Maldivian social media calls out Bloeur for cultural appropriation of Feyli

Late Daood of Lainoofarumaage, B. Eydhafushi weaving a Feyli [L] along side a picture of Aria Sarong, culturally appropriated by Bloeur [R] | Photo: Ahmed Afaal [L], Bloeur [R]

Malé, Maldives – The Maldivian Twitter community, well known for it’s unity when it comes to defending it’s country on the social media platform, has once again geared up in defense of the Maldives, after Greek apparel company Bloeur was found to have been selling the country’s traditional sarong ‘Feyli’ under the name Aria Sarong.

Outrage sparked on Twitter this morning, followed by Instagram, with locals tagging and messaging the boutique to express their concern, only to get blocked in return.

‘The Times of Addu’ has since found that the business has renamed the sarong’s name to “Maldivian Traditional Sarong” on some of it’s social media platforms, although the name remains as Aria Sarong – available in two colors and one size – on it’s website even at the time of publishing this article.

According to the National Handicraft Center of Maldives, “traditionally, feyli has been a part of Maldivian dress and has been a part of the Maldivian culture for a long time with records even as far as 1340s. Feyli was worn both by men and women in Maldives during the monarchy. Men wore the materials on formal occasions while women wore it both formally and informally.”

Former President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom and his entourage viewing the craftsmanship of Late Daood of Lainoofarumaage, B. Eydhafushi, Maldives who is pictured while weaving a Feyli

The Feyli is still in use by the Maldivian people, as part of their cultural and traditional activities. While women pair it with their ‘Kasabu Libaas’ which comes in various colors – although mostly red – bejeweled with a wide border of hand weaved necklines, men wear the Feyli in a much simpler fashion, typically with a white shirt or tshirt.