Assam is a beautiful state in the Northeastern part of India. The Northeastern part comprises the Seven Sisters in the North East. Assam is a budding state with rich cultural roots.
The people of Assam take their culture as their pride in the refinement. Assam is also rich in its lush green forests and serenity. The state comprises beauty in different forms of art, culture, and tradition.
Here the habitat, nature, food, and exquisite costumes are very beautiful that anyone staying in this region will fall in love with itself. Assam is full of different tribes, ethnic groups, and communities, but food, costumes, and culture always unite them.
Check out the different traditional costumes of the people of Assam.
Gamosa and Dhoti
Gamosa and Dhoti are the native dress of Assam for men. To cover the lower half of the body, the Dhoti is used, and Gamusa is a piece of hand-woven cloth in a rectangular shape, primarily with red borders.
“Ga-Musa” is a cloth to wipe a person’s body. Gamusa is generally white with beautiful motifs on the two smaller sides. Gamusa is also used as a token of honor to felicitate people and as a token of love for loved ones.
Chador-Mekhela- traditional Assamese dress
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The Chador-Mekhela is the traditional dress of Assam for women. Chador is a long piece folded into pleats, wrapped around the body and tucked into the waist, and Mekhela is a piece of cloth draped from the waist downwards. Chador-Mekhela can be worn by any female irrespective of their age.
Assam comprises various tribes who themselves have their traditional costumes and have held them with pride for a very long. Each tribe has its set of unique traditions, culture, clothing and lifestyle.
Let us look at these dresses of a few among the major tribes of Assam.
The Bodo Tribe
The men of the Bodo Tribe used the Gamosa to cover the waist down to the knee, and the upper half was meant to be kept bare. The Bodo tribe used aronai as their traditional cloth and tied it on their head as headgear.
For footwear, they used to wear sandals made of wood, commonly known as Khorom.
The women of this tribe wear Sokhna. It is a dress-like piece of a long cloth wrapped around their body, running right from the chest down to the ankles. It is a distinguishing format of dressing.
The Sokhna is wrapped around the body only once and is tied around the waist. Sokhna is made of different colors and patterns and Agor. Without an Agor, a Dhokna is considered a bridal dress called a Salamatha.
The Dimasa Tribe
The men of the Dimasa tribe wear a Phagri or a Sgaopha (a turban) as a sign of the pride of their tribe. The Dimasa people carry a little muffler called the Rigdon. Gain that, and Risha is similar to Dhotis but differs in length. The Gainthao reaches the ankle, and the Risha covers up to the knees.
The women of this tribe dress almost similar to Chador-Mekhela except for the Rigo. Rigo is worn from the waist downwards that reaches up to the ankles. It is a long piece of cloth. A kind of Rigu is Bathormai which has only a single design on the whole cloth. The Bathormai only reaches the ankles and is usually worn during summer. Dress-like clothing is called Rijamphain, which is white. It runs from the chest down to the knees. With a shred of elegance, these costumes are simple yet beautiful.
The Mishing Tribe
The men of the Mishing tribe wear Gonru Ugon, a kind of Dhoti, also worn similarly. To cover their upper body, men use a shirt like a dress called Mibu Galuk.
The women wear the Chador Mekhela, the Yakan Age-Gasar here and generally black. Bright colors like red, yellow, and orange are woven over the black color to make the attire look vibrant and beautiful.
The Rabha Tribe
The men use the common Assamese dressing code of Dhuti and Gamosa. The native way of dressing in white Dhoti and wearing long Gamosa is constant in almost every tribe of Assam.
The women’s dress is known as the Koum Kontong, skirt-like clothing wrapped around their waists. Koum Kontong is endorsed with exquisite patterns that are unique yet beautiful. Another piece of elegant cloth used by women to cover their upper bodies is Kambang. Labor is commonly tied around the abdomen and made with beautiful shells and pearls; a belt women wear as an accessory.
The Karbi tribe
The men of the Karbi tribe wear Choi, Poho, Rikong and Sator. Choi is the jacket worn by men. There are different types, like Choi, depending upon the age og men. Pho is a muffler worn around the head or used. Men wear Rikong during work. Sator is like Dhoti. It is a long white cloth worn around the waist covering the whole length up to the legs. Pe seleng is used like a sator which covers up to the knee, which is very colourful, and the designs are all over and borders at both lengths.
The Karbi women wears Pini, Pekok, Vamkok and Jiso. Pini is a skirt worn around the waist tied with a belt. It is generally black. Pekok is a square-shaped piece of cloth tied at the right shoulder. To tie the Pini tight at the waist, Vamkok is used as a belt. Jiso is a long black designed and decorated cloth used by women to cover the bust area.
Karbi women generally wear silver jewellery, as gold is reserved for men. The silver necklace worn by women is called Lek. Leks are made of coins and colourful beads too. There are various local names for Lek, depending on their designs.
There are many more indigenous tribes of Assam, like the Tiwa tribe, Hajong tribe, Thengal Kachari tribe, Sonowal Kachari, and Deuri tribe.
Tiwa tribe is an ethnic group that resides in Assam. This tribe is also found in other states of the Northeast. The state of Assam has recognized them as a Scheduled tribe. Their traditional costume is very beautiful yet very colourful.
The Hajong tribe is an ethnic group from Northeast India. The Hajongs are predominantly rice farmers. Hajongs are said to have brought wet-field cultivation methods of agriculture to Garo Hills. Hajongs are also recognized Scheduled Tribe in India. Their traditional costumes are very vibrant with bright colours.
The Deori is one of the major indigenous communities of Assam. Historically they resided in the area of Patkai foothills, Sadiya, Joidaam and the plains of the upper side of Brahmaputra valley. The traditional dress is similar to tu Chador-Mekhela, with a Gamosa draped along the bust area where females and men wear Dhuti-Gamosa.