What is Risa?
The trend of wearing Risa had picked up in Tripura ever since the Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb, had made Risa his style statement.
- Risa is a customary handwoven cloth which is used by indigenous tribal communities in Tripura.
- It is one among the three customary female attire of Tripura. Risa, Rignai and Rikutu are considered as the three customary female attire.
- Risa is a handwoven cloth which can be used as a stole, head gear, or female upper cloth.
- Risa is also used to honour any distinguished recipient.
- Rignai– It is used to cover lower part of the body. Its literal meaning is ‘to wear’.
- Rituku- it is used to cover the upper half of the body and is also used as a chunri or a pallu of saree. Newly married women used to cover her head with Rituku.
Uses of Risa
- Risa cloth is used as an attire by the adolescent Tripuri girls aged 12-14 years during the Risa Sormani event in which Lamora god is worshipped. This event is organised for the wellbeing of the girl.
- It is primarily used as a breastcloth.
- The cloth is also used in religious festivals such as Garia Puja.
- It is also used as head turban by male folks in weddings and festivals,
- It can also be used as cummerbund over dhoti, head scarf and muffler.
The history of the Risa attire dates back to even before the rule of Manikya King. During that time, the girl’s intelligence was judged by her woven Rignai and Risa designs.
Risa in Tripura
In the state of Tripura, the weaving of Risa is now being seen as the self-employment policy of the government. The data from the National Handloom Census shows that, Tripura had more than one lakh handloom weavers. But very few exclusively work on traditional tribal handloom. Thus, the government of Tripura has made the weaving of Risa a part of their self-employment policy in line with the Prime Minister Modi’s vision of “Vocal for Local”.