Northeast India is still linked with its rich past through its everyday cultural practices and traditions.
Warehouse of culture and traditions, Northeast India especially its fairer sex has proudly flaunted its aesthetic sense & beauty with traditional attires which are filled with colours, magnificent designs, and an impeccable sense of styling.
The traditional shawls of Nagaland are the most prominent clothing of the state popular both in and outside the state. Tripura’s ‘Rinai’ is a broad piece of cloth draped around the waist, that reaches the knees. Mizoram’s Puan, Manipur’s – Innaphi or Phanek, Assam – Mekhla Chador, Arunachal Pradesh’s ‘Chemise’ or Meghalaya – ‘Jainsen’ or ‘Eking’. Sikkim’s ‘Thokro-Dum’, ‘Dumvum’, and many such costumes signify the beauty of these regions. Furthermore, all the 8 Northeastern states correspond with varied traditional outfits.
But modernisation or so-called cultural westernization has somehow or the other impacted this custom.
The current trends show that residents of these regions get more inclined towards western costumes or outfits.
Using varieties of weaving techniques & beautiful embellishments, traditional attires are gradually fading away.
Jeans, tops, western skirts are now replacing such attires. These have added some extra patterns or textures to the prevalence of these costumes.
Let us take the case of traditional costumes of Tangkhul Naga community of Manipur. Earlier, just a piece of cloth was used to cover the upper part of their body. While women today wear blouses over their Sarangs creating functional and hybrid clothing.
These changes seemingly natural is steadily becoming a cause of concern. If the displacement of traditional attires by new ones keep on continuing the beautiful dresses might becomes showpieces of the museums.