The Anthropology of Dress: A Study in the change of Assamese women dress in Assam

As a cultural artefact, the dress holds an important position in everyday life. Other than covering one’s body, it is representational and can be linked to questions of identity, nationalism, status, class and caste. This paper highlights the importance of clothing as a significant part of material culture and analysing the factors that have influenced the change in women’s dress in different periods during the twentieth century Assam. It discusses the symbolic value and meaning attached to the dress and explains how it becomes a carrier of ethnic identity and class. The finding in the study is based on a structured interview using a visual ethnographic tool (photographs) as well as literature selected purposively.