Evolution And Journey Indian Jewellery
A talk on India’s culture
India comprises people belonging to different castes, cultures, regions following diverse traditions and rituals. Their way of living, food, clothes and rituals differ from each other. As there is a difference in following their rituals, they wear different attires and jewellery accordingly. In all kinds of traditional art forms, jewellery has a significant part to play. Jewellery was not restricted to the upper class only, the middle and lower classes also had their set of jewellery, which was less expensive and affordable.
We have seen a drastic transformation in clothes and jewellery pieces worn by people belonging to different eras. Different civilisations, different rulers brought in changes in the trend of jewels. Over time, jewellery has been influenced greatly by political, cultural and social factors.
India was also ruled by many foreign emperors who again gifted the country with a new art, trend, and design. India, with a mix of different cultures and civilisations, developed in terms of culture and people. The availability of a wide variety of jewellery is primarily because of the difference in designs depending on the regional needs which include the varying taste of individuals pertaining to different cultures and their lifestyles.
The vast variety of ornaments gives proof of the brilliant skills of the craft workers of the nation. India has been famous for its spices, crop produce and minerals. Golconda diamonds, sapphires from Kashmir and pearls from the Gulf of Mannar were big attractions for merchants across the globe. Many traders visited India from different corners of the world and got inspired by the ultra-modern technology and abilities used by people from different cultures.
Jewellery in historic times was not just limited to humans, but royal animals like elephants. Ceremonial horses and camels had their special set of jewellery items.
- Evolution of Indian jewellery
Necklaces were a symbol of royalty since the time rulers ruled the nation. Wearing of jewel pieces was not restricted to females, males wore them with as much vigour as women, if not more. Ornaments with motifs of Goddesses, flowers, birds, popularly known as temple jewellery were quite popular in historic times. Meenakari jewellery, kundan, polka, jadau are mostly Mughal inspired artistic pieces which require skilled craftsmanship. Traditionally most of the jewels were made of pearls and few ruby stones, the diversity available currently ranges from diamonds to modern silver jewellery.
Also, antique jewellery in India has a long trail of existence. Styles like Tarakshi, Thewa and Pachchikam are rich in patterns and belong to different corners of the country. Thewa is made by fusing sheets of gold on multicoloured molten glass. Pachchikam jewellery uses extravagant stonework and has a rough antique style-finish.
Filigree jewellery belongs to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its graceful designs that are made by bending very thin wires that are hammered a number of times for the thinnest look. The filigree work is not only used in jewellery making, but also in other forms of metalwork.
Ancient Indian designs were gently modified to incorporate various floral, geometrical and nature-inspired designs. Many creators used various means and technologies to melt the metals at desired temperatures and set stones into them.
Indigenous and tribal peoples gifted the people with some of the unique patterns and compositions, for instance the banjara jewellery. Tribes like Karka Gallon of Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutias of Sikkim and the Jarawa tribes of Andamans introduced new designs to the public.
Silver jewellery is a trend among the tribals. Many designers and artisans took inspiration from historic sculptures, copying their designs yet keeping the lucidity of the pieces. The trend of emeralds and coloured gemstones was introduced by the Mughal empire. The procedure of melting and hammering gold and other gemstones, then fitting them in the jewel piece itself, required amazing skills and proficiency.
People have shifted their choice of jewellery as things developed. From wearing heavy pieces, mostly individuals look for light and comfortable pieces. The focus on intricate and exclusive designs has been one of the constant choices of many. The people have changed for which new designs have come into existence, but the demand for intense and comprehensive designs with a touch of traditional and contemporary effect has been the major choice of many.
But truly the jewel piece available in the market has gone through many civilisations, ages and cultures. The art of jewellery has come a long way, with some designers preserving the ethnicity whereas some are ready to experiment and create majestic art pieces.