chapter  II
DRESS
Pages 14

The original clothing of all the inhabitants of the Indian islands was probably the bark of a tree; cut and dressed into the form of cloth, the same that is in universal use among the South Sea islanders, and which term Otaheitean cloth. Cotton affords the grand material of the dress of the Indian islanders everywhere. The earliest and most indispensable portion of dress, the covering of the waist and loins, is the most important. One description of it is nearly universal among all the tribes of the Archipelago, and is common to both sexes. The various portions of dress enumerated are usually fixed by a zone or sash, commonly of silk, the manufacture of the country, from the raw produce of China, or imported readymade, under the appellation of chinde, from the peninsula of Hindustan. The adventitious and purely ornamental portions of dress among the Indian islanders consists of flowers,—of gold ornaments,—and of diamonds.