MAN'S ROBE (JAMA)

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June 30, 1658
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Aurangzeb 1658–1707

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DESCRIPTION

Man's robe (jama), 17th century
India, Deccan, Burhanpur or Hyderabad
Cotton; painted, with applied gold leaf

The early Mughal rulers Akbar and Jahangir were interested in fashion stuffs, carpets, and ornamental textiles. Both emperors had a penchant for inventing new names for garments and other clothing. Akbar is recorded as having ordered a new coat or dress with a round skirt to be tied on the right side. This jama may be a later version of the Akbari garment. Its lengthy sleeves would have been gathered up on the arm when the dress was worn. In a painting of Shah Jahan, he is seen to be wearing a similar garment tied with lappets on the right. He is also dressed in tight-fitting trousers, a colorful sash holding a dagger, and a bejeweled turban. Grandees of the realm wore similar clothing but dressed according to their rank. Sometimes individual nobles were given robes of honor by the emperor as a mark of distinction.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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