Lhasa (Elevation 12,000+ FT)
November 1, 2010, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In honor of Halloween, this post will be dedicated to cool costumes– or more specifically, headdresses. My friend Tsetru wears the most magnificent collection of turquoise and coral in her hair. Her style is typical of her home area in eastern Tibet, where most women still wear this ornate gear. But our adventure to the hot springs necessitated that she take them out (possibly for fear of sinking). When we returned to Lhasa, I hung around for the 3+ hours that it took to braid, weave and sew the jewels back into her gorgeously long hair.

After a good wash, she braids her hair into around 50 smaller braids. Then, with the help of an in-law, sews a felt strip adorned with chunks of coral, turquoise and the larger gold and turquoise piece, to the hair at the crown of her head:

Also with needle and thread, she then attaches two side pieces at the height of each ear:

They check their work:

Then ready to attach the next piece: a strip made of woven red string adorned with dozens of chunks of turquoise and strings of coral beads:

She attaches it by tying one end with a string to the middle of her mass of braids:

Then wraps her hair and the attached strip of beads around her head like a long, incredibly heavy turban:

And she’s done! Now fully sewn into place, she won’t redo it for a month or two. It is most definitely as heavy as it looks. She wears it down at night but must even sleep on it. Lucky for us who have the fortune of admiring her, she loves it and feels uncomfortable without it.

Current location: Udaipur, India with Halloween spent wandering the floating palaces of the 1983 Bond flick Octopussy. I really wish this blog would catch up with my actual location already. We’re getting there…

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