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History And Origins Of Traditional Indian Jewellery

November 09, 2022

Jewellery represents the aesthetic beauty, prominence, sophistication quotient, and cultural heritage of any nation. Traditional Indian jewellery represents these aspects of India and its history as old as that of the nation. From mediaeval jewellery of strings, beads, stones and metals to vintage antique jewellery to regal, imperial jewellery in the Mughal ruling period to today’s modern, trendy diamond and solitaire jewellery, the journey of Indian ethnic jewellery has been phenomenal.

In this article, we will discuss the legacy of Indian traditional jewellery at length. Stay tuned!

Ethnic Jewellery That is Linked Back to the Mythological Stories and Its Chronological Evolution

Mythological tales, such as Ramayana, Mahabharat and a host of others, have a special significance in history. While these mythological tales had a massive significance in terms of the moral standpoint, these tales also introduce us to the cultural heritage those times represent. You will find imagery in scriptures and even may view the type of ethnic jewellery that the men and women used to wear during those times, and it’s needless to say that those were captivating, to say the least. The traditional antique jewellery of the Ramayana and Mahabharata period had gold, Kundan, pearls, gems, and stones as massive contributors.

During 1500 BC, the era of Indus Valley civilisation introduced us to jewellery made up of precious gems, stones, and metals. And India was the first country to administer diamond mining around that same period. Diamonds were given as gifts to strengthen political allies and family relations. These jewellery essentials were deemed to represent the longevity of life and prosperity for all the stakeholders.

It was during the 16th Century that India witnessed a massive shift in the jewellery design sphere. Mughal Empires brought with them several world-famous gems and the art of jewellery making that established the foundation of today’s modern jewellery.

Since then, Indian jewellery has gone through transformative phases over the centuries, and recent decades present us with some of the stunning, regal, impressive antique jewellery and modern jewellery articles that our future generations will proudly show off.

Today, Indian jewellery goes beyond being just the ‘bridal antique jewellery sets’. Today’s brides prefer ethnic jewellery, Polki jewellery, artificial Polki jewellery, and antique Indian jewellery alike, so they team up with versatile ensembles based on the occasion. You can get bridal antique jewellery sets online at Kanhai Jewels, one of the esteemed antique jewellery wholesale suppliers online, at competitive prices.

Indian Jewellery and Dance Forms

Indian jewellery and dance forms represent the cultural significance of both contemporary and modern India in more than one way. Kuchipudi, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odishi, Kashmiri, and other folk dance forms represent the dancers decked up in authentic, regal-looking, and captivating jewellery essentials.

Some of the key Indian jewellery variants include:

Hair Jewellery

Hair is considered one of the crucial aspects when it comes to one’s personal beauty and aesthetics, and since time immemorial, women have loved jewelling their hair with a versatile range of accessories. Veni, otherwise referred to as jewelled braid, is predominantly a jewellery accessory that South Indian brides and ladies prefer for a festive occasion. Maang tikkas are the jewellery that’s worn on the centre of the head, which is again a part of wedding Indian jewellery, and worn on festive occasions. However, in different corners of India, such as Rajasthan, Haryana, and some other states, women wear maang tikkas on a daily basis, which is deemed a sign of longevity and prosperity. Paasas, the jewel of the hair jewellery, is mostly influenced by the Mughal Begums as it was predominantly worn by them. And this trend has been ruling since then and doesn’t seem to go away anytime soon.

Antique Classic Hair Clip With Gold Plating

Ear Jewellery

Who does not love to boast of a good pair of earrings? Be it antique or Polki jewellery earrings or temple-themed jhumkas, or the ever-so-loved chandbalis, women love decking their ears up with some of the timeless pieces. Kanvelis, the delicate pearl earrings, have also seen wide-scale popularity. These are mostly the small jewellery pieces that adorn the helix of the ear. As the saying goes, go for as many kanvelis as you wish on your ear, and look your best during any occasion.

Nose Jewellery

When it comes to accessorising the nose, nothing beats the Nath. Nothing can accentuate your beauty and brighten up your face like a Nath on any occasion. Traditionally, Nath was made up of precious gemstones, mostly Ruby. However, today, you will find Naths in pearl, antique, gold, and Kundan variants, and the versatility and the range is to die for.

Neck Jewellery

From chokers to delicate chains with pendants to Gulbandhs to Rani Hars to Satladas, the neck jewellery variants are mesmerising. Gulbandhs are neck jewellery that mostly sits just below the collar bone and have been predominantly observed in the Rajasthan regions. Rani has, as the name suggests, have been the long necklace for the queens. Though the aristocratic rule is long over, Rani Hars still make trends even today as they are crafted to make every woman feel like a Queen that she is. When it comes to chokers, you can find antique ones, gold and diamond studded ones to more modern and sophisticated ones. Choose the style that suits you. Talking about Satladas, the most coveted traditional antique jewellery, it’s an arrangement of seven necklaces in one, which can be teamed up well with ethnic wear as well as with modern gowns.

Hand Jewellery

Bracelets and bangles are the two ultimate jewellery that can amplify the beauty quotient of a woman’s hand like never before. While bracelets are mostly suited for casual, semi-casual, and formal occasions, bangles are your go-to hand jewellery for any occasion. Be it for bridal sets for a friend’s or cousin’s wedding or for festivities at home, or for the office ethnic party; you can never go wrong with bangles. You will have an exquisite variety of bangles to choose from gold, diamond, pearl, solitaire and gemstone studded ones.

Waist Jewellery

Kamarbandhs, the ultimate jewellery icons crafted for women’s waists, demand unprecedented attention even today. From the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata to the times of the Mughal empires to the times of Rajasthani Rajwadas to today, Kamarbandhs have never gone out of style, fashion, tradition, and custom.

Feet Jewellery

Anklets or most popularly called payals, are the Indian jewellery variants that have seen major fashion shifts over the decades. The same goes for the toe rings, which is a custom for married Indian women in quite a major part of India.

Wrapping Up

Whether you are looking for bridal antique jewellery sets online or eyeing to make the most of the matte finish jewellery wholesale, or planning to refurbish your antique jewellery collection, Kanhai Jewels can be your ultimate destination. Being one of the most prominent antique jewellery wholesale suppliers, Kanhai Jewels brings you an extensive range of extravagant ethnic jewellery at unbeatable prices online.