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Traditional Indian Jewellery of Indian heritage jewellery
History of Traditional Indian Jewellery
The history of Traditional Indian Jewellery is as old as Indian History! The word jewellery originates from the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything. 5000-7000 years ago during Ramayana & Mahabharata times was when jewellery and the art of wanting to beautify oneself was popularised. Traces of beaded jewellery can be found back to 1500 BC during the Indus Valley Civilization.
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Beads, shells don’t really have a shelf life and metals can be used to make jewellery was discovered later by the Indus Valley region. India had an enormous supply of precious metals and gems; it prospered due to export & exchange with other nations.
India was the first country to mine diamonds. Mughals reined in India during the 16th century. They brought along their knowledge and art of jewellery making to the flourishing artistic Indians.
From head to toe, traditional jewellery highlights the aura of every Indian Woman.
Take a look at the Traditional Indian jewellery pieces and immerse yourself in the rich varied heritage of our country.
Veni/Jeweled Braid, Paasa, Maangtika
Your hair is a reflection of your identity. Long, short, curly, straight. Who doesn’t like to style her hair with some accessories? A Veni is a jeweled braid worn when you tie your hair in a plait. Traditionally worn on special occasions, veni pins are available and can be worn as a hair clip too. A Paasa & Maangtika are sister jewellery pieces, paasa being worn on one side of the head and maangtika worn in the center partition of the hair.
Chandbalis, Jhumkas, Kanvelis, Nath
Earrings are 'enamours' of your ears. Traditionally heavy and intricate work earrings add another dimension to one’s beauty. Chandbalis get their name for representing the most beautiful celestial star 'the moon'. Earrings in the shape of moon add a mystic aura to your look. Jhumkas are as ancient as our heritage, the Jhoomar - chandelier like design is ethnic & compliments your neck perfectly. Kanvelis are small, delicate pearl earrings worn on the helix of your ears, go perfectly with the saying ‘ flaunt as many jewels as you can’. Finally the nath - jewellery worn on the nose, this lights up your face like no other jewel can. Traditionally made up of pearls and a few ruby stones, the variety available now is truckloads ranging from diamonds to kundan.
Rani Haar, Gulbandh, Satlada, Kamarbandh
Necklaces have been a sign of royalty since the times of rajas maharajas in India. Men wore necklaces with as much vigour as women, if not more. Rani Haar as the name itself suggests, is a long necklace fit for queens that your are! Gulbandh sits ideally below the collarbone the perfect flattering length, it’s called a princess necklace too, a traditional necklace worn by the likes of the princess in Rajasthan.
Satlada - seven necklaces in one. Satlada is for the evenings when you want to go all out & be the rockstar. Pair a satlada with your cocktail gown to up your sass quotient.
Kamarbandh accentuates your waist & was worn traditionally to give an hourglass figure without the pain of wearing a corset. Kamarbandhs give a twist to plain anarkali dresses, they are paired with dresses, sarees & gowns too!
Bangles, Bracelets, Haathphool
Meenakari work bangles looks exquisite and are very popular amongst the young fashionistas. Adorning hands with mehendi & bangles has been a trend since times immemorial in India. Haathphool rings attached to strings which form a spiderweb-like design are delicate hand jewellery which look dainty & elegant. If you want to go bold, calcutta tode (elephant kada) & kada bangles, in general, are traditional bangles which will really beautify your hands.
Jewellery for your feet
Paizeb,This unusual Paizeb (or Pahzeb) is from Hyderabad. As the name implies, it is an adornment for the feet. Loose chain links, set in gold kundan designing with uncut diamonds, and stone drops instead of ghunghroos, ensure it lies flat on the foot over your ankles. Another famous foot jewellery is silver ghungroo payals and toe ring payals which are like haathphool for your feet.
As we have discussed the famous traditional jewelleries from India let us delve into the finish & stone types of jewellery now.
Kundan & Jadau jewellery are Mughal inspired requires expert craftsmanship. Placing gemstones on sheets of gold requires a great amount of patience & skill. Polki jewellery originated in Bikaner & is heavily Mughal inspired too. It has raw uncut diamonds which give it a bohemian princess vibe. Kundan, Jadau & Polki work jewellery is trending today as it did years ago. Timeless beauty is a phrase used for such jewellery. Sure the designs might get tweaked as per the trends but the style remains forever.
Pearls are always appropriate. Pearl jewellery is a sign of a lady. Traditional pearl jewellery was a prized possession of Nawabs. Hyderabad is the hub of selling pearls, and historically pearls have been preferred as a gem as they represent the moon & purity too! Pearl jewellery holds a prized place in everyone’s jewel box.
Meenakari is a Persian art which colours the surface of gold & silver metals by fusing brilliant colours. The art introduced in the 17th century, was brought to Varanasi by Persians during the Mughal era. India is a potboiler of cultures. Mina (Minoo) in Persian means the blue colour of heaven. It was originally used to create designs on the back of Polki jewellery. Now, it is a design on its own.
Adornments with motifs of Gods, Goddesses, flowers, birds are temple jewellery. The name is derived from the actual use of the jewellery. It was used to adorn the Gods & Goddesses. The royal families made some jewellery pieces for themselves. With time, the art has surpassed all boundaries & was used by the common folk in abundance. Even today, the auspicious & divine jewellery is an important part of the jewellery to be given to a South Indian bride on her wedding day as blessings from the Gods.
There you have it. A brief journey through the history of India via Traditional Indian Jewellery. Saaj has imbibed the traditions of ancient, mystical India with trends of today to give you Fashion Jewellery which is sassy but filled with nostalgia too! Head over to see our beautiful collection. We promise, you will be delighted! Happy Shopping!
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