handloom and handicraft of Tripura is very beautiful. Tripuri are born artist,
whether in handloom or in handicrafts their skill is incomparable. Their article
are famous in and out side of Tripura, but because of non practice in modern
times, many of the such skills are forgotten gradually. There is also apathy in
the government machinery; there is hardly any job opportunity given to such
skilled people. But given the chance Tripura could have become hub of cane
product in the world and could have earned billions of dollar foreign currency
by exporting such handicrafts and handloom.
handloom was present in every house of Tripuri people even today. It had been
since time immemorial. Tripuri people would hardly need to by their dress from
the market in old times. Every requirement of cloths for all the members of
family was literally woven by women of family. In the course of time though
almost all of the male members had discarded their traditional dress, but the
women folk still wears largely their traditional Rignai, whether at home, in
office or out side.
There are three parts of cloths used by Tripuri
women, these are-RIGNAI, RIKUTU, RISA.
It is the cloths used for covering lower half of the body. It's meaning is to
wear, and the Indian sari has evolved out of this rignai. There are many
varieties of design, almost every rignai is a design. During the time of Maharaj
Subrai or Trilochana, he made invented almost 240 designs of Rignai. Most of
today's rignai design are made long 4000 years back. It's standard length is
1.6m and breadth is 1.2m. It is made according to height of lady it would wear.
It is woven into 3.2m long, which is cut in two equal size then stitched side by
side to make it 1.2m width.
Some of the designs are viz. Chamthwibar,
mikhunchok, takhumtwi, khaklubar, kuwaifang, etc. In old days a woman's IQ used
to be judged by her woven design of rignai. It was an indication of her
intelligence and her future prospect of as wife and her woman hood as a whole.
Uses of Ringai:
Rignai is used as women dress for lower part of
It is used as CHANDUA in different occasion,
like wedding, betrothal, shraddha etc. Chandua is spread just in front of the
foot step of main gate of home, hanged by four poles just above the head level
making dome down side.
It is used as mat or carpet when some guest
It is in Puja or worship to place offers for
It is also used as bed sheet for young people.
It is the garment used for part of body of Tripuri
women. It covers almost whole of the body. There are different procedure to wear
a Rikutu among Tripuri women. One is that it can be worn rapping around whole of
the body, which is used during winter season. Other way is to use like 'Chunri'
folding over the chest covering the bosom, both end hanging down the shoulder to
the back. Another way is to rap around upwards from waist through back to front
passing below the armpit in anti-clockwise then covering the chest it is hanged
down over the left shoulder. It is like Pallu of Indian sari, which itself was
modified version of this Tripuri rignai and Rikutu. Rituku is also worn to cove
the head of women specially who are newly married.
Variety of Rikutu: In the past only few colors of
rituku were available, at present Rikutu is woven to match the rignai, so it
looks almost continuation of rignai. At time it becomes difficult to
differentiate a women whether she is wearing a rignai or sari.
It's main purpose is cover up the ladies upper
half of the body.
It is used a shawl in winter.
Rikutu is used as Chandua in different occasion.
It is used to cover up the head.
It is used to cover the breast of women. It can be
equated with bra of modern women. The risa is turned around the chest so that
front part of chest is covered by two layers of both end of risa. It is about
1.5m long and 0.3-0.5m width. It covers from top of chest to half way between
xiphisternum and umbilicus. Risa has different designs, these are so beautiful
that one forgets to blink to look at risa. Some of the designs are kwchak pali
kosompali, takhumtwi, khamjang etc. There was an occasion among Tripuri people
to celebrate the adolescent ceremony of girl child, known as 'RISA SORMANI'
panda. On this day 12-14 years girls were first given risa to wear and all the
relatives, near and dear one gather, do worship a Lampra god, and wish for her
wellbeing for rest of life. There used to be gala feast, grandparents and
brother and sister in-laws of the girl would have fun and dance with whole of
Uses of Risa:
Risa's main use was to cover the chest of women.
It is also used in Garia Puja, in which some
paddy, cotton ball, durba grass, coin, flowers puffed rice are tied by one end
of risa and other end is tied on the Garia deity of Bamboo pole.
It is used for head turban by male folk,
specially in occasion like festivals, marriages, etc.
It is also used for tying the waist over the
dhuti. It gives strength and indicates the status of person.
Risa is also used like muffler in winter season,
raping around the neck.
It is also used as head scarf by young girls and
boys in the winter.
Risa is used to hold baby, either in front or
back by women or by young children. It is very convenient an appropriate to
hold by risa.
Now a days risa is offered as mark of honour to
distinguished gests in any formal occasion, ceremony etc. It is hanged down
over the both side of shoulder in front of body.
The Tripuri are expert handicrafts man in the
past. They were incomparable with any one in this respect, but due to change of
time and lack of encouragement and support from government, it is dying; and in
no more than few decades this rich knowledge highly skilled heritages of Tripuri
people would banish from the face of this earth. They used to make almost every
thing by hand, from needle to cupboard out of bamboo and cane. It can said be
that bamboo and cane was the life of Tripuri people. They would make comb,
basket, container, almirah, sofa, bed, table, decorative show piece, toys, each
and ever thing required for house hold.
The handicraft of Tripura is exported out side
state and to the world abroad. It has very high demand in international market.
But because there is any scientific research and professional management it is
lying in the death bed.
Sample of Risa