Costumes of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is a state with a rich heritage, striking diversity, lush green forests, distinct geographical features and a multitude of ethnic groups. The state, formerly a part of Madhya Pradesh, was bifurcated from the later in November 2000. The presence of several ethnic tribal groups adds more hues to the costumes of Chhattisgarh.

The costumes of Chhattisgarh exhibit colors. Fabrics like linen, silk and cotton are used in the costumes made here. The craftsmen of this state have borrowed various fabric-making techniques from its neighboring and parent state of Madhya Pradesh.

Batik, weaving and tie-dye are the various techniques used in fabric-making. Threads are tied up firmly, dipped in multi-colored dyes and are tied to pieces of cloth to produce various imprints. This technique is known as Bandhani. Fabric is painted with molten wax and is dyed with various colors of cold dyes to produce a design called ‘Batik’. Though these cloth-making practices are not widespread in Chhattisgarh, they are practiced to a certain extent in the state.

In the urban areas, trousers and shirts, sarees and salwar suits are worn by the men and the women respectively. The costumes worn here are just like those worn all over India. They have no characteristic features or specialties. Sarees in varieties like Maheshwari silk, Orissa silk, Chanderi silk, Batik print sarees, etc. are worn by the women in the urban areas here.

It is the tribal costumes of Chhattisgarh that endow the costumes of the state with a unique identity and arise interest among the tourists. The tribal men and women wear bright and colorful costumes. Use of a variety of colors in the costumes is the distinct feature of the costumes worn here. Jewelry like neckpieces made of metal casts, silver ghungroos, chunky wooden bangles, etc. is worn widely by the tribal population. Men in tribal groups like Halbas, Ghotuls, Abhuj Marias, Murias, etc. wear dhotis and headgears like cotton turbans, for protection from the harsh sun during the day. The women wear knee-length or full length sarees in bright colors.

A wonderful display of tribal costumes can be witnessed during festivals. Peacock feathers, bright headgears, chunky ornaments made of wood, metal, etc. lend a colorful atmosphere to the air of festivities. Gaudy costumes in striking colors too are features of the tribal festivals. Ornaments made of beads, feathers and cowries are seen amply in these festivals. Ghungroos and beads made of silver and other material make a tinkling sound and add to the already-high spirit of the festivals.