The Mekhela saree holds significant cultural and traditional importance in the northeastern region of India, particularly in the states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland. Here are some key points regarding the importance of the Mekhela saree in the North East:
- Cultural Symbol- The Mekhela saree is an integral part of the traditional attire of women in Assam. It represents the cultural identity and heritage of the region. It is also worn during festivals, weddings, and other important occasions.
- Assamese Tradition: In Assam, the Mekhela saree is known as Mekhela Chador. It consists of two pieces of cloth - the Mekhela (bottom) and the Chador (top). The Assamese mekhla saree is draped around the waist, while the Chador is worn as an upper garment. This attire is deeply rooted in the Assamese tradition and is worn by women of all ages.
- Handwoven Craftsmanship: Mekhla saree designs are traditionally handwoven by skilled weavers, using techniques passed down through generations. They are known for their intricate designs, vibrant colors, and the use of traditional motifs such as flowers, animals, and geometric patterns. The craftsmanship involved in creating these sarees is highly regarded.
- Silk and Cotton Varieties: Mekhela sarees are crafted using different types of fabrics, with silk and cotton being the most common. The silk Mekhela sarees, known as Muga silk and Pat silk, are highly valued for their lustrous texture and durability. Cotton Mekhela sarees are lightweight and suitable for regular wear.
- Socio-cultural Significance: The Mekhela saree is often considered a symbol of grace, elegance, and traditional beauty. It plays a significant role in various cultural events, such as Bihu (the most important festival in Assam), weddings, and religious ceremonies. It also serves as a way to express one's cultural identity and pride.
- Economic Importance: The production of Mekhela sarees contributes to the local economy of the northeastern states. Handloom weaving is a traditional occupation for many communities in the region, and the demand for Mekhela sarees helps sustain this craft and supports the livelihoods of weavers.
Overall, the Traditional mekhla saree holds immense importance in the northeastern region of India, both as a cultural symbol and as a representation of the rich weaving traditions of the area. It serves as a cherished attire for women and is deeply ingrained in the social fabric of the communities in the North East.