by Mudakari dasi
Posted December 17, 2002
I have not seen the Ramayana movie produced by Caruhasa das but as
a textile enthusiast I believe that there may be a misunderstanding over the
garb worn by Sita in the forest. There is a type of cloth called "kapa" in
Hawaii and "tapa" in other parts of Asia and the Pacific. It is made from
the bark of paper mulberry (and possibly other) trees. The bark is soaked
and pounded in a long process and lengths of paper "fabric" are produced.
These lengths, often decorated with natural dyes, have been worn as fabric
in many of the Pacific Island and Asian countries, including India and
Thailand. There are many web sites that describe kapa cloth and the process.
I believe that this is what Sita wore, and it would have been a modest and
serviceable garment, although an insult to a princess.