Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Attractive Feminine Ornament

NISKA (necklace of coins - front and reverse) North India; 19th century As statements of wealth, necklaces of coins trace their antiquity to the Mahabharata. While gold coins are set into one side of this necklace, the reverse comprises kundan-set units of rubies and emeralds encircled with pearls.
Within this temple Sl1iva and his consort Parvati are depicted seated on their vehicle, the bull. The claw-like pieces ranged on either side are embellished with artistic details typical of the architecture of Chettinad. They are believed to be stylized simulations of crab claws and shell forms, derived from the shells that the Chettiars wore as jewellery when they were still a simple sea faring coastal community. The kali-tiru is an emblem of their religion, a proclamation of their early simple origins an example offline craftsmanship, and in its sheer size and weight a statement of the wealth and prosperity of the Chettiars. Individual examples vary in size and weight and are worn only on the wedding day and again on the auspicious occasion of the 60th birthday of the husband. For everyday use, a smaller variation is used.

The Kali-tiru has now become a fashion statement. Taken out of its original context, it is Among the Nairs of Kerala, the term tali retain its ancient connotation and are used synonymously with main referring to a necklace there being no necessary connection with marriage. Varieties include neck ornaments such as arumpumani, kumitali and putali.

SURYAKANTHI KATHOLA {Sunflower earring) Kerala; 19th century Outer diam: 16 cm Courtesy Musee Barbier-Mueller. Geneva (2504 -126 a&b) these enormous gold solar symbols were worn suspended over the ears, and were intended to harness the powerful energies of the sun.The oldest and most famous ornament of the Nair women is the nagapada tali or the cobra hood necklace. Nair women believe that the nagapada tali were given to them by the gods to instill in them the virtues of patience and calmness.

The diamond nagapada tali 222 are of royal origin since diamonds were the preserve of the

The variety and range of neck ornaments among the various regions of India is vast oftenhidden within the voluminous flods of the sari tiny elements peek out providing a tantalizing glimpse of the whole. Among the many kinds of ornaments that were popular in the Chola period and are mentioned in temple inscriptions, the karai or tiruk-karai, a golden neck collar, the ekavali, a single strand of pearls corals and gemstone the kantha tudar, a necklace of chains with elaborate clasps at the end the kantha- nan a jewelled necklace set with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, the simple golden chain or kanthika occur with repeated frequency. None of these terms survive and forms have undergone evolutionary changes.

aristocracy. Each cobra hood form is surmounted by a miniature replica of a temple gopuram typical in Kerala jewellery. The commonly used nagapada tali is usually composed of pieces of green glass simulating emeralds, cut in the shape of snake hoods, and embellished with rubies or diamonds. Nowhere in India is the snake adapted into jewellery forms as much as in Kerala. The extensive forest cover in the area and the consequent presence of snake probably resulted in their veneration. Since a snake never attacks unless provoked, It is endowed with qualities of serenity and of contentment, together with good luck, prosperity, fertility, progeny and good harvest.

casually worn by women all over India as just an elaborate necklace. Nevertheless, throughout south India, the sanctity of the tiru mangalyam remains unaltered. The custom of wearing tali has permeated other religious denominations as well. Among the Syrian Christians of Kerala, for example, the wedding ring has been replaced by tali in the form of a cross; converted Christians superimpose the cross on the traditional tali form.

A VELLALAR WOMAN Tamil Nadu, Madurai; contemporary the abstract thandatti ear jewels are a favourite with women of this community.Forms from nature constitute the principal elements of design - flowers, buds, fruits and leaves. The manga malai (229, 230), literally a necklace of mangoes, is uniquely south Indian and its antiquity can be traced to the Chola period or even earlier. In Hindu mythology, the mango is a wish-fulfilling tree and a symbol of love. Individual mango-shaped pendants set with gems, usually cabuchon rubies, with flower head intersections and elaborate fan shaped pendants (padakkams) are strung together to form the fabulous mange malai. In its most traditional form, the necklace extends down to the waist, but most surviving examples are less than half the original length, having been broken up for equitable distribution of wealth among daughters and sons. The kasu malai, kanchanamala, or rupaiya km a garland of coins, is the most striking example of ornaments serving as instruments of savings The antiquity of the jewel can be traced to the Rig Veda, where the term niska might be the earliest reference to this type of ornament. Niska probably refers to some form of monetary exchange and is used in connection with a garland of coins made of both gold and silver. The Mahabharata too mentions it as an ornament for both men and women around piece of gold, tied at the neck in a string or chain, at times several such pieces strung into a necklet.

From its description, the niska was evidently the forerunner of the popular kasu malai or rupaiya him worn even today all over India. The ornament probably became popular during the period of Roman trade, when Roman gold coins were used to pay for gems. The coins that came from or European trading partners too were similarly employed. In the l9th century, it became very fashionable to string English guineas in this manner. At around this time, coins bearing images of the various Hindu gods and goddesses were specially struck from dies, to be worn in this fashion . the purity of the gold and the intrinsic value of the gold coin made this ornament a popular instrument of savings.
 
Writer-Usha R. Bala Krishnan & Meera Sushil Kumar

No comments:

Post a Comment