The Mesmerizing Traditional Dresses of Arunachal Pradesh!


Traditional Dresses of Arunachal Pradesh

The majestic ‘Land of the Rising Sun’! Indeed, what’s in a name, but have you ever heard anything more pristine? From lush green forests to serene monasteries, Arunachal Pradesh is the epitome of gorgeous lands. With the exquisite addition of a powerful and tasteful culture and the most harm-hearted and courteous people, the harmony of this state will surely leave you spellbound.

Home to more than 26 tribes and sub-tribes, one of the best features of this state is its diversity. As is common in most North-eastern tribes, the tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh too are well known for their moral values, exquisite customs, and distinctive traditions. They are highly proud of their traditional dress and make sure that the world gets to see the beauty of their culture. The traditional dress of Arunachal Pradesh varies according to the various regions due to the large magnitude of tribes present. However, generally, the most worn clothing articles in the state include skirts, shawls, wraps, and headgears of various sorts.

Arunachal Pradesh or the state of Tribes nurtures a massive Handloom industry. This is an open testament to the fact that these people are highly skilled in the process of cloth making. Each tribe in Arunachal Pradesh shares a common ethnicity if not culture. And while they are separated by an invisible geographical boundary, the main idea behind each of their traditional dress remains the same – to pay a tribute to their ancestors. The traditional dressing style is a rare commodity passed on from generation to generation to preserve the cultural identity of the tribe. The dresses reflect the age-old customs and traditions of the tribe; hence they are given utmost importance.

The Traditional Attire of Men And Women

Traditional Dresses of Arunachal Pradesh Couple

The unique dresses of Arunachal Pradesh are famous for the material with which they are made. Every tribe makes sure to use only those resources which are locally available to them. Thus, you’ll find that the dresses are often made out of tree bark, animal hair, plant stems, roots, and other naturally available resources. The tribes then, use natural dyes from tree trunks, flowers, and seeds to make attractive colors for the dresses. The most widely seen and used colors here include yellow, emerald green, dark blue, orange, etc. The natural blend of these colors gives a refined and colorful look to the traditional dresses and makes them stand out. It goes without saying that the weaving skills of these tribal communities are impeccable. It is said that the Apatani tribe are the best weavers in the entire state. They carry the ability to expertly transform fibers collected from goat, human hair, and plants into superbly made shawls and skirts. Such elaborate skill technique is what makes the dresses so special, don’t you think?

Interpretation of Patterns on Dresses

Traditional Dresses of Arunachal Pradesh-Patterns

If you get a chance to take a look at these dresses in person, you’ll notice the different patterns on them. The tribes of Arunachal Pradesh make use of several vibrant geometrical figures and angular lines as illustrations on their traditional dresses. In numerous tribes such as the Adi and Mishmi tribal communities, there is extensive use of zig-zag lines, stripes, and floral patterns. In fact, it is also interesting to know that most of these figures are not drawn without meaning. The tribes have attributed specific meanings to each of these symbols and designs based on their culture. For instance, the Mishmi tribe uses complex, elaborate patterns on their dresses to imply their festive culture. The straight-line pattern seen on the traditional dresses of the Adi and Aptami tribe relate to their strict and disciplined way of life. Similarly, every design on the traditional dresses of Arunachal Pradesh is indicative of the daily life patterns of the tribe.

Traditional Dress of Arunachal Pradesh Women

Arunachal Pradesh-Women

As mentioned before, each tribe in Arunachal Pradesh has its own style of clothing. However, generally speaking, the women are often seen donning an embroidered chemise which is sleeveless, and the use of a jacket paired with a long skirt is not unseen as well. The attire is complete by the addition of an elegant skull cap known as Gurdam. This cap is filled with Yak hair hence has an extremely soft texture. Moreover, belts are also an important component of the ladies’ apparel as it represents the social status of the woman and whether she’s married or not.

Traditional Ornaments of Arunachal Pradesh Women

Arunachal Pradesh-Ornaments

Another interesting aspect of the traditional dress of Arunachal Pradesh is the extensive use of jewelry. Jewelry plays a significant role in amplifying the appearance of a person, and the tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh make sure to inculcate this factor in their dressing substantially. Some pieces of jewelry are worn every day by women and are hence made sturdy to withstand the harsh chores that they must carry out. Others are more festive and are worn during festivals and marriages. The Biangsipi is a beautiful neckpiece consisting of blue beads. Similarly, the BuaGatjiangn is a red-beaded ornament that is usually tied to the left arm of the husband. Some other ornaments include the Koktung (headgear), DoumuiChe (bride’s sword), and Habo Terri which is a wonderful garland worn by the girls of Arunachal Pradesh. The Pear is a rectangular-shaped ornament and the Talei is a bowl used during special occasions. Tourists love the silver earrings and rings produced in this state (made with colorful beads as well) and indulge in them often. Lastly, you’ll find the bamboo and cane-made hand-crafted hats to be a wonderful delight.

Today, even though the world has progressed quite a lot in terms of fashion and clothing, the Land of the Rising Sun hasn’t changed much. The tribal communities here still wear and celebrate their clothing as enthusiastically as more and love to share their culture with other people. However, while most of their apparel remains unchanged, one can notice the inter-mix of patterns from the Northern side in the Arunachal fabrics. Style as flattering and innovative as that of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh reminds us of the cultural diversity that India harbors. And even though I’m no Ritu Kumar, I can say with some confidence that these dresses deserve to be appreciated for their beauty all over the country.

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  1. haha hmm, There dress pattern is so different form us which is mainly us forest thing to dress up and suitable for their climate and word. A men and women both found most different from this attire.


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