The Bomkai sari is another marvel of the handloom saris. It is also known as the Sonepuri saree. This drape has intricate designs and weaves. The silk bomkai sarees with exquisite hand embroidery is worn on special occasions, whereas the cotton variety is more informal because of the high comfort of the cotton material.
Written by Kalapurna Nalla, Director, CPS
Sari, a swath of fabric, communicating the tradition and ethnicity of the place from where it is made, finds its origin more than 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley Civilisation. Though being so ancient, it still finds its place in all different and diverse places – right from being an ambassador of a culture to the ramps of leading fashion shows, from Bollywood to absolute rural households, from old grandmothers to the young suave girls. Being a cultural artefact, sari reflects the social history of the place from where it originates. The delicate finish and the rich gorgeous textiles are greatly influenced by the Jagannath culture, displaying temple borders and using the traditional colours of Lord Jagannath.
The Sambhalpuri Ikat of the Odisha is an exquisite creation made by extremely ordinary craftsmen. It makes one wonder how such simple lives make such extraordinary creations, reflecting the human civilization and the values of the Odia society on the cloth, adding elegance to the beauty of the Indian women. The legendary poet Bhimabhogi of Odisha seems to have been an inspiration to these weavers.
One of the oldest known Sambhalpuri designs is the traditional Bichitrapuri style, which has the traditional animal figures of duck, elephant, lion, deer and the ‘shankh’, temples and the lotus flower ornating the ‘pallu’ of this type of sari.
The Bomkai sari is another marvel of the handloom saris. It is also known as the Sonepuri saree. This drape has intricate designs and weaves. The silk bomkai sarees with exquisite hand embroidery is worn on special occasions, whereas the cotton variety is more informal because of the high comfort of the cotton material. The sari is known for its simplicity having a tribal touch to it.
The Odisha Bandhakala sari is analogous to the Bandhej sarees of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It comes in the traditional Lord Jagannath colours of red, yellow, black and white. The Odisha Sambalpuri Baandha sarees have spiritual patterns on the pallu. The geometric design with a dash of the traditional shankh, chakra, flowers and animals, with deep meaning in the symbolism, makes a stunning silk sari.
The 200 years old conventional weaving of Odisha is used in the making of the gorgeous Berhampuri Paata sari. The temple design is conspicuous and the zari border is eye-catching. Worn at weddings and auspicious occasions, this sari has the distinction of being draped by Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra in the Puri Jagannath temple. The uniqueness of this sari is that it comes with a ‘joda’ for men.
Woven with pure tassar silk yarns on wooden looms, the Khandua Paata sari dates back to the twelfth century. This sari is usually worn by the women during wedding. The Kahndua has the illustrations of the Gita Govind and is offered to Lord Jagannath.
The Habaspuri sari is a tribal product from Odisha. Basically a cotton sari, the weavers painstakingly make the kumbha along with the traditional patterns of fish and the flowers. The weavers are trying hard to restore this dying art of weaving.
Besides the mentioned varieties are the Saktapar sari, Kotpad sari, Dongris sari with their unique features and carrying an essence of the tradition and culture of Odisha. The woman draped in any of these sarees will definitely be a brand ambassador of the rich tradition and ethnicity of Odisha.