Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/191

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115
QUAINT HEAD-DRESSES

lating on the gems and tinsel, and all around the rich dark brown background of the old timbered houses, relieved here and there by splashes of colour among the buzzing crowd of onlookers. A striking feature of each costume in this procession is the head-dress—no veil or sari being carried—but each individual wears her hair in a low fringe, cut straight across the forehead, and twisted into two small coils in front of each ear. At the back, the coiffure is parted to the nape of the neck, and then brought forward into the shape of a coronet over the crown. Poised above all is a silver tiara, while here and there are small wreaths of gaily-coloured flowers, introduced among the plaits. Surmounting faces liberally powdered and heavily touched up with rouge and vermilion, the general effect of this unique combination may be imagined.

One of the last events of the Dassera festival is that which has been alluded to as "Blessing the Colours," and is conducted in an historic enclosure in Katmandu known as the "Kot." A commonplace-looking courtyard in itself,