Dress of the Balooch women

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I haven’t done a post in awhile about the traditional dress of Irans many and varied ethnic groups. Sorry about that! If anyone is interested in the others I have done, go to categories and click on Tribal Clothing.

This post will be devoted to the attire of another Iranian ethnic group-the Balooch.

In a nutshell, the Balooch are an Iranian ethnic group (like Persians, Loors and others) and their language is categorized as being Indo-Iranian. Within Iran they are primarily located in the South Eastern province of Sistan Va Baloochistan. They are also scattered in parts of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Their traditional attire is quite unique within Iran and has influenced to some degree the clothing worn by women in Irans southern port cities and even in Oman where traces of their traditional attire can be found in Omani womans traditional attire.

The womens attire appears to be very similar to what would be called a Shalvar Kameeze in Pakistan. Although there are some differences, the traditional look is for the pants to be quite snug fitting throughout the leg with the edges heavily embroidered. The top tends to be quite long-like calf length with a fit more like an A-line dress. Heavily embroidered all over.  They then finish it off with a heavily embroidered scarf which is similar in size to a duppatta. I have seen some Baloochi women (In Shiraz and Esfahan) who had on a more casual outfit which was more like a Pakistani style shalvar kameeze in which the pants were quite baggy and the top was shaped more like a kurta and over this they wear a regular printed house chador but its thrown over them like a dupatta-i.e. one side long, flowing down the body and one edge thrown up over the shoulder.

The province is bordered by Kerman and Khorasan provinces on the left, the Gulf of Oman on the south and Afghanistan and Pakistan on the East.

Picture of mens attire;

An old postage stamp showing different ethnic dress in Iran. The Baloochi one is the upper right.

I wanted to make a special note about something, although women in Iran are supposed to wear a manteau and a scarf, preferably finished off by a chador when out, the countries many and varied ethnic groups continue to wear their traditional, ethnic attire and there are no problems with this so a Baloochi or a Loor or a Turkoman (for example) woman can go to Esfahan or Shiraz or Tehran wearing her traditional attire and this is perfectly fine. Although many do-when leaving their areas wear a printed or black chador over their traditional dress, this isnt mandatory and you   can still see their swishy skirts or heavily embroidered pants peeping out.

4 thoughts on “Dress of the Balooch women

  1. Wow, I didn’t realize that Iran had so many diverse styles of traditional dress. I would love to see Iran someday, so much history there.

    • Yah, this is a pretty typical assumption…in reality, Iran is probably one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse nations on earth…there is even a small minority group which speaks a Dravidian language called the Brahui…they live in Sistan va baloochistan as well!!! The majority of Iranian ethnic groups still retain their own culture to some degree…some strongly, some just a little but especially in touristy areas, its not uncommon to see tourists from all areas of Iran, many of whom are in their traditional attire. When I visited Persepolis and Shiraz I rubbed shoulders with quite a few different ethnic groups…Balooch, Bandari, Iranian ‘Arab, loor…all kinds, it was fascinating seeing them in their attire. Ofcourse some are integrated into the Persian majority mainstream and only maybe still retain a distinct accent or use their own language when at home and maybe only drag out the traditional costumes on special days, like for example…Azeri’s or settled Loors (not the nomadic kind) … It really just depends on where you are in the country!

      yes, do try to go someday…but try to really travel around so you see all the diversity!

  2. Funny– as soon as my husband (Afghan) saw the first pic, he asked if they were Afghan! Made sense when I saw it’s bordered by Afghanistan!

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