Take a Tour of the World’s Cultures by Appreciating These 27 Kinds of Traditional Attire

March 1, 2019 Updated: April 7, 2021

The traditional attire that people from around the world wore, and many still wear today, were not merely functional, such as to stay warm, but were works of art.

What you will notice with a lot of these clothes is that they’re mostly quite colorful. A lot of time and effort is expended to make these beautiful garments, which is evident in the intricacy of detail that we are able to appreciate with but a casual glance.

Traditional clothing is an important part of a culture’s identity, and thus people from various cultures still make a point of donning their unique garb at important cultural festivals, weddings, and other events. It’s a vital aspect in keeping their culture alive.

Given the plethora of cultures around the world, not to mention all the many ethnic groups in a given region—such as China’s more than 56 ethnic groups—we aren’t able to showcase them all, but we have selected 27 different types of traditional clothing that we’d love to share with you. So, do enjoy!

1. Hungarian

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Local school girls in traditional clothes of the Kalocsa area react as boys throw water in Kalocsa, some 100 km south of Budapest on April 17, 2014, during a rehearsal of the traditional Easter celebrations by the members of the local folk dance group. Locals from south Hungary celebrate Easter with the traditional “watering of the girls,” a fertility ritual rooted in Hungary’s tribal pre-Christian past, going as far back as the second century. (©Getty Images | Attila Kisbenedek/AFP)

2. Afghan

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Afghan women and girls wearing traditional Afghanistan clothes wait for the arrival of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, a day before the inauguration of Salma Hydroelectric Dam, at the airport in Herat on June 3, 2016. (©Getty Images | Aref Karimi/AFP)

3. Munyonyo community in Uganda

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Men dressed in traditional tribal clothes dance during a visit by Pope Francis with the Munyonyo community on Nov. 27, 2015, in Kampala. (©Getty Images | Guiseppe Cacace/AFP)

4. South African

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Women in their traditional Basotho outfits sing and dance in the streets during the Indoni SA Cultural Festival on Oct. 7, 2017, in Durban.
The Indoni festival, a three-day feast, showcases traditions of South African provinces and aims to demonstrate unity and the unique diversity of the country. (©Getty Images | Rajesh Jantilal/AFP)

5. Palaung

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Ethnic Palaung women wear traditional dress as they wait for the arrival of National League for Democracy (NLD) delegates during the NLD’s first-ever party conference at the Royal Rose Hall in Rangoon on March 9, 2013. (©Getty Images | Ye Aung Thu/AFP)

6. Lisu

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Peace conference delegate Ah Moe Si (L) with other Lisu ethnic group members from upper Kachin State, wearing a round black hat studded with circular patterns of white, blue, and red beads of the Lisu people—as a symbol of solidarity with other minorities—pose for a photo at the convention center in Naypyidaw on Aug. 31, 2016. (©Getty Images | Romeo Gacad/AFP)

7. Ethiopian

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Women pose for a photograph in traditional Ethiopian dress during the annual Timkat Epiphany celebration on Jan. 19, 2017, in Gondar, Ethiopia. (©Getty Images | Carl Court)

8. Igorot

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Ethnic Igorot mountain folk decked in their traditional attire wait for the start of the parade during the celebration of the Lang Ay Festival in Bontoc on April 6, 2013, in Mountain Province, Philippines. The annual Lang Ay festival commemorates the anniversary of the foundation of the Mountain Province with street dances, theatrical performances, sporting events, and agricultural trade fairs that showcase the rich local history and culture of different mountain tribes in the northern Philippines. (©Getty Images | Dondi Tawatao)

9. Guatemalan

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Guatemalan students dressed in traditional native costumes take part in a parade during the Independence Day celebrations, in Guatemala City, on Sept. 15, 2010. (©Getty Images | Johan Ordonez/AFP)

10. Indian

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This picture taken on Dec. 24, 2017, shows an Indian Muslim bride kissing the hand of Indian businessman Maheshbhai Savani (2nd R) during a mass wedding in Surat, some 270 km from Ahmedabad. (©Getty Images | Sam Panthaky/AFP)

11. Indonesian

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Police and soldiers wearing traditional outfits participate in a parade as Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana Widodo take part in a wedding procession for their daughter Kahiyang Ayu’s marriage to Bobby Nasution in Solo, Central Java, on Nov. 8, 2017. (©Getty Images | Anwar Mustafa/AFP)

12. Russian

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The ‘Kazak Singers’ dressed in their traditional Russian outfit smile at Rosa Khutor Mountain Cluster village on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olymipcs on Feb. 12, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (©Getty Images | Alexander Hassenstein)

13. Japanese

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Employees in Japanese traditional kimonos pose during the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s new year business ceremony in Tokyo on Jan. 4, 2019. (©Getty Images | Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP)

14. Korean

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Young Koreans wearing hanbok (Korean traditional dress) walk inside Gyeongbok Palace on March 27, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea. There has been a trend in recent years for the young Koreans to wear the traditional Korean dress, Hanbok. Wearing the traditional dress, they will walk around downtown Seoul on weekends taking selfies, and share their memories with friends on social media, and also to promote their traditional dress to foreign visitors. (©Getty Images | Jean Chung)

15. Libyan

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Libyan girls dressed in traditional outfits attend a school event in the Tajoura area in the capital Tripoli on April, 27, 2017. (©Getty Images | Mahmud Turkia/AFP)

16. Malaysian

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village, where visitors are encouraged to learn through engaging with culture, on Nov. 6, 2017, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and India. (©Getty Images | Chris Jackson)

17. Miao

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Miao Minority villagers dance during events around a traditional Chinese New Year horse fighting competition for the Year of the Horse at the village of Tiantou in China’s Guangxi Province on Feb. 2, 2014. (©Getty Images | Mark Ralston/AFP)

18. Mongolian

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Mongolians dressed in traditional costume gather in the main square of Ulan Bator, Mongolia, to mark the 800th year anniversary of Genghis Khan 10 July, 2006. Mongolians celebrated 800 years since the Great Khan ruled over an empire bigger than that of the Romans. (©Getty Images | Peter Parks/AFP)

19. Ottoman

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Kawases of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate in traditional Ottoman outfits stand outside the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City during the Orthodox Christian Easter procession marking the resurrection of Jesus, on May 1, 2016. (©Getty Images | Gali Tibbon/AFP)

20. Punjabi

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Indian college women clad in traditional Punjabi dress perform the ‘giddha’ folk dance around a bonfire during celebrations on the eve of the Lohri festival in Amritsar on Jan. 12, 2016. The Lohri harvest festival commemorates the winter solstice and is marked in northern India by the lighting of bonfires and the flying and battling of kites.  (©Getty Images | Narinder Nanu/AFP)

21. Qiang

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Qiang tourism promotor Mu Guangyuan (C), a 68-year-old Qiang ethnic man, his wife 67-year-old Zhou Tiancui (L), and 56-year-old Guozhuang Dancing teacher Wang Guanquan, pose dressed in traditional costumes, in front of tents at the Leigu Township on Nov. 26, 2008, in Beichuan County of Sichuan Province, China. (©Getty Images | China Photos)

22. Thai

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Thai performers dance wearing traditional costume during the 2018 Miss Universe national costume presentation in Chonburi Province on Dec. 10, 2018. (©Getty Images | Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP)

23. Tibetan

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Tibetans dressed in traditional attire lead Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay (back) and deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile Sonam Tenphe (R) to the venue from a temple after offering prayers during the ceremonial start of the Second Special General meeting of Tibetans in Dharamshala on Sept. 25, 2012. (©GettyImages | Manjunath Kiran/AFP)

24. Vietnamese

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©Shutterstock | inewsfoto

25. Peruvian

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©Pixabay | benralexander

26. Croatian

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Young men wearing a costume of a Zvoncari, or bellmen, perform in Veli Brgud in westerrn Croatia, near border with Slovenis on Feb. 24, 2019. The regional tradition is one of the many to scare away the evil spirits of winter. (©Getty Images | Denis Lovrovic/AFP)

27. Han

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©The Epoch Times

Imagine if you walked out onto the streets and everyone dressed like they did in ancient times. It’d feel pretty different wouldn’t it?

Dressed in traditional garb, you may feel pretty good about yourself, especially when everyone else is too. There’s a real positive air about wearing such dignified, vibrant costumes.

We hope you enjoyed this little tour. Do note that we’ve only selected a very small portion of clothes from around the world. Even in a certain culture, there can be many different styles of clothes. There’s too many to pick, which is why clothing is such a wonderful and enjoyable part of traditional culture!

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