In a spectacular display of indigenous pride and creativity, Johargram, a brand deeply rooted in Jharkhand's rich cultural heritage, unveiled a mesmerizing tribal runway show titled 'Adivasi Paridhan Paridarshan' on August 10. This remarkable event took place within the historic walls of the Birsa Munda Museum in Ranchi, paying heartfelt tribute to the resplendent heritage of tribal communities.
Organized by the Department of Tribal Welfare, Govt. of Jharkhand, the fashion exposition showcased the exquisite craftsmanship of four distinguished local labels - Jharkhand Rajya Khadi Gramodyog Board, Jharcraft, Jobaha, and the host brand, Johargram. The runway came alive with models representing diverse tribal origins from Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Manipur, Nigeria, Nagaland, Tibet, and Nepal.
Guided by the theme of 'Transformation,' this year's showcase aimed to dispel entrenched stereotypes surrounding tribal identities. The event opened with a captivating performance by twenty talented female Mandhar players and ten accomplished Nagra artists, breaking gender norms associated with these traditional musical instruments. The spotlight then shifted to a thought-provoking skit, tracing the journey of tribal women and men who have risen to prominence in various fields such as administration, medicine, technology, fashion, and politics on a global scale.
At the creative helm was the illustrious Neeraj Gaba, while DH Franklin curated the show's aesthetics. The artistic finesse of Lakmé contributed to the enchanting hair and makeup, with a substantial portion of the crew hailing from tribal communities. The event was inaugurated by Dishom Guru Shibu Soren and Chief Minister Hemant Soren graced the event's crowning moments. The delightfully exuberant choreography captured the youthful dynamism of tribal culture, adding to the show's grandeur.
The show aimed to break free from the stereotype of associating indigenous culture solely with dance, music, and forests. Instead, it emphasized the multifaceted nature of tribal identities and their contributions to diverse fields. The event sought to bridge the gap between the Adivasi past and its contemporary, powerful reality; portraying the transformation in the perception of tribal culture.
Representatives from 32 indigenous communities participated in the show, including Asur, Baiga, Banjara, Bathudi, Bedia, Bhumij, Binjhia, Birhor, Birjia, Chero, Chik Baraik, Gond, Gorait, Ho, Kanwar, Karmali, Khaira, Kharwar, Khond, Kisan, Kora, Kol, Korwa, Lohra, Mahli, Mal Pahariya, Munda, Oraon, Parhaiya, Santhal, Sauria Paharia, and Savar.
Each brand showcased their unique design sensibilities. Jharcraft featured hand-painted cloth inspired by Jharkhand's indigenous wall art form 'Sohrai'. The Jharkhand State Khadi and Gramodyog Board presented floral prints on local handspun Tussar silk. Jobaha experimented with colours in traditional Santhali sarees and made ready-to-wear outfits, while Johargram's collection, themed 'Jal, Jungle, Zameen', incorporated traditional Jharkhandi Kukhna, biru stripes, and block motifs into modern streetwear.
This event was a significant milestone, as it was organized by and for members of various indigenous communities, challenging stereotypes and celebrating their contributions to contemporary society. It marked a transformative moment in recognizing the power and potential of indigenous people globally.
As the world increasingly embraces garments from brands like Johargram, it becomes evident that the tribal identity is not to be hidden but celebrated. Tribal culture is going global and this transformation is certainly something to be excited about.