The traditional dress of Assam represents the rich culture and tradition. In the bygone times, lower garments were very common among the people of Assam.

The inhabitants of this state make these garments from unstitched cloth. On the other hand, the royal society wore upper and lower garments with a paguri.

Medieval Assamese clothes went through a lot of significant changes when the state got exposure to a different culture. A lot of kings also started wearing shirts made of cotton, muga, eri, mulberry, tassar, silk, and wool.

Assam also has significantly colder winters, and the people living here had a tradition of importing clothes from neighboring hill states, like Bhutan.

1. Churia or dhoti

Dhoti is a popular garment all over India, as the men wrap them around their waist. Sometimes this attire also expands to the knee, or below it. During the bygone period, higher officials, satras, and Brahmins wore silk and mugha dhotis, which is Assam traditional dress. The length of a person’s dhoti is a great way to showcase their status in society.

2. Mekhla

The term Mekhla comes from the Vedic term ‘Mekhola’, which was the chief lower garment women wore in the old days. The attire is worn around the waist and reaches the ankle joints. The Mekhla is worn with a combination of Chador, which is a long piece of cloth usually wrapped around the neck.

Generally, people weave Mekhla with cotton, muga, silk yarn, and eri. A lot of women in Assam also call this attire the Methani Mara and wrap it around their breasts, which reaches down to their knees.

3. Ghagra

Like other parts of India, the Ghagra was the traditional dress of Assam for women during their theatrical performances. Activities such as Bhaona, songs, and dances, require the use of the ghagra to spice up the performance. This is a type of waistcoat which women wear during these performances.

4. Cheleng

Cheleng is an upper garment exclusively for women. The length of this attire is around nine feet and breadth is four inches. The two ends of a Cheleng have embroideries and one corner hangs over the left shoulder.

The end then goes across the back and then under the right arm. Finally, it hangs over the left shoulder on the back. The pattern is intricate but this attire is popular among brides at weddings.

5. Chador

Chador is a long piece of cloth that acts as an upper garment for the women of Assam. The length of this cloth is usually 2.75-2.81 meters and the breadth is 1.03-1.25 meters. The women usually weave chadors with the help of muga, silk, and cotton.

6. Riha

Riha is another essential Assam traditional dress and showcases the marriage status of women who wear them. This attire is also commonly known as the Kachali and used to be a replacement for blouses before their invention.

The women weave Riha with silk as well, but sometimes you can also find muga and endi rihas in the market. Wearing a riha with Mekhela and Chador is usually considered a sign of modesty among the culture of Assam.

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Learn more about traditional dresses of assam here. Here we share a complete guide about assam culture and dress.