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Monday, May 16, 2022
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The Art Of 'Chaapa', The Unique Wedding Couture Of Bihari Muslims

Chaapa continues to remain popular among the Bihari Muslim families both nationally and internationally and even today, Bihari Muslims around the world opt for chaapa clothes for their children’s weddings.

The Art Of 'Chaapa', The Unique Wedding Couture Of Bihari Muslims
Models Nandini (left) and Kajal (right) sport traditional Chaapa sarees with a modern twist. | Outlook Photos/Tribhuvan Tiwari
The Art Of 'Chaapa', The Unique Wedding Couture Of Bihari Muslims
outlookindia.com
2021-11-11T14:13:06+05:30

India, with its diverse cultures and traditions, has a rich heritage of indigenous fashion. With global trends taking over markets, many of these traditional and unique styles of couture and dressing are fading out of fashion. Tucked in the heart of Bihar's Patna, however,  are the 'Chaapa' dresses of Bihari Muslims, a style of clothing that have withstood the test of time and the onslaught of mass production.

Chaapa is a traditional Bihari bridal dress made with silver block print. This dress was specially designed to be worn by the bride on the day of Nikah (wedding). No Bihari Muslim nikah ceremony is complete without the chaapa.

(Kajal is wearing a jacket by Arjun Saluja and a traditional Bihar Chaapa sari meant for Muslim weddings. Hair by Sneha and makeup by Nandini | Credit: Outlook Photos/Tribhuvan Tiwari)

The word chaapa came from chaap (which means print in English) and the history of this traditional dress can be traced back to the nineteenth century where Francis Buchanan in a journal mentioned the chaapa clothes and their significant demand among the Muslim Bihari families in 1811 – 1812. Earlier chaapa was fabricated in the entire Bihar but today due to the cultural influence, the chaapa style has become confined to Patna, Bihar Sharif and Gaya.

Initially, chaapa was available only in two colours, red and green. But currently, they are available in other colours such as yellow, blue, violet, pink etc.


(Video courtesy: Md Umar Ashraf)

Chaapa continues to remain popular among the Bihari Muslim families both nationally and internationally and even today, Bihari Muslims around the world opt for chaapa clothes for their children’s weddings.

(Md Umar Ashraf, a civil engineer by education who later pursued a masters in journalism, is the founder of www.heritagetimes.in, a website dedicated to bringing out the lesser-known facts of Indian history. He has served in the capacity of historian for several museums undertaken by the Ministry of Culture as well as projects under NBT. Several newspapers and portals have covered his impact on popular history.)

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