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On the wedding morning in the bride's house, Pema's brothers dress in knee-length robes, "chuba," worn over pants and a white shirt. Formerly woven of black yak hair, today of dark-colored wool, the "chuba" is wrapped around the body, belted at the waist, and fastened on one side. It is sashed with the full back bunched up in loose pleats.
Katrina Thomas's notes: In 1950, when China invaded Tibet, thousands fled with the Dalai Lama to India. Until 1991, few emigrated to the U.S., and there are still few here so that many years pass until I find a Tibetan wedding. Finally, in 2001, it is the last culture I photograph. In her home, the bride, wearing traditional attire and a patu, a colorful headdress with cone-like rolls of hair standing alongside, executes the rituals to welcome the bridegroom's family, bringing a sheaf of arrows, dadhar, to claim her as a wife. In a rented hall, their guests witness the couple married in a civil ceremony, and then celebrate a wedding, enlivened by songs and dances. In lieu of garlands, every guest honors the newlyweds by wrapping white scarves, khadaks, around their necks.