Kasabu boavalhu

Kasabu boavalhu is the elaborate neckline of the Maldivian traditional dress, Dhivehi libaas, more precisely the boavalhu libaas, referring to the neckline that adorns the dress. The boavalhu (neckline) is made from ribbons that are woven using cotton, silk and metallic threads. Vivid colours such as greens, reds and blues are used along with silver and gold.

The ribbons, known as kasabu are woven using a special set of equipment, gathaa fai and boa. There are three types of ribbon—hiru, bagiyaa and rodhigandu. Rodhigandu is the most elaborate of the three. Once the ribbons are ready, they are hand stitched on to the neckline, arranged in a specific order.

While the libaas is not part of the everyday attire today, it is highly valued as part of the Maldivian heritage and is proudly worn by women on special occasions.