(Last Updated on : 30/10/2012)
Costumes of Himachal Pradesh
reflect an awesome diversity owing to the plethora of culture and religion. Again the costumes of each community are different, be it the Hindu Brahmins, the Rajputs
, and the tribal people like Gaddis, Kinnars, Gujjars, Pangawals and Lahaulis. By heritage, the Dhoti
priests roam around in Kurta
, coat, waistcoat, turban
, i.e., Pagri
, and with a hand towel, placed upon the shoulders and with a valuable copy of Panchang, an astrological yearbook, carried under the arm, for important consultation. His clothing is, thus, in keeping with the cold atmosphere, and curiously enough with his priestly profession that involves astrological predictions too.
Rajput Costumes of Himachal Pradesh
who are the descendants of the royal family, wear body-hugging sherwani churidar
pyjamas, a long coat, a starch-stiffened turban with a unique mould, and shoes with pointed edges. The boasted thick moustaches and a dignified frown in the forehead-region, is symbolic of manliness in Rajput society. Now a days, though not so much in vogue, but previously the Rajputs adhered to the Purdah or veil system for their women. Their wives and daughters used to venture out within the enclosed confines of curtained palanquins.
Women Costumes of Himachal Pradesh
The costume of the women hailing from the Brahmin and the Rajputs clans are quite traditional. These women normally dress themselves in kurtas (shirt-like oriental blouse), Ghagra Lehenga choli
(blouses or tops with intricate embroidery) and "rahide" (nice crimson headscarves decked with golden fringes).The farmers and worker classes required to toil, go for kurta, a loincloth and a cap. They provide to long pyjamas, for attending ceremonies, like marriage ceremonies or special occasions, such as festival. The Chamba folk of Himachal Pradesh are every fond of adornment. The women folk decorate themselves with head scarves. These scarves are usually made of bright printed cotton cloth and knotted at the back.
Influence of the West on the Costumes of Himachal Pradesh
Nevertheless, the western influence is visible on the costumes of the younger generation of Himachal Pradesh these days. Hand-woven excellence is the hallmark of the costumes of Himachal Pradesh. The native women are famous in weaving headscarves. The utility shoes made from grass, are perfect for keeping the feet warm. The difference in style and the quality of kurtas, saris and gowns woven by indigenous weavers, serve as the insignia of Himachal handlooms.
Ornaments and Jewellery of Himachal Pradesh
Peculiarities in kinds of feminine ornaments are well demonstrated by the bangles and rings produced from horsehair. These are worn by the Chamba women. These weave-ace people are the dexterous creators of exclusive shawls. These shawls are famous for their elegance and smooth textures, as well as fascinating patterns, are assets for any costume-lover. The soothing suppleness of the renowned Pashmina shawl
is the specialty of the handlooms of Himachal Pradesh. Manufactured from the hair of Pashmina goat, these shawls find their demand worldwide. Among the favourite types of shawls, 'Dhobroo' and 'Pattu', are the leading. The fancy needlework available on these shawls has its source in the Kangra
schools of paintings. Thapada
is also a broad shawl, embroidered with marvellous embroidery. Embroidered blouses and caps gives a glimpse of the commendable taste of the Himachal inhabitants. The embroidered caps of the Kulu, Sirmair, Kinnaur District
and Lahaul district are all brands of skilled craft by themselves. The striking shawls originating from Kulu Valley
, Lahaul, celebrate the ages-old Pahadi designs.
Exquisite patchwork, quilts, doll and elephant figures constructed of rags are all native productions, which serve as vital constituents of the gorgeous attire for the bride. The wool products are knitted from Byangi wool. Wool weaving acts as a major vocation in Himachal. The dwellers of Lahaul-Spiti District
and Kinnaur are deft in this task who weaves ornate draperies for special occasions. Dyeing and printing of fabrics makes for a traditional craft in the region. The Farahada and the Chhiba group people are the experts in this business and the resultant is that we come across abundance of resplendent dyed and printed fabrics and costumes in Himachal Pradesh.
Thus, the splendid costumes of Himachal Pradesh owe a lot to the impressive craftsmanship of the prolific weaving-talents and the outstanding handlooms of the state