Traditional Jewellery Styles That Transcend Generations
Jewellery has always held an important place in Indian culture. Be it a sign of status, a mode of investment or even a way of upholding family traditions, it has always been important to us. History shows us a huge cultural and religious significance—with dancers as well as deities being adorned in exquisitely designed jewellery. Even today, when temple deities are adorned for festivals, you see designs that resonate across generations.
If you were to go through family jewellery, you will find that there is always a line of similarity running through the designs. Certain motifs, patterns and designs are intrinsic to regions and will always find a place in our jewellery boxes. Take a look at some of them:
The Jasmine bud necklace: Traditionally known as the mullai arumbu malai this is a design that brings in the delicate jasmine buds that are part of the South Indian celebratory culture. Having at least one necklace dedicated to this element is usually a must. The mystique that surrounds it and its abilities is what makes it so popular.
The Mango Motif: This is another common motif is South India and called the Manga Malai or the necklace of mangoes. The mango tree has been of mystical significance to the Indian community for a long while now and is said to be a symbol of prosperity and hope as well as fertility. Besides being a common motif around homes, it is always a part of jewellery as well.
Lakshmi Goddess Motif:The Goddess of Wealth is often a part of Indian jewellery in the form of a motif or a pendant. You have the side pendant that is placed on a multi-strand pearl necklace which is very common. You also have the Lakshmi choker necklace that is often seen in jewellery boxes. The Kashu Mala style Lakshmi necklace is also a much loved design. One also sees the mixing of motifs like the peacock or mango coming together with a Lakshmi motif.
The Armlet or Vanki: Very common to the South Indian culture is the armlet that is usually inlaid with rubies, diamonds and emeralds. The design is such that it depicts coiled snakes on either side of the arm. Two parrots on the top of the armlet complete the design along with a lotus motif.
The Jadanagam: Literally translating to hair-serpent, this is a staple among brides of all generation for their long braided hair. The rakkadi that is placed at the back of the head has the Sun motif to depict power and the crescent moon for peace and serenity. Also an integral part of the design is the thazhambu flower.
Palakka Mala: An integral part of the Hindu culture of Kerala, the Palakka Mala is done in gold, emerald and rubies. This is usually found in two designs—one where the emeralds are placed around the length of the necklace in mango shaped motifs. And the other where the mango motifs is placed as a finishing towards the end of the necklace.
The list of traditional jewellery forms and patterns are innumerable and make for a great collection that quite literally goes through generations.