Social Life in Medieval Karnataka - Leisure and Pleasure

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Social Life in Medieval Karnataka - Leisure and Pleasure

Wrestling Scene
Sculpture from Khetappaya Narayan Temple, c. 16th Century

Women's archery in medieval Karnataka

Woman rides a cart
Detail from a temple sculpture, Bhatkal, 16th century A.D.

Hunting Scenes

Adventure Sport- Fighting with animals

Hairstyle and Hair dressing

Parasols and Umbrellas

Men's Ornaments in Hoysala

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Creaming the Butter
A medieval sculpture from Karnataka

Milk products being carried to the market place

A Drunken Woman being Helped by Friends

Body Conditioning

Tailored brassieres were popular during the Vijayanagar period, 14th century

The Leelavati Prabhanda mentions a kind of brassier prevalent in 10th century. While no pictures or detailed descriptions of it are found, a sculpture of the time has just a narrow strip to cover the nipples.

Medieval padded brassier

In a medieval sculpture from Karnataka, a brassier is sculpted around a deity (shown below) that appears to have been made up of thick cotton. Regularly sewn brassieres of cup-like shape are also found; some others appear to be propped up by ornaments.

Ornamental Brassier
Line drawing based on a temple sculpture.
The necklace is disguised as the support to hold up the cups

Women in Undergarments
Careful inspection of this 16th century sculpture shows hooks on the blouses of the women!

Woman Doorkeeper from a Goan Temple
Notice the strap of cloth the artist has depicted on this ancient sculpture. Is that a bra?

Brassiere from a Medieval Sculpture

Beauty Puts on a Brassiere (?)
Sculpture from Khajuraho

Ancient Brassieres

Turns out that Wonder-bra is not a fashion of the twentieth century alone! In this historically authentic pictures and references, Dr. (Mrs.) Jyotsna Kamat discusses the blouses and brassieres of ancient India.
Line drawings by K. L. Kamat.

Although majority of female figures in ancient Indian sculptures are devoid of a blouse, there are several instances of ancient Indian women wearing brassieres. The first historical reference to brassieres in India is found during the rule of king Harshavardhana (1st century) in Kashmir. The half-sleeved tight bodice or kanchuka figures prominently in the literature of the period. From Basavapurana (1237 A.D.), we learn that kanchukas were worn by young girls as well. The Somanathacharita speaks of an aged harlot who used a special blouse to hold up her drooping breasts. Poet Harihara refers to wearing of tight white clothes (bigidudisi) before throwing of a shawl embroidered with gold, over the shoulders. Sewn brassieres and blouses were very much in vogue during the Vijayanagar empire and the cities brimmed with tailors (chippiga) who specialized in tight fitting of garments.

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