Indian fashion jewelry is famous all over the world, but are you aware of the history of the jewelry and how it has been influenced by politics and culture? Here, we’re going to take a look at ancient Indian jewelry.
Indian Jewelry and Its Origin
The Indian subcontinent is a place that has ever been famous for its spices, precious stones, and jewelry. For more than 5,000 years, the style and design of the jewelry was determined and heavily influenced by politics, religion and culture.
Back in the day, the Indian subcontinent was a prosperous region, a fact evident from the type of metals and gems that were used to make jewelry. It is said that Indian jewelry making goes back to the time of the Indus Valley Civilization, where the people created necklaces, earrings, and gold bangles. With time, one of the most important exports of the civilization became the trade of bead jewelry. The beads were created by skilled craftsmen, who used to acquire a stone, put it in the oven to get a red color, and then finally polished it.The Persian style was also amalgamated into the designs.
At that time, clay bangles were used, which slowly gave way to bangles that were made from glass and metal. The jewelry at that point was heavily shaped by religion and had symbols that consisted of animals like the elephant, monkey, and peacocks. In Hinduism, metals are considered very sacred by the gods because the silver symbolizes the moon, whereas the gold symbolizes the sun.
Indian Jewelry and Royalty
Throughout history, it has been seen that heavy jewelry has been associated with royalty, which is why the Maharajas and their wives had so many different ornaments. At that point in history, only royalty were allowed to wear gold on their feet in the form on rings, or anklets, which are locally known as pazeb.
The Navaratna ring was a very important piece of jewelry that was worn by the emperors. It basically consisted of precious stones like cat’s eye, coral, diamond, emerald, hyacinth, topaz, pearl, ruby, and sapphire. According to ancient beliefs, it was thought that when the nine gems were together, they represented the entire universe in its totality. Since the gem were so precious, the rulers only exchanged it with people they were very close to which usually included family, friends, and allies.
Ancient Indian Temple Jewelry
The gems and jewelry were also offered to the gods and deities. Only the most skilled jewelers were employed, who used to combine the precious and semi precious stones with different metals. It was seen that the temple jewelry at that point consisted of images of the gods, goddesses, dancers, flowers, and peacocks, whereas the abstract designs consisted of curved lines, dots, and waves.
Indian Jewelry and Region
The jewelry in India varied according to the region. For example, Meenakari jewelry is from Rajasthan, the Rudraksha beads are from South India, and the Thewa is from Northwest India.
In conclusion, these are some of the types of ancient Indian Jewelry that was and is still used by women from all over India.