Meghalaya literally translates to “the abode of the clouds.” The dramatic terrain, unique culture, and rich traditional festivals make Meghalaya an awesome tourist destination. It is home to several tribal communities such as Garos, Khasi, Panar, Karbis, Hajong, and Koch. Each tribe has its own diet, clothing, and dialect.
Legend says that there were 16 families, out of which nine were from heaven and seven were from earth. From then, the people were divided into 16 warring families with different chiefs. These families belong to Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes. In this article, we will be talking about the traditional outfits of each.
Traditional garb for males of the Garo tribe includes the use of a loincloth. It is important to note that all these outfits are mostly handwoven by the villagers themselves. The Garo community are known for their impeccable weaving skills and take a great pride in wearing it.
Men from both the Khasi and Jaintia tribe wrap a long, unstitched fabric around their midsections. To make-up for that, they wear a vibrant and gorgeous embroidered jacket. During Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem celebrations, they carry a sword in their hand too. Without a doubt, the ensemble looks gorgeous.
The older women from the Jaintia Tribe wears an woollen outfit which is commonly known as “Jainkup”. The Jainkup is a full-sleeve blouse designed with a neck work-around. Jainkup and Jansen are worn by female dancers during the Khasi Festival.
Ladies of Khasi ethnicity wear a garment called a jainsem. It covers the entire lower portion of a women’s body. The mulberry silk used to create jainsem is among the finest in the world. Tap-moh khlieh, a cotton shawl, is worn over a blouse with this.
Dak Manda is a small piece of cloth wrapped around the waist by women in Meghalaya. It primarily belongs to the Garo Community and consists of a handmade lungi and a blouse.
During the harvest season, the Jaintia community wears headwear made from a checkered cloth called kyrshah to cover their hair. Women also like to accessorize their dresses with this little headgear at parties, celebrations, and festivals.
Brides typically wear a Jainsem on their wedding day. Along with that they wear a lot of gold or silver jewellery.