Coorgi Saree or Kodagu Style Saree
Coorgi sari hails from the state of Karnataka and is popular across the globe for its unique draping style. Recognized from its front pallu tucked neatly over the shoulder and saree pleats pushed backwards, this one has is also called Kodagu Style Saree or Kodava Attire. Along with this Saree, the women of Coorg also wear a piece of cloth that looks similar to the saree on their head, called Vastra.
Origin & History
The origin of Coorgi sari is associated with a mythological tale of the great sage Agasthya and his wife Cauvery. The legend has it that Cauvery transformed self in a river in order to serve people. The sage Agasthya tried his best to curb his wife from transforming herself into a river and in that process her sari pleats were pushed back. It was from that time that the women from Coorg wear their saris in the same manner.
Sources of inspiration
The fable of sage Agasthya and his consort Cauvery is an inspiration for the women in Coorg to drape their saris in Kodagu style. Another main reason for them to wear their sari in such manner is the fact that it is comfortable and makes it convenient for them to move around on hilly slopes of the area and even climb trees.
The Kodagu style draping is unique, reflecting the unusually beautiful culture of Coorg. The pleats of the sari, which are usually in the front in other saree, here, are tucked at the backside of the waist. Similarly, the pallu of the sari too is draped from rear to front tucked neatly over the shoulder. These look apt when worn in lustrous fabrics, like Silk, Satin or Cotton, for crisp pleating.
Originally, cotton was used to make these saris. But when the British people annexed Coorg they brought many changes to the Coorgi sari and the style of stitching. The jacket or blouse which is worn beneath the sari also saw changes from time to time and even the neckline changed and band collar and high neckline was introduced. Fabrics such as velvet and satin and silk were also experimented with.
Wearing the Attire
The Coorgi sari is coupled with a blouse or jacket that is available in different styles. A veil or vastra (head scarf) is added in case of a bride. There is a petticoat along with another undergarment of calf length, which is usually made from cotton wool, Coorg being usually cold.
From a small celebration to one own’s wedding, Kodava Attire is worn by every woman with pride.
These saris are made from different kinds of fabrics which make them ideal for every season or occasion. Mostly wedding attire, the brides in Coorg wear a red colored Kodagu style sari made with golden dots and she combines it with a red blouse and a red head scarf. Accessorized well with traditional gold jewelry and shoes and socks, the Kodava attire is unique on its own.
Interesting facts and comparisons
- The Kodagu style of draping the sari is unique and not imitated anywhere else.
- The fabrics used in stitching the saris have changed drastically from cotton to luxurious brocade and silk.
- The Kodagu style saris are generally accessorized with shoes and socks.
- Saris have been a part of Karnataka’s rich tradition for a very long time and the style of draping Coorgi sari has not changed since the time of its origin.