In the country of Angkor temples – Cambodia, there are two primary types of traditional costumes, including daily costume and festive costume. Their livelihoods mainly depend on fishing and farming; so they often choose to wear clothes that are comfortable and convenient for their works.
In tradition, Cambodian people wear a plaid scarf called “krama”. Krama is often made of natural materials such as cotton or silk and though it has been thousands of years, this clothing has not changed too much. Krama is worn around the heads or necks with the role of protecting people from the harmful sunlight as well as absorbing the sweat if they have to work under the heat of summer days. Interestingly, krama is also used as a hammock for infants, a towel or a device to climb up trees, so on.

Cambodian Traditional Costumes

Cambodian Traditional Costumes

Contrary to the simple and convenient krama, festive costumes of Cambodians are amazingly flashy, glamorous and colorful. This costume is called Sampot. It appeared since very long time ago, around Funan Era. Nowadays, this kind of clothing is still kept, created and preserved as a traditional costume by Cambodians.
Sampot is a square long large cloth wrapped around the lower part of the body. It can also be draped and folded in many different ways, so each one brings a distinct beauty. Sampot is made of silk and often dyed in five basic colors, including red, yellow, green, blue and black that are popular colors with Cambodian people. It is very meaningful and precious for them because Cambodian people have to spend a lot of time and effort in decorating sampot with gemstones and embroidery details.

Cambodian women wear traditional Sampot

Cambodian women wear traditional Sampot

In Cambodia, the class polarization occurs strongly. As a result, there are many different types of Sampot, and each type is worn by a certain class. The most typical and common type of sampot is named as sarong. It is traditionally worn by both male and female of the low class. Sarong has the simple design with one an a half meter piece of cloth sewn at the two ends and tied on the waist. The upper class in Cambodia wears the more luxury and higher quality Sampot. They are called Sampot Phamuong and Sampot Hol which are all woven by the scrumptious silk type.
Sampot is a noteworthy symbol of Cambodian handicraft, showing the richness in the material as well as spiritual life.