khamis (Shirt)

About this object

History of use

Shirts of this type were commonly worn by men of the Koli caste in Dhamlej Village as of 1999. The shirts were worn as a set with pants of matching fabric, as well as with a turban. Members of that caste assisted in the production and gathering of this clothing. The cloth for the clothing was purchased in Kodinar town, 7 km. to the east of Dhamlej, and they were sewn in Dhamlej by Lakmanbbhai Chavada, a tailor in the agricultural area of the village. Such shirts were also worn by men of the Hindu Rabari caste. Younger male villagers preferred, however, to wear western-style shirts and pants.


This shirt was collected with the help of Hindu Koli men, but this type was also worn by Hindu Rabari men. This collection was gathered with the enthusiastic participation of villagers in Dhamlej, reflecting Derek Johnson’s rapport with them. They allowed him to take photographs of them demonstrating how the clothing is put on and worn. These photographs are available in the Museum of Anthropology collection documentation file for accession 2615.

Cultural context

daily use

Iconographic meaning

The type of clothing helps to communicate the caste of the wearer.

Physical description

Machine-sewn man's dress shirt in lavender with a buttoned front down to the abdomen. The shirt also has buttons at the cuffs and a left breast pocket.