Traditional dress of Kayan Lahta

The traditional dress of Kayan is different from group to group. The traditional dress of Kayan Lahta is very different from the other three Kayan groups and it is more similar to the traditional dress of central eastern Kayah. The Kayan Lahta people plant cotton and make it into thread and weave it by hand for clothing. The Kayan Lahta traditional dress is woven with white and red thread.  For men, it is made into a shirt and short pants. For women, a blouse is sewn with white thread into a long piece of cloth having a red stripe. They wrap it around the waist unit under the knee like a Burmese traditional longyi. The shirt and the blouse are decorated by a red thread made like flowers.

Even though the new generation is taught how to weave, they no longer wear their traditional dress. In this present time, the young people mostly wear the modern Burmese dress. The traditional dress is only worn when they have special religious ceremonies.

Kayan Lahta women have long hair grown since they are about ten years old. The hair is knotted on the top of the head. They wear a white scarf decorated by a red thread on the head. They have big, round earrings which are made of the silver. Long strings which are made up of small white metal are put on the neck and also wrapped on the wrist to look beautiful. The men also put it on their necks.

They may have different costumes and each carries different meaning. The tusk of the wild pig is pieced with a white thread and put on the neck of the men. It is used as a weapon when they encounter dangerous animals as they are hunting. Four or five black threads are wrapped on the calf. By using these, they get much energy when they climb the mountain.