Discover A Few Best Ethnic Tribal Textiles of Odisha
Some traditional and typical textiles of Odishan tribes
Author with the Gadaba women in their traditional attire
The most important constituent of personal adornment of tribals are nothing other than their costumes or the kind of textiles that they put on during their daily life and during different social occasions as well.
The costumes of some of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (abbreviated as PVTG) speak a volume about the man’s fascination for textiles that dates back to prehistoric days. Personal adornments may include textiles and jewellery as well….but here I am going to discuss about some of the peculiar textiles being worn by some of the most sought-after tribal communities living in different nooks and corners of Odisha.
Everyone knows that Odisha is a rich tribal state and Odisha has 62 types of tribals in its bosom. But the austere reality is that it has become very difficult to identify and segregate several tribal communities from their prevailing lifestyle. It is because of the assimilation process, they are very fast loosing their cultural identity and that’s why..the need of the hour/challenge is to provide them all possible comforts of modern day world ( like education, health , communication, safe drinking water, electricity, mobile phone connectivity , cable TV etc..) but keeping intact their age-old intangible cultural heritage resources. The huge varieties of their countless numbers of their dress and ornaments , dhokra items, personal belongings , weapons of offence and defence, hunting implements , musical instruments , art and crafts , tribal paintings, tribal shrine crafts, agricultural implements etc. are getting lost in the course of perennial flow of modernity with time.
The conventional costumes incorporate typical textile items like Ringa of Bonda , Kapda ganda of Dongria Kandha, Phuta saree of Santal, Gatungcab of Lanjia Saora etc.
Ringa( Bonda Textile)
Image of Bonda loin cloth” Ringa”
Image source: vanishing cultures photography
Image source: me and museum
Bonda people in their traditional weekly market” Onukudeli”
The Bonda (otherwise called the Bondo or Remo) are a Munda ethnic group who live in the segregated slope areas of the Malkangiri locale of southwestern Odisha, India, close to the intersection of the three provinces of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.
Among the variety of tribal clothing types, the focal spotlight is on Nadik/Ringa , a little piece of fabric which is wrapped around the pelvic areas by the Bonda ladies . The Ringa is a scanty cloth utilized by the Bonda ladies living in Mudulipada of Malkangiri locale . This ethnic article of clothing is set up out of common strands gathered from the bark of Kerang tree, spun, designed and woven by the Bonda females with their native, indigenous shift loom . They utilize three different tones for making a Ringa. The young ladies subsequent to accomplishing the age of 7 years, put on Ringa around the loin till the end of their life.
Kerang( Gadaba Textile)
One can have a comparative glance on both the photos..The single lady on my left side in the 1st photo is the same person who is on the 2nd photo…but the time gap between both the photos is 13 yrs….See…how the lady has changed over a span of 13 yrs…
Gadaba woman weaving Kerang(white, red&blue)
The Gadaba is an ethnic group generally found in Odisha ( especially close to the Lamtaput block of Koraput region) and Andhra Pradesh. The predominant subgroups of Gadaba are Bada Gadaba, Sana Gadaba, Gutab Gadaba . Their subsistence economy depends on cultivating and daily wage labour. They are engaged with both Slash-and-burn and plough cultivation . They live in a particular place generation after generation, never live a nomadic life. They are notable for their ancestral dance, the Dhemsa. The Gadabas speak Gutob and Ollari, which are Austroasiatic and Dravidian dialects separately.
Gadaba ladies generally wear neck rings which are around 500-700 grams each and can not be eliminated without the assistance of a metal forger. As a piece of their custom, it is just taken out after their demise. A Gadaba lady customarily wears a two-piece dress which is extremely beautiful, regularly striped in red, blue and white, which is woven by themselves.
‘Kerang’ is the ethnic name of the ladies’ wear of Gadaba of Lamtaput in koraput region. It is made by the Gadaba ladies and Tanti ( weaver ) out of a fiber called ke rang . The fiber is shaded with white , red and blue vegetable tones. This customary striped dress is mostly worn during the events like dance, marriage celebrations and other ceremonies.
Kapdaganda( Dongria Kandha Textile)
Dongria Kandha women in the weekly tribal market” Chatikona”
The Dongria Kandha individuals primarily belong to the Kandha community. They reside in the Niyamgiri slopes ( Rayagada)in the province of Odisha in India. They support themselves from the assets of the Niyamgiri woodlands. Their subsistence economy predominantly depends on horticulture ( widely known as queen pineapple growers and very good quality turmeric) and shifting cultivation.
Dongria Kandha women embroidering on kapdaganda
Image source: OrissaPost
Image source: survival International
Kapdaganda textile of Dongria Kandha of kurly (Rayagada region) is an elegantly woven and embroidered shawl , specially designed by the Dongria damsels for their cherished ones to express their love. Generally the Dongria Kandha ladies buy the off-white cloth from the nearby Chatikona weekly tribal market and accomplish weaving work at their recreation hours . They utilize three shades of cotton string. That is red, green and yellow . Red tone represents blood and penance . Green for timberland and ecosystem of the Niyamgiri hill and yellow for turmeric . It is utilized as an image of affection for two cherishing hearts.
Phuta Saree(Santal Textile)
The Santals are one of the crowded ancestral networks of India, mostly found in the Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Balasore locale of Odisha.They communicate in Santali language which belong to the Munda group of Austro-Asiatic sub-group of dialects. The Santali has its own script called “Ol chiki” developed by Pundit Raghunath Murmu.
Santal couple in their traditional phuta saree
Image source: Pinterest
Phuta/Phoda check sarees are handwoven with unadulterated organic tussar in Mayurbhanj region. The Santhal tribals framing a tremendous piece of Odisha’s ancestral populace, wear these check sarees. The naturally obtained organic tussar of Mayurbhanj is extremely lightweight and fine. Different ancestral themes and tribal motifs, are weaved into these sarees like geometric buti, blossoming flower, deer and so on, as the tribals live intimately with Nature. The Santal ancestral women wear it just underneath their knees( a little above the ankles)..The typical length and width of those sarees remain roughly 5mt and 38 inches respectively.
Gatungcab ( Lanjia Saora Textile)
Lanjia Saora couple in their traditional attire
Image source: Pinterest
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Dr. Manoj Mishra