The majority of people residing in the Kathmandu Valley are Newars. Their facial features are a mixture of Mongoloid, Caucasian, Australoid and Tibetanish also. The skin pigmentation varies from very dark to very fair.
Among the various ornaments worn by Newars, the one that distinctly stand out are, "Loonswan" which is a gold plate worn at the center of the head with superb designs all over with a coral containing an image of Lord Ganesh in the middle. A huge golden necklace known as "Tayo" which hold significant meanings is also important. A "Ghau", which is golden pendant with stones joined to the necklace is also impressive. "Kilip" as the name suggest is worn at the back of the head. The word probably came from the english word 'clip'. Te "Teek Ma" is another elaborate pieceworn on the head. It has many small strings attached to a point and is worn on the side. Beside these, some of the commonly worn ornaments are "Patachin shikha" or a simple gold necklace, "Company shika" which is a necklace made of coins, and "Bhimpuma", another necklace made of coral. The earrings are u-shaped and are called "Makansi". The hand are adorned with gold rings and bangles. "kalli" which is usually made of silver is also worn around the ankles.
Though most of the Newars wear sarees they call it a "parsi", and unlike the other instead of putting the end at the back, they wrap it around their waist above the pleats. A "patuka" is usually worn above it and the blouse completes the attire. However the Jyapu community wears a distint saree popularly known as "Haku Patashi", which is plain black saree with a red border. They were a full sleeved blouse which is tied at four different corners and is called 'Thana tagu kapoya lan'. Above it,a shawl or "haku gacha" is also worn. Then men wear a knee length dress, the upper part of which, resembles women's clothing, but is slightly loose and is called "lan" and the trousers worn with it is called "Suruwa".
However , one must note that newars living in various parts of kathmandu valley not only speak different dialects of Newari, but also wear differents types of clothings. Even the festivals are not the same as that can be seen during Gai Jatra and the Mohani festivals. And some festivals are only celebrated in Bhaktapur and Thimi
Source: ECS JANUARY 2005
Model: Sajana Maharjan
Photgraph & Design: Jeetendra Maharjan