There are seven states in the north east region of India and Arunachal Pradesh is one of them. This state has not only the geographic beauty but also the traditional and ethnic bridal dresses that represent its special culture. The home of about more than sub-tribes the state Arunachal Pradesh presents the skits, wraps, shawls etc. as part of women dresses. So, the ethnicity and rich tradition of Arunachal Pradesh has encouraged many dress designers to use those themes in designer sarees and lehenga.
Here is an attempt to make you acquaint with the specialty of bridal dresses in Arunachal Pradesh.
Effect of Clan on Bridal Dress in Arunachal Pradesh
Many types of tribes such as Aka, Ali, Galo, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagnis, Bori, Bokar etc. live in the state of Arunachal Pradesh and hence the bridal dress of each tribe differs from the other. Due to close proximity with foreign nations like Bhutan and Tibet, the effect of their clothing is also found to some extent. The bride wears jewellery made of silver and glass beads. She also wears koktung (headgear) and chain of sengme, sampu, sangiang etc.
Dominance of Geometric Pattern
The clothing worn by various tribes such as Aptani, Adi, Mishmi etc. have dominance of geometric patterns. It consists of zig-zag lines or angular patterns. You may even find the floral pattern in the bridal dresses. Among the Aptani and Adi tribes the simple pattern and straight lines are assumed to be reflection of simplicity in life and discipline but celebratory pattern is more liked by the Mishmis.
Colours and Fabric
The designs made on the fabric and colours have symbolic and special meaning for the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. They have symbolised black for the night, blue colour representing sky and red coloured shawls for blood enemies. It is also perceived that pointed triangles in the pattern of clothes represent arrows and hornbills. The red squares on clothes represent ferments for making beer.
It is seen that the bridal dresses as well as bridesmaids dresses consists of sleeveless chemises and full-sleeves jacket having embroidery. They also wear a petticoat or a skirt. To complete the bridal dress a waistcoat (Mushaiks) is used. The Gurdam (hat specially made) is used to add elegance.
You may not find a bride without a belt in Arunachal Pradesh. It is different for unmarried ladies if they want to wear that.
If you happen to see a tribal wedding in Arunachal Pradesh, you will find that the unique colour represent the equal status of women. Like the Bauche (groom’s sword) there are also DoumuiChe (Bride’s sword). Both the bride and the groom wear the hats and chains, the pattern may be different and they may be known by the different names. Even the groom has to wear bangles like brides and these are known as kamkotap and Buah tap. The bridal dresses as well as bridesmaid dresses consist necessarily of Habo Terri (garlands) and rectangle-shaped jewelleries known as Pebar apart from chains beads of various designs known as Sangiang, Sampu, Anabou, Sengme etc.