A medium to promote the use of the Komanam or Kaupinam (South India - tear and wear,self fit, girdling the loins or crotch), the Langot (North India - unstitched,self fit, wrapped around thighs and loins) or indeed any form of Loincloth. To disseminate the ease, safety, comfort and health benefits of traditional and practical inner wear. To disseminate tips on the "How to" of self fitted inner wear. To exchange views, personal experiences. Explore, Enjoy. And switch to the Komanam !

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Langot of North India

A Langot normally is associated with a Pehalwan or Indian wrestler in the same way a Sumo wrestler is associated with the Japanese fundoshi or whatever it is. In fact I find that there seem to be more people in North India wearing the Kaupina or simple South Indian Komanam than the Langot. But this is only an impression and I welcome observations on this.
Meanwhile, here is a concise and clear introduction to the North Indian Langot by one Prof Dattatray Parasnis. There is a useful diagram as well which helps in understanding how the Langot is put together.
From the diagram it is clear that the Langot is a double fold strip of cloth that is passed between the legs and secured - first time from back to front, then the reverse way and finally secured or tucked at the back. Even the Komanam is usually and preferably double fold. But it is not a stitched garment and it is always draped from front to back unlike the Langot. The Komanam will be described in detail very soon.

(From the Newsletter of The Institute of Draped Clothes, Nov 2003 - URL : http://www.idcw.org.uk/ )

By Prof. Dattatray Parasnis

It surprises me that the Indian wrap-round male underwear known as 'langota' has not been described anywhere. If you let a search engine like Altavista.com or Google.com look for it you will find a number of pages where it is mentioned but nowhere is there any description of it or how it is worn. I am sending you a sketch of the 'langota' and a description of how it is put on (below). The word is pronounced as one would in English the combination 'lung-oat'.


The great Mogul Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar, the founder of the Mogul dynasty who ruled India, mentions in his fascinating memoirs for the Muslim year 932 (by our reckoning 18 October 1525 to 7 October 1526) that the peasants and simpler people of India wear no clothes but a 'langota'. The worn appearance of this garment seems to have been much the same as the present 'langota' or the Japanese fundoshi, but from Babar's description, it seems to have been a two-piece garment.

Unlike fundoshi, which seems to be disappearing in Japan, the langota is in use among a section of the male population in India. It is almost mandatory for traditional wrestling, gymnastics, asanas in Yoga, playing kabbadi, old martial art training in South India etc. When I was young it was the only underwear many men ever used.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THE Langot as it is usually called is a form of undergarment being worn by Indian Males for covering up the genetials. It is also almost compulsory for peoples who practice indian form of wrestling and other martial arts. It is believed that wearing a tight langoat prevents certin genetial diseases and also help increase the sperm count. I dont know whether its scientifically proved or not.

About Me

I, and a few like minded people, have started this blog to promote the use of the Komanam or any form of Loincloth as well as the habitual wearing by women of the Madisar sari or any other Nine-yard sari such as Nauvari, Kashta or other forms of Kaccha saris. It is the practicality, comfort, safety and health benefits of such traditional form of outer and inner wear that we wish to publicise and promote. In addition there is the wish to do what we could to see that these forms of traditional and sensible inner and outer wear are not lost to future generations or compromised at the altar of fashion. The question is, if G-string bikinis are fashionable and acceptable, even in public, why is a dignified form of inner wear like the Komanam fading away? And why not the Madisar or Nine yard sari for women? We hope you will visit regularly and reflect on the posts. And that you will post comments and suggestions as well as share your experiences. Please ask questions and feel free to criticise constructively. We will always take your views in to account. And we would hope that we can encourage many of you to convert to the Komanam or the Madisar.