree is evidently different from the kind that was much more in fashion earlier. The styles varied in respect of the length and shape of the sleeves the cut of the neck the manner of tying the band being left bare or covered the length of the garment, the shape and so on. When one adds to this the variation in respect of the fabric, decoration and the like, it is clear that there is no fixed norm that one can lay down of this garment.
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