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Sarongs

Sarongs, lava lavas and pareus are a type of clothing traditionally worn by Hawaiians, Balinese, Samoan, Tongans, Tahitians and many other island races. Whatever you call them and however they are manufactured they are all very similar. They are casual, comfortable, inexpensive and are ideal for hot climates. The sarongs, as they are most commonly known, usually consist of a rectangular length of silk, rayon or cotton, sometimes fringed at the ends, wound round the waist and tucked in or tied, worn as a skirt. Some sarongs are traditional tapa designs but most are brightly coloured floral designs, many being copies of original designs from Tahiti. They are worn by both men and women. ... read more... read more

In the early days in Hawaii and Samoa the lava lavas were fine mats -made from finely woven pandanus leaves- or tapa cloth - made from the bark of the mulberry tree or the wild hibiscus. By the late 1800s fabric pareus were being worn by men and women in Tahiti. Then they were bold and simple designs often floral patterns, in white on a dark background. In Samoa the fine mats and tapa cloth are still worn for ceremonial occasions. For everyday use In Samoa, Tonga and some other island countries the fabric lava lava is worn by men and women as business attire, with shirt and/or tie or short sleeved top, and by schoolchildren as their uniform, with a shirt.

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