Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jilañ on Indian Postage Stamp

At last, the traditional Apatani design in the jilañ has found its place in the Indian postage stamp along with Varanasi Brocade, Kanchipuram Silk and Kalamkari. More details can be found here.

The traditional textiles of the Apatanis had got the much needed boost in 1997 when the Apatani Cultural and Literary Society (ACLS) organized a traditional fashion contest entitled "Trendsetters". Since then, various designs have been adapted and used in various cloths.
Jilañ is the dress used by the priests during ceremonial occasions like the Murung and Subu. Mythology has it that the designs were copied from the color combinations of the peacock.

Apart from the jilañ, other traditional clothes include jig-jiro, jikhe, piisa-leñda, lañchañ abi, pyamiñ pulye and so on.


  1. "color combinations of the peacock."

    its probably Pheasant( poko)since peacocks are not found in AP.Hope u dont mind:)

  2. it's probable it could be any bird.
    but the words the elder people use is 'tar piita' and they recognize the picture of peacock by this name.

  3. Hi Kanno and Buru,
    I too showed pictures of various birds to elders while in Ziro. The name "tarlar" was given to me for 2 species, namely the Indian peacock and the Grey Peacock Pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum). This latter species, actually a pheasant that looks like a peacock, is found in Western A.P., especially East Kameng. You can see a picture from this link:
    My guess is, "tar piita" or "tarlar" refers primarily to this pheasant species, and the name was later extended to the Indian Peacock.

  4. PS: Note that besides grey, the Grey Peacock Pheasant has only 3 colours, metallic blue, orange and white, which are also the main colours found on Jilan pulye.

  5. Thanks for this input, PB. I did not know how similar the pheasants and peacocks look. I now believe it must be the pheasants that the elders refer to.