Traditional Dress of Meghalaya

This blog contains the richness and heritage of Meghalaya, the most beautiful state of India. The traditional dress of Meghalaya for Men and Women, Bride and Bridegroom dress, culture and festivals of Meghalaya adds a lot to this blog.

Indeed, the Meghalaya men and Women are the best weavers and weaving is the bread winning for them.

As the legend goes, there were 16 families, nine in heaven and seven on earth. From then, the people were divided into 16 warring families with different chiefs. These families belong to Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes.

Today, they are the people of Meghalaya, and this is their legendary beginning! And they fight among themselves quite a lot.

The people of Meghalaya are cheerful, sociable, and hardworking and have exemplary dignity of labor. Physically, they are short, muscular, and robust with fair complexion. Predominantly Christians they are casteless.

There is a simplicity in the dressing style of these people which brings out the beauty of the place even more.  Colorful dresses are to be seen in this state for both men and women.

Traditional Dress of Meghalaya For Men

traditional dress of meghalaya for men
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1. Garo Tribe

Men in the Garo tribe wear a loincloth as part of their tradition. It is to be noted that the men in the Garo tribe are the most skilled weavers of the region. Probably, every family earns their living through weaving.

2. Khasi Tribe

The men of the Khasi tribe: wear a long, unstitched cloth around the waist. During the festival of Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem festivities, the men of the tribe carry a sword in one hand. The people of Meghalaya are proud of their traditions, and their cloth is a great example of their heritage.

Khasi men mostly wear unstitched Dhoti which can be seen normally across Meghalaya. Along with this, a jacket which is embroidered is also worn.  But nowadays men wear traditional clothing commonly during festivals and other events to keep in touch with their traditions.

 3. Jaintia tribe:  

The dress of jaintia tribe is the same as the Khasi tribe.

Traditional Dress of Meghalaya For Women

traditional dress of meghalaya for women
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1. Dak Manda

Women of Garo tribe wear an eking; a small cloth worn around the waist. Garo women who stay in either densely populated or crowded places wear long dresses that are made from cotton.

The women belonging to this tribe wear a blouse along with handmade lungi called Dak Manda which is wrapped around the waist. The traditional dresses of Meghalaya worn by the Garo tribe vary depending based on the place of residence of the people.

2. Jainsem

Women of the Khasi tribe: wear a jainsem along with a blouse. The Jainsem covers the body right from the waist to the ankles. These traditional dresses of Meghalaya are complemented with a cotton shawl known as top-moh khlieh.

3. Jainkup

The elder women of the tribe wear jainkup, a garment is made of woolen cloth. Jainsem is the traditional Meghalaya costume of women and is made of mulberry silk, a local specialty. Over the jainsem, they wear cotton shawls called top-meh khlieh.

During the Khasi festival of Ka Shad Suk Mynseim: female dancers wear a traditional dress of Meghalaya that is draped from the waist to the ankle. This is worn with a blouse having full sleeves having beautiful work around the neck.

The Meghalaya costume comprises two rectangular pieces of cloth embroidered with gold threads.

4. Kyrshah

The women of the Jaintia tribe cover their heads with checkered cloth garments known as Kyrshah during the post-harvest season. Then women of the Jaintia tribe dress up at their finest in festivals.

5. Mekhla

The beauty of the Mekhla and its convenience makes it one of the most popular traditional dresses of Meghalaya. Mekhla is usually weaved from Muga silk. The silk that is used to weave mekhla is very eye-catching.

Meghalaya Bridal Dress

meghalaya bridal dress
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The bride of Meghalaya dresses up in a Khasi attire at the wedding. A bride wears a dhara or Jainesm as it is known in the local language. A bride also wears a crown on the wedding day made with gold or silver and a peak is attached to its back.

Ornaments of Meghalaya Bridal

The bride accessorizes the outfit with various ornaments such as necklaces and earrings made of gold and silver. The bride also wears a gold pendant known as Kynjri Ksiar with an ornament on the head is an important custom for the brides in Meghalaya.

Gold: is commonly used by the tribes to make jewelry. The Khasis and Jaintias are fond of jewelry, and the women are especially partial to gold and coral bead necklaces.

red coral beads worn by them during festive seasons are called Paila.

Popular Festivals of Meghalaya

festivals of meghalaya
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Meghalaya is rich in tribal culture and folk tradition. Dance and drinking along with the sound of buffalo horns, flutes and, mridangams form an integral part of the festivals of Meghalaya.

  • Shad Suk Mynsiem
  • Nongkrem Festival
  • Behdeinkhlam Festival
  • Shad Sukra
  • Wangala Festival

Know more about the traditional dress of Tripura here.