The Bomkai sarees are steeped in historical significance, expertly embodying the blend of style and innovation unique to Odisha. Originating from the southern coastal regions of the state, these sarees are a testament to the skills and craftsmanship of the skilled artists who create them. The Bomkai saree, also known as the Sonepuri saree, is a coveted handloom creation hailing from the village of Bomkai in Ganjam district. Initially crafted by the Bhulia community in Subarnapur district, this saree holds the proud distinction of being one of the oldest and most renowned Geographical Indications of India. In fact, it was the visionary ruler of Patna, Ramai Dev, who first introduced the now famous Sonepuri saree.
You'll find Bomkai sarees in a variety of cotton and silk fabrics. Cotton is sourced locally, while silk comes from other regions of India. Each type is meticulously woven on a pit loom, employing an extra weft technique, resulting in distinctive patterns and textures.
Varieties of Bomkai sarees
There are several varieties of Bomkai sarees, including:
• Pasapalli Bomkai Saree: This type of saree has a checkered pattern in the body and border, with traditional motifs woven in the pallu.
• Bichitrapuri Bomkai Saree: This saree has a unique design, with the borders and pallu featuring different motifs and colors.
• Sonepuri Bomkai Saree: This saree has a simple design, with small motifs woven in the body and borders, and a plain or striped pallu.
• Subarna Patta Bomkai Saree: This saree features a golden thread or zari woven into the border and pallu, giving it a rich and elegant look.
• Bapta Bomkai Saree: This type of saree has a striped design in the body and border, with small motifs woven in the pallu.
Bomkai sarees boast an exquisite array of motifs sourced from nature, mythology, and traditional tribal art. These stunning patterns brilliantly capture the art and cultural heritage of the tribes, infused with vibrant hues and intricate designs.
• Animal and Bird Motifs: Bomkai sarees often feature motifs of animals and birds such as elephants, peacocks, and parrots. These motifs are typically woven into the pallu and borders of the saree.
• Floral Motifs: Bomkai sarees also feature intricate floral motifs such as lotus, jasmine, and rose. These motifs are often woven into the body and borders of the saree.
• Geometric Designs: Bomkai sarees may also have geometric patterns such as checks, stripes, and squares. These designs are often found in the body and borders of the saree.
• Mythological Motifs: Some Bomkai sarees also feature motifs from Hindu mythology such as Radha-Krishna, Ganesha, and Durga. These motifs are often found in the pallu and borders of the saree.
• Tribal Motifs: Tribal art and motifs are also popular in Bomkai sarees. These motifs are typically woven into the borders and pallu of the saree and often depict the cultural and traditional elements of the tribal community.
Not only are Bomkai sarees highly sought after in India, but they have also garnered global recognition, being featured in the collections of renowned fashion designers. These sarees now embody more than just a piece of clothing; they serve as a powerful cultural emblem of Odisha, showcasing its vibrant heritage and skilled artistry.