The Santals, one of the populous tribal communities of India, are mainly found in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Balasore in the State of Odisha. Besides, they are also found in the neighbouring states like Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar and Assam.
Santal people are very simple in nature and behavior. The santals have their own clothings and distinctive draping styles.
This Santali check on the body, some stripe work on the pallu. This saree is offered to the wife of the match maker and the female members of the bride side. It is also worn by the Santal women in many other occassions same as phuta kacha. In special occasions male and female wear phuta kacha and jhalah respectively. Now a days people are more conscious about their community. So when ever there is a community meeting, awareness camp or some other social gathering they make it a point to wear these specific clothing.
The phuta kacha is vertically symmetric as it has both the ends designed with same motifs, it can be worn in both the ways where as the jhalah is asymmetric with one end generally ending with stripe patterns or three close stripes and the other end(pallu) heavily embelished with floral motifs and grids. The check pattern in both the phuta kacha(dhoti) and the jhalah(saree) are same but the length differs. Initially there were no motifs on the sarees and dhotis.But now a days both the sarees and dhotis come with some motifs of birds, fishes, flowers, leaves and animals. The motifs are derived from the matters sorrounding them. Generally the sarees have motifs on the pallus and sometimes on the borders. The dhotis have very rare motifs on the body but both the end are designed with colorful motifs now a day. The pallu of the sarees have floral motifs and wider stripes in the width of around 2 1/2 ft. where as the phuta kacha has srtipes with comparatively narrow width. The jhalah has prominent wide border on both the selvedges where as in futa kacha the check pattern continues till the selvedges.
Now this tribal Saree is gaining popularity among the saree lovers and in high demand. This post dedicated to those who love adore and wear Odisha handloom sarees. (Some collected from research some from Internet).
Till the next blog. Keep reading. And share the knowledge.