Traditional clothing for men and women in Manipur


The outfits of Manipur comprise their unique charisma and attributes. The traditional costumes of Manipur are very simple. It is also easier to wear them. Beautiful costumes look stunning with their unique designs and patterns.

Traditional costumes of women in Manipur: 

One of the most common traditional costumes for women in Manipur includes a shawl known as Innaphi, a Phanek which is worn around a skirt named sarong. Phanek is another traditional dress of Manipuri women that is worn like a sarong. It is a hand woven dress. There is a special Phanek that is called as Mayek Naibi, which has attractive horizontal stripes. Women look beautiful after wearing this dress. Kanap Phanek is a skirt which is stitched with the traditional cloth of Meitai females. Though there are many costumes worn during rituals, the major ones are ‘Lai-phi’ (an attractive white cloth having yellow border) and ‘Chin-phi’ (available with an embroidered Phanek).

Traditional costumes of men in Manipur: 

Men wear white turban (pagri), jacket and dhoti. Khamen chatpa is a ritual dhoti which is worn by the superior member of society. During ancient times, Khamen chatpa was gifted as award to a few people by the king. Groom put on pagri and dhoti kurta. Zamphie was worn during war by the warriors. Ningthoupee was worn by the king.

Modern clothing of Manipur:

With development in economy, changes in society due to westernization and extension of Christianity, inhabitants of Manipur have become fashion conscious. Shirts, t-shirts, jackets, jeans and skirts are common among youngsters. But they still like to wear their traditional costumes. There are many modified attires as well. They are old fashioned clothes with contemporary changes. For example, Innaphi is a traditional dress of women which is worn with a modern skirt. These days, different types of materials are also used to make Innaphis.

Festival costumes of Manipur:

A wide range of attires are worn by the people during festivals of Manipur. In reality, there are different outfits for Manipur festivals. The Kumins and Potlois are worn in the Rasa Leela festivals. There are some other dresses as well for festivals mainly for dance such as Phurits and Koks. Tribal dresses are Phiranji, Lmaphie, Ningthoupee and Saijounba.

Handloom weaving in Manipur: 

Handloom weaving is in the genes of people in this north-eastern state of India. It’s a family business in Manipur. Because of the marking and commercialization of handloom outfits, they have gained a huge demand.  Weaving is completely one by the women. The materials for weaving costumes include kabrang (high quality mulbery silk) and cotton.

The people of Manipur are famous for their designs and called as Tindogbi, that is inspired by a beautiful silk caterpillar sitting. There is popular for Akoybi embroidery with SNAKE type pattern and akoybi which is circular. Females of Meitei are very fond of jewelleries like Kiyam Liphang.