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Re: Madisar

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 14:47:25 PST

> Can any one teach me how to wear madisar. 

There are actually several different ways of wearing madisaar (traditional
9-yard sari) within the Iyengar community itself.  The majority of Tamil
Iyengars wear it with the thalaippu over the left shoulder.  However, 
many Iyengar women from Srivilliputtur, Vanamamalai and some other parts
of southern Tamil Nadu wear madisaar the opposite way, with the thalaippu
over the right shoulder.

Many Iyengar women from Karnataka also wear the thalaippu over the right 
shoulder, but the entire style of wrapping the sari is different.  These
Iyengars are known as "mEl-naattaar", or "western people", as opposed to 
keezh-naattaar, or "eastern people", referring to Iyengars who migrated
much later to Karnataka from Tamil Nadu. 

Word has it that wearing the thalaippu over the right shoulder is actually
the older, original madisaar, just as the mun-kudumi (forelock) was the
"original" way of sporting the shikha.