The Kasabu Viyun, a unique embroidery technique, graces the delicate neckline of the Dhivehi Libaas, the traditional Maldivian dress. This vibrant and intricate art form, passed down through generations, is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the islands.
A Symphony of Threads and Colors:
The Kasabu Boavalhu, the elaborate neckline adorned with Kasabu Viyun, is a masterpiece in itself. Crafted using imported cotton, silk, and metallic threads, it boasts vivid colors like greens, reds, and blues, woven together with shimmering silver and gold.
The Art of the Craft:
Creating this intricacy requires a specialized set of tools. The Gathaa Fai, a wooden base in the shape of a vase, holds the Gathaafaige Boa, a round cushion used to pin threads. The Foalibai, five-inch-long weights often made from sturdy wood or fishbone, keep the threads taut. Up to 34 of these weights can be used at once!
Through meticulous weaving and hand-stitching, three distinct ribbons – Hiru, Bagiyaa, and the most elaborate, Rodhigandu, are carefully arranged, transforming the neckline into a mesmerizing work of art.
The beauty of Kasabu Viyun lies not only in its technique but also in its regional diversity. In Huvadhoo Atoll, the embroidery sings with vibrant colors, while Addu Atoll remains faithful to the classic silver and gold.
A Legacy Preserved:
Like many traditional crafts, Kasabu Viyun faces the challenge of time. However, dedicated artisans in the north, from Kulhudhuffushi to Utheemu, and in the south, from Gaafu Dhaalu Thinadhoo to Gaafu Alifu Villingili, continue to keep this art form alive.
A Modern Twist:
While the Dhivehi Libaas is now more common in ceremonial events, glimpses of its beauty can still be seen on some local islands. Additionally, young fashion designers are embracing the Kasabu Viyun technique, incorporating its essence into modern designs, ensuring its continued relevance in the modern world.
Kasabu Viyun: A Timeless Treasure:
Beyond its aesthetic splendor, Kasabu Viyun embodies the cultural identity of the Maldives. It is a story woven with threads of tradition, skill, and unwavering passion, a legacy preserved for generations to come