Typical pictures of Indian Natives.


National costumes of India. Typical pictures of Indian Natives.

Typical pictures of Indian Natives




The manner in which this little volume has been received by both the press and the public has rendered necessary a Second Edition within five weeks of the date of publication.
The author does not complain. He merely takes the opportunity of stating that such treatment was as agreeable as it was unexpected.
BOMBAY, 20th December, I897.


The “Gorgeous East,” if robbed of the vivid colouring which is its greatest charm, would cease to please the only one of the senses to which it ever appeals. By the same token, plain photographs fail to convey an adequate idea of the real picture to those whom fortune-or misfortune-has never sent Eastward j and it is with a view, therefore, to enable travellers to present to their friends at home a true rendering of the varied and picturesque costumes worn by Natives of India in general, and of Bombay in particular, that this little book is presented to the public.
BOMBAY, 1st October, I897.

Gallery: Typical pictures of Indian Natives.



THE word “caste” is now familiar to most English-speaking people, and it is perhaps almost superfluous to mention that it is applied to designate the religious and social distinctions among the Hindoos. It is, properly speaking, not an Indian word, having been adapted from the Portuguese casta, signifying race, kind or quality. Originally there existed but four castes: the Bràhmans, or priests; the Kshatriyas, or warriors; the Vaishyas, or mercantile and agricultural class; and the Shùdras, or servants. But the divisions and sub- divisions which have arisen from time to time have now become so numerous that, in Wilson’s book upon this subject, we find a list of one hundred and thirtyfour distinct castes, besides many hundreds of others, which are not recognized.* He says: “A caste is any of the classes or divisions of Hindoo society. The authority of caste rests partly on legendary fables, partly on verbal tradition, partly on the injunctions of priests, and partly on the caprice and convenience of its votaries. … The rules, and customs, and prejudices, and breaches and compromises of caste are numerous, and capricious and complicated beyond conception. ” It was formerly customary for Bràhman priests to wear, as a distinguishing mark, three horizontal lines upon their forehead; for those of the same caste engaged in business, three perpendicular lines; and for other people, a red spot. Now, however, there is no certain outward indication by which a particular caste may be known, any man being at liberty to assume what mark he pleases.

The FRONTISPIECE will show at a glance some of the many varieties of head-dress which are worn by the inhabitants of different parts of the country. Commencing from the top left-hand corner, we have the Bhattia turban, worn by the people who hail from Cutch; the two pictures next adjoining represent respectively a merchant from Central India and a Lavana, the latter hailing from the district lying between Bhawnagar and Ahmedabad. The next picture, on the left, is that of a Lucknow Mohamedan, that on the right a Mussalman also, from Ajmere, the centre portrait representing a young Nepaulese priest, known as a Gosavi. The Mooltàni, wearing a small round turban, adjoins a Jewish priest from Bagdad, and the head to the right of him is that of a Borah, or Mohamedan trader. The last three portraits are those of-first, a Hindoo ascetic, who wears his hair exceedingly long. This he plaits and coils about his head after the manner of a turban. The peculiar appearance of his face is due to a very liberal application of ashes, with which he frequently covers his whole body. The second picture represents a Sinhalese man, the article upon his head being a comb. The third and last portrait in the group is that of a Parsee, the topi being of a shape adopted by some members of the Parsee community in preference to that more usually worn by them.

*Sir William Hunter, in his “Brief History of Indian People,” states that there are “not fewer than three thousand castes, which have separate names, and which regard themselves as separate classes.”


  1. Traditional Parsis in India.
  2. Chinese sceneries in 19th century.
  3. Typical pictures of Indian Natives.
  4. Costumes of Japan and Indonesia by Emile Gallois.
  5. The Indian Mughal Empire.
  6. The Persians in India.
  7. Plant drawings from an Indian Cotton Printer`s Pattern Book, 1910.
  8. Historical Asia costumes by Auguste Wahlen.
  9. Costumes of all countries by Alexandre Lacauchie 1850s.
  10. Historical and folk costumes by Franz Lipperheide.
  11. The costume of Turkey. Ottoman Empire 18th century.
  12. Costumes and scenery of Afghanistan.
  13. Provincial Russia. Russian Costume and Culture.
The Motrebs. Persian dancer and musicians, 16th century.
Persian dancer and musicians costumes in the 16th century. Musicians in persian costumes with t... Read more
16th Century • Asia • Middle Ages • Persia • Traditional
Auguste Racinet • Dance costumes • Firmin Didot • Musicians
The Bengali. Indian Native.
The Bengali. Indian Native. As in the case of the Marwari, the Punjabi, the Madrasi, and others... Read more
19th Century • Asia • India • Traditional
Traditional India costumes
Costume of a Japanese soldier with gun.
Costume of a Japanese soldier with gun in 1840. Soldat Japonais. Gallery: Asian costumes by Augu... Read more
19th Century • Asia • Japan • Military
Auguste Wahlen • Japan Military • Traditional Japanese costume
Seppuku, Hara Kiri. Ritualized suicide. Japan.
Seppuku. Ritualized suicide in Japan. Seppuku (jap. 切腹) is a ritualized type of male suicide... Read more
19th Century • Asia • Japan
Traditional Japanese costume
No masks by Kiyotoki-Shimomura
No masks by Kiyotoki-Shimomura By the death of Kiyotoki-Shimomura on May 29th, 1922, at the age o... Read more
20s • 20th Century • Asia • Japan
Artist • Mask • Theatre
Vietnam Soldiers costume, 1843.
Vietnam Soldiers costume, 1843. Naturel et Soldat Cochinchinois. Gallery: Asian costumes by Augu... Read more
19th Century • Asia • Military • Vietnam
Auguste Wahlen • Traditional Vietnam Costume
Traditional nobility costumes from China 1850s
Nobility costumes from China 1850s. Gallery: Les nations. Album des Costumes De Tous les Pays. P... Read more
1850 • 19th Century • Asia • China • Nobility
Traditional Chinese costumes
Old Woman from Japan carrying baby 1910s.
Old Woman in traditional dress from Japan carrying baby. Read more
10s • 20th Century • Asia • Japan
Traditional Japanese costume


Traditional, historical dresses.

  1. Tyrolean national costumes 1835.
  2. Souvenir de L’Exposition Universelle de Vienne.
  3. Traditional Dutch national costumes.
  4. Traditional French national costumes.
  5. The Switzerland national costumes of 17th – 19th century originals.
  6. Folk dresses from Norway, Dutch, Germany and Hungaria.
  7. Mexico by Carl Nebel 1836.
  8. Costume of the Russian empire by Edward Harding.
  9. Serbian national costumes by Vladimir Kirin.
  10. Historical European costumes by Auguste Wahlen.
  11. The Highlanders of Scotland, 1870.
  12. Africa, the landscape and the people 1931.
  13. Historical costumes from Africa, America and Oceania.
  14. Traditional folk costumes of Italy and France in 1821.
  15. The Serbs in the Adriatic. Their types and costumes 1870-1878.