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Traditional Outfits of the Northeast

The traditional dresses of the various tribes of the 8 different states have forever represented the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Traditional Outfits of the Northeast

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 Nov 2022 9:00 AM GMT

The Northeast region of Indian is enriched with eye-catching traditions and culture. From colorful dresses to multi-cuisine food habits, the northeastern states of India holds an essence of limitless beauty. The traditional dresses of the various tribes of the 8 different states have forever represented the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Here are some traditional dresses of women of two northeastern state, Meghalaya and Manipur.

Garo: The dresses of the Garo tribe of Meghalaya sees variation in the types of dresses won according to the residence of the people. The women who resides in faraway villages of the Garo Hills dress up with an eking. It is a small cloth worn around the waist. On the other hand, Garo women who either are from densely populated or crowded places wear long dresses that are made from cotton. The women of the Garo tribe wear a blouse with a handmade lungi called Dakmanda, which they wrap around their waist.

Khasi: The Khasi women wear a Jainsen along with a blouse. The jainsen covers the body of the women from their waist up to the ankles. A tap-moh khlieh complements this dress. It is a cotton shawl. The elder khasi women wear Jainkup, a garment that is made of woolen cloth. Along with this combination of attire, the Khasi women also accessorize themselves with various traditional jewelry made of pure silver or gold.

It is during the time of the Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem festival of the Khasi, when female dancers wear a dress, which is draped from the waist to the ankle. They wear this along with a blouse, which have full sleeves and beautiful lacework around the neck. The dress comprises of two rectangular pieces of cloth, which are embroidered with gold threads. The accessories that they wear along with this dress include a necklace, which is made up of red coral and beads covered in foil, golden earrings, and a golden or silver crown consisting of silver threads in the back of it.

Jaintia Tribe: The Jaintia women wrap their heads with chequered cloth garment known as a Kyrshah during the post-harvest season. And when it comes to their bodies, it is wrapped with a velvet blouse and an ankle length sarong known as a Thoh Khyrwang. Both men and the womenfolk of the Jaintia tribe dress up in their finest and most splendid costumes during the festival seasons. The women accessorize their costumes, which are silver and gold ornaments. They have a unique gold pendant that is adorned by the women belonging to both the Khasi and Jaintia tribes.

Manipur: When it comes to the women of Manipur, Innaphi and Phanek are two traditional dresses for them. All the Manipuri women wear these costumes. The dress phanek is worn like a sarong. This Manipuri dress is woven with the use of the hand in horizontal line designs. A special phanek called Mayek Naibi is also woven. The designs on Naibi are horizontal stripes and are very attractive to look at. This dress gives an extra appearance to the women and glows the beauty of the wearer. Kanak Phanek is another piece of cloth stitched by Meitei women. The Kanak Phanek replicates the design of skirt and Meitai females stitches it with various designs. Another attractive cloth is 'La-phi' which is white in colour having a yellow border. 'Chin-Phi' is also another Manipuri traditional costume; the costumes made with embroidered Phanek.

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