Traditional Dresses of Madhya Pradesh
A Glance at Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh is the India’s largest state and is located in the center of the country. It is also famous for the fact that nature over here is at its lavish best. This land is a plateau with Satpura and Vindhya Ranges which give a welcoming break to the otherwise flat terrain. The Sone, Chambal, Mahanadi, Indravati and Betwa running from west to east and The Tapti and Narmada Rivers flowing from east to west, arise from these mountains.
Madhya Pradesh is also blessed with a rich history since it was a home to Tansen, the jewel musician of Akbar’s court and Kalidas, the great Sanskrit poet. This place also has national parks like Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Shivpuri etc., which has a large population of animals especially tigers. Also, the remains of historical monuments belonging to rulers such as the Sungas, Ashoka, Vikramaditya, Chandragupta, Raja Bhoj, Harsha, The Delhi Sultans, The Chandelas and the Mughal, can be found in the state.
Often dubbed as ‘Heart of India’, Madhya Pradesh is located in the center of the Indian subcontinent. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and majestic architectural evidence, Madhya Pradesh makes a spectacular exhibition of its diversified traditional clothes.
The prime reason behind such rich diversity in the traditional dress of this state is its various textile techniques and the use of handicrafts. The wardrobe of the women of Madhya Pradesh comprises traditional ‘ghagra choli’. ‘Ghagras’, also known as ‘legengas’ are skirts of usually ankle-length, while ‘cholis’ are waist-length blouses which are mostly bare-backed. The ‘cholis’ are intricately embroidered. This combination of traditional clothes of this state is completed with ‘dupatta’ or ‘odhni’.
Batik, tie and dye and weaving are three of the most prominent patterns and techniques play a significant part in the varied designs and styles of the traditional attires of Madhya Pradesh.
The tribal communities of Madhya Pradesh are known for their highly distinctive traditional attires. They mostly wear minimal garment so as to feel comfortable. Ornaments play a vital role in the traditional attires of Madhya Pradesh. From bracelets, bangles, necklace, silver ornaments make up the list of the ornaments of the tribal women.
For the men of this state, the traditional wear is dhoti, like many other Indian states along with a headgear, known as Safa or Chanderi Pagadi, which is a kind of turban. ‘Mirzai’ which is jacket coming in either black or white color is a common traditional wear of the men, especially of those living in the regions of Malwa and Bundekhand.
The amalgamation of the tribal along with non-tribal cultures reflects the ethnicity as well as a discreteness in the traditional costumes of the state.
Bandhani (locally called Bandhej) cloth is produced on a large scale in Maundsar, Indore and Ujjain. The fabric is painted with molten wax and is dyed with cold dyes to produce a cloth type called Batik. Contrasting patterns on Batik cloth are quite famous. The delicate Chanderi and Maheshwari sarees produced in Madhya Pradesh are hand-woven, and they are quite famous all over India.
Costumes in urban Madhya Pradesh are quite like the costumes all over the urban India. They include sarees, shirts, pants, salwar suits, etc. The peasant population wears dhoti made from cotton or other light garments. The headgear here includes Safa, worn in the eastern part of the state, and Pagri is being worn in the western part. A piece of cloth known as Orni or Lugra is used to cover the head and the shoulders.
The tribal costumes of Madhya Pradesh are truly distinct. They have developed an interesting pattern of costumes for several occasions. Ornaments made of beads, cowries and feathers are an integral part of the tribal costume. Colorful costumes are worn by the tribes during dance festivals, religious festivals and other important occasions. Peacock feathers, chunky ornaments, bright headgears, etc. all constitute the tribal costumes on festive occasions. Ghungroos are attached to the costumes to give them a tinkling effect.
The costumes used in Maanch are locally equipped. Each character actor has a set of well-known clothes. The main character has to wear more nice-looking angarkha or a long coat with multi-hued safu, adding Kaldi to it.
He enters the stage with an aura of dignity. Women’s roles are enacted by male actors. Spectators do not mind whether she has moustaches and masculine angles. These actors effectively use the stage. They move in conventional styles speaking or singing their dialogues while at every movement the dholak is at work. Their facial language and physical gestures of hands and feet always give dramatic impact upon the audience.
In the heartland of India lies its largest State, Madhya Pradesh. Filled with lush forests, magnificent monuments, exuberant festivity and blissful solitude. In this land of wonderful and contrasting variety, handicrafts lend a touch of mystique – a charm unique to Madhya Pradesh. They radiate an aura, exhibit hereditary skills, whisper painstaking craftsmanship and evoke an urgent desire to learn more about the land and its colorful people. A deftly woven silk or a cotton blended saree. Block printed fabrics, stuffed leather toys or floor coverings. Folk paintings, bamboo, cane or jute. Woodcraft, stone craft, iron craft. Metalcraft, terra-cotta, papier mache. Zari work (gold thread embroidery), ornaments, dolls each hand-crafted product of Madhya Pradesh is charming enough to sweep you off your feet.
All time favorite lac jewelery is famous at Rewa and Indore. Goldsmiths make chokers, bead chains, earrings and hair ornaments in the traditional designs. These ornaments have a golden luster. Mangalsutra (worn by the married ladies as a symbol of being married) and hansuli(necklace) are the other famous ornaments.
Tribal Jewelry is made of silver, beads, cowries, metals, and feather. Tikamgarh, jhabua and Sheopur kalan are the main. Interestingly the tribal folk are so taken in by ornaments that you would often find even the men sporting them. These tribal craftsmen passed their skill from one generation to the other and hence the art stayed in the family.
Madhya Pradesh artists design beautiful gold and silver jewelery studded with expensive stones and pearls. These items are finally coated with the enamel work which makes them look very beautiful. Bangles made of lac and glasses are always in high demand and are worn by all communities. Anklets are made with clove shaped beads made of silver and caste in one piece called lauang kasauthi.