Tripura CM has of late made a statement to sport the Risa, a customary hand-woven cloth used by Tripura’s indigenous tribal communities.

  • Risa is one of the three parts of customary Tripuri female attire, the other two being the Rignai and Rikutu.
  • The Risa, which is essentially a customary hand-woven cloth, is used as headgear, stole, female upper cloth or presented to honour a distinguished recipient.
  • The Rignai is primarily used to cover the lower part of the body and literally translates into ‘to wear’. The Rituku covers the upper half of the body, wrapping it all around.
  • However, it is also used as a ‘chunri’ or a ‘pallu’ of the Indian saree. It is also used to cover the head of newly married Tripuri women.

Its cultural significance

  • Apart from its beautiful designs, the Risa plays a host of crucial social utilities.
  • Adolescent Tripuri girls are first given Risa to wear when she reaches 12-14 years in an event called Risa Sormani.
  • The event involves prayers to a Lampra god, where her elder women pray for her wellbeing throughout her life.
  • However, it is also used in religious festivals like the Garia Puja, a customary festival of the tribal communities, or as a head turban by male folks during weddings and festivals, as a cummerbund over dhoti or headscarf.
  • The cloth is even used as a makeshift baby carrier on the mother’s back.

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