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Mekhela Sador (Assamese: মেখেলা চাদৰ, English: Mekhela Sadowr) is the indigenous traditional Assamese dress, very similar to other traditional dresses of Southeast Asia (worn as a sarong) worn by women of all ages except children.
There are two main pieces of cloth that are draped around the body.
The bottom portion, draped from the waist downwards, is called the mekhela (Assamese: মেখেলা). It is actually a form of a sarong, a very wide cylinder of cloth that is folded into one or two pleats to fit around the waist and tucked in. The folds are to the right and are very less (maximum two), as opposed to the pleats in the Nivi style of the saree, which are folded to the left and have multiple pleats. It is completely different from a Sari and is in fact very much similar to traditional attires of other South-East Asian nations. Strings are never used to tie the mekhela around the waist, though an underskirt with a string is often used.
The top portion of the two-piece dress, called the chador (pronounced: Sadowr), is a long length of cloth that has one end tucked into the upper portion of the mekhela and the rest draped over and around the rest of the body. Unlike the Pavadai Davani, the chador is tucked in triangular folds. A fitted blouse is often worn, though in the past and tradionally another garment called a riha was and is still worn. A riha is still worn as part of the Assamese bridal trousseau and in other indigenous traditional events like Bihu etc, but sometimes over a fitted blouse.
Ornamental designs on the mekhela-chadors are traditionally woven, never printed. Sometimes a woven pattern, called the pari, is stitched along the sides of a chador, or along the bottom of a mekhela.
Traditional mekhela chadors are made from the following materials:
Some modern low-budget sets are also made with varying blends of cotton and muga or pat silk with synthetic materials.
- How to wear a Mekhala Chadar: The traditional Assamese attire
- Rhitupon Bora and Tamina Das (2011). Silk Weaving Tradition of Sualkuchi, Assam. D'Source, IIT Guwahati. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15.
- About Mekhela Chador (Mekhla Sador)
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