Traditional Indian Jewellery

Author: Indian Handicrafts

Reshuffling and reversing the pages of history would lead us to the origin of the traditional Indian fashion jewellery. But the right point of start is still a mere blur. The story of Indian fashion jewelry can be dated back to the Vedic era. The holy Ramayana and the Mahabharata are replete with descriptions of ornaments worn by both men and women of that age. Infact even before the discovery of metals Indians are said to have adorned themselves with wooden jewelries and other materials which are easily available. To talk about civilization, Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilization bears evidence of Indian fashion jewelry. By the 3rd century B.C. India became the leading exporter of gemstones, and that was a benchmark in the history of Indian jewelry.

During the ancient ages Indian Gods and Goddesses are crafted with rich and ornate temple jewelry, a trend still existent. Eventually those intricate filigree designs of Indian jewelry were being sported with by the women folk and it got absorbed into the bridal trousseau and worn on special occasions. The traditional Indian jewelry could be branched into three categories – spiritual, bridal wear and temple jewelry. But with the flow of time all of them merged into one and took the form of Indian fashion jewelry.

Indian fashion jewelry was given a royal patronage from the ancient times. But it reached its highest peak during the Mughal era. Men usually are the goldsmiths in India, traditionally, and a variety of names were given to them as per the region they belong to.

Fashion jewelry in India is being made for almost every part of the body, ranging from the ‘tika’ for the forehead to the ring for the toe, a testimony to the love of jewelry and to the splendid skills of the Indian jewelers. In a broader aspect, jewelry in India was being handcrafted not only for humans but also for the ceremonial elephants and horses.

In the modern era Indian fashion jewelry is creating a new history for itself. Indian fashion jewelry is a rage among the recent generation and despite the tag of ‘feminine’ being attached to jewelry, both guys and gals are sporting with funky and traditional Indian jewelry. Be it the bold thumb rings or the sleek ear and nose rings, be it purely ethnic or purely funky Indian fashion jewelry is gearing its speed, expanding its domain at its best.

The common motifs in the traditional Indian jewelry were inspired by mythology and despite the fickle dictates fashion they remain essentially the same today. However, modern Indian jewelers are experimenting with a wide range of design, representing many things – love of nature and animals, spiritual beings, history, humor&ldots;..imagination at its best.

An important landmark in the history of Indian fashion jewelry is the expansion of the domain of raw materials used in its making. Besides gold and other metal jewelry, jute, beads, stones, conch shells, wood, plant seeds, etc are also used in the making of Indian fashion jewelry. These are setting a new trend in the modern fashion scenario&ldots;..befitting jewelries with the kind of attire you put on, be it funky or traditional.

Indian fashion jewelry is much more than just a tool of aesthetic appeal: rather it is a symbol of divine abundance and material blessings, tinged with fashion, updated with each passing day. A trend that started at the beginning of the civilization, may be at a more remote past, has been going strong till date and will definitely create new ripples in the near future with some more fusions, bifurcations, improvisations and new imaginations&ldots;..a new history of Indian fashion jewellery on the making.

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