The Vibrant Traditional Dresses of Sikkim

The Vibrant Traditional Dresses of Sikkim

Sikkim, one of India's most picturesque and culturally diverse states, is located in the northeast of the nation. The names of the indigenous tribes that inhabit the region are mainly the Bhutias, Nepalis, and Lepchas. The traditional dresses are both similar and different from one another. 

1. Kho or Bakhu

Sikkimese Nepalis and Bhutias wear very similar outfits. While the Bhutias refer to it as Kho, the Sikkimese Nepalis refer to it as Bakhu. It is quite similar to the Tibetan Chuba, except for the sleeves. The dress resembles a cloak that can be wrapped around the neck and waist. Many individuals tie the dress around their waist using silk or cotton belts. But many people wear it unaltered. 

2. Thokro Dum

The Lepcha Community in Sikkim, specifically, wears the Thokro Dum which consists of a Yenthatse, and a Lepcha shirt. Originally, the clothing was primarily intended for ritualistic and ceremonial occasions. However, with time, people began to wear it frequently. Thokro Dum looks very similar to a martial art dress. The white pajamas extend all the way down to the calves. People also don a headgear known as a Shambho to complete their outfits. And to top it all off, there is a multicolored material that is worn as a waistline and pinned to a shoulder.

3. Dumvum

This is a traditional dress that’s worn by the women of Lepcha and it involves a garment that’s worn like a saree. The attire is known as Dumyam or Dumvum. Here are a few things that are interesting about the attire.

Interesting things about the Dumvum Sikkim dress

  • The dress is ankle-length, smooth, silky, and has a good combination of colors.

  • This is one of those attires that brings culture and color together. The females of this community wear this dress too often and you can prominently see them wearing it during a festival or an event.

  • And underneath this attire, they wear a loose-fitting blouse that goes perfectly with the dress in contrast. This blouse is known in their language as Tago.

  • Then to complete the look the women also prefer wearing a belt called Nyamrek and then a cap named Taro.

  • Some women also prefer carrying a Gorey which is nothing but a scarf that’s mostly multicolored.

  • A similar dress is also worn by men but there is a distinction between them. And the names of their key components are a bit different.

4. Pharia

Coming onto Nepalese women and their graceful attires, Pharia is one of the top-notch dresses in their list. This is a traditional attire that comes in multiple hues and women wear it usually during their festivals.

Interesting things about the Pharia Sikkim dress

  • The upper body in this attire is wrapped by an elegant loose blouse and then covered with a cloth. It is also fastened from four sides.

  • Different people wear different things and some also wrap clothes on top of everything. This gives them a significantly better look.

  • There are multiple other things that are worn to compliment the attire and one of them is the Hembari which is a piece of cloth that looks elegant. It is wrapped around the waist.

5. Shuruval

"Shuruval" includes wearing trousers with double-breasted clothing. Precisely, Shuruval is the name of the bottom of the churidar that adheres to the legs. People pair it with a shirt known as a Daura. Additionally, it's frequently worn with a belt and the Patuki moniker for their waistcoat.

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