People in India consider their culture as their brand. Mizoram, one of the beautiful states of Northeast India is no less in proudly presenting and preserving its culture and traditions. There are so many ways to understand a culture and the way of living of any community. Some ways are to understand their cuisines, availability of the products, infrastructures, and also their dress. People of Mizoram have been making contributions to keep the culture of their state alive via means of their dress.
The traditional costumes of Mizoram are similar to other hill states in terms of the colorful designs and sometimes patterns. The traditional dress of Mizoram is colorful and attractive. These attractive yet simple dresses attract people from everywhere. Like every other state in India and in the Northeast, people in Mizoram treat their traditional dresses with utmost respect. The men and the women both have dresses with similar patterns. There are many tribes in Mizoram and their dresses slightly differ from one another. You will be able to find and see many traditional types of attire in Mizoram worn by people belonging to different tribes.
One of the traditional dresses of Mizoram is ‘Puan’ worn by women. Puan has shades of black, white, and red; the black shade is made of synthetic fur. The dress ‘puanchei’ is usually worn by women during festivals and any kind of celebrations in Mizoram. It is basically a shawl with beautiful intricate design which women wrap their lower body with.
Girls in their traditional dress in Mizoram
Mim Kut, Pawl Kut, Thalfavang Kut, and Chapar Kut are considered as some of the main festivals in Mizoram. The locals wear their traditional dresses in these festivals in Mizoram. One of the traditional dresses is called as Kawrechi; this is worn by the girls. It is a handmade blouse where cotton is used as the fabric. Kawrechi is worn by women and girls in occasions and festivals and also while dancing. This blouse is usually paired with puanchei, and traditionally, all these dresses are hand-woven. But due to the growth of technology, the process of making these dresses has changed. These blouses and dresses are made in factories these days and with high quality. In Mizoram, cotton is used as the major fabric in preparation of their traditional dresses.
The women of the Lusei tribe of Mizoram wear a cotton blue skirt. These ladies pair the skirt with a white jacket and a fabric to wrap around their body. Any traditional dress in Mizoram is considered incomplete without headgear. These headgears are basically coronals made with raw materials such as canes and bamboos.
A traditional dress worn by the unmarried girls in Mizoram is Zakuolaisen. It is a beautiful blouse with attractive crimson colored stripes on it. Puon pie is another traditional dress worn only by married women Puon pie is a dress that is a sort of comforter like woven cloth. Most people consider it mandatory to wear this dress after they marry since they believe that it holds significant cultural value.
The men usually prefer living a simple lifestyle and it can be seen by the way they dress up. The traditional dress for men in Mizoram is a long drape around 5 to 6 feet long. They wrap themselves with this long piece of cloth. They add on extra clothing in the winters when it is cold to cover up their upper body. They also have a traditional coat in red and white; their coats have attractive designs of stripes in red and white. During warm summers, these men prefer wearing the regular drape around their waist and a turban to protect themselves on their head from the heat. Men also prefer their clothes to be made out of cotton than any other fabric.
Traditionally, Mizo men wear a lot of white in their dress but sometimes other colors like blue with stripes are also worn. Not much difference can be seen in these dresses with other colors too. The traditional dresses in Mizoram differ only during their festivals.
In ancient times the hunters and fighters of the Lusei tribe wore cloth wrapped around their lower body from their waist, a rucksack, the skin of bear or tiger (whichever animal they killed) hung over one shoulder, and a long sharp weapon over the other. Many years later they started carrying guns in place of the sharp weapon. The Lusei tribal men still wear their dresses in this fashion in festivals to preserve their culture and tradition. The only thing they won’t be able to access is the skin of animals. They add an extra cloth to replicate it.
The Hmars are a small tribe in Mizoram known as the weaving experts. Hmaram is a popular cloth in Mizoram and they make traditional dresses with it. It is commonly known as kawkpui zikzial. It is an indigo-colored piece of cloth, and this can be worn both by men and women.
Paiteis are another tribe with amazingly attractive and appealing costumes. Thangou Puon is a costume this tribe prefer wearing. In ancient times, not everyone in the tribe could lay claim to the costume. They had to earn it by being a warrior who had never been defeated in any rivalry and also inter tribal disputes and wars.
Another type of puan that can be wrapped around their waist is Ngotekherh. This was worn only by men in the past, but the women have also started wearing this dress now. Another type of puan is cyhna hno, which is made up of silk. Cyhna hno also has embroideries on its borders, and it makes the dress appear more beautiful than before.
Mizoram has a lot of variety of clothes and costumes to offer. The attractive colorful dresses with beautiful designs, embroideries, and styles of the costumes have surely given it an edge over others. When in Mizoram, do try these beautiful dresses and capture the moments. A visit to this state is surely going to be delightful with so many things that Mizoram has to offer; it will be such an experience that you will be able to cherish it forever.
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