International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Research Paper | History | India | Volume 13 Issue 1, January 2024 | Rating: 4.6 / 10

Breaking Boundaries: Socio-Cultural Transitions in the Lives and Clothing of Elite Bengali Women during the 19th Century

Susmita Das [4]

Abstract: This research paper examines the transformative journey of elite Bengali (bhadramahila) women from the confined spaces of the innermost part of the house (andarmahal) to a more liberated existence during the 19th century. Prior to the mid-19th century, these women were relegated to the innermost parts of their homes, clad in fine, high yarn count translucent saris that symbolized their seclusion. Deprived of education and life beyond the andarmahal, their primary roles were limited to caring for their families. However, with the advent of social and educational reforms in the 19th century, a paradigm shift occurred. Bhadramahila ventured beyond the confines of their homes for education and other pursuits, heralding a profound change in both their lifestyles and clothing. This research delves into the intricate process of this transformation, exploring the factors that facilitated their emergence into society and the consequent alterations in their clothing. By scrutinizing the shifts in lifestyle the paper aims to elucidate how societal changes during the 19th century influenced the clothing of elite Bengali women, providing a nuanced understanding of their evolving roles and identities.

Keywords: Elite Bengali women, bhadramahila, andarmahal, 19th century, socio-cultural transitions, educational reforms, lifestyle changes, clothing evolution, women's emancipation

Edition: Volume 13 Issue 1, January 2024,

Pages: 38 - 383

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