Deepika Dewan

Priceless Tribal Jewellery of the Native Tribes

Posted on 10-Mar-2018 19:51:43



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Tribal Jewellery has a definite earthy charm to it. It is eclectic and funky, arty and evergreen. The raw materials that go into its making are equally out-of-the-box and unique. It belongs to a different world - where there is no clash of gold, diamonds and solitaires, just the ethnic charm which puts Tribal jewelry in a class of its own.


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Handmade, earthen, arty, gypsy, ancient, vintage - so many adjectives are used to describe Tribal jewelry that it causes no confusion, just a distinct clarity.

India is a rich potpourri of tribal culture and contemporariness. And tribal jewelry bridges the gap between art, form, expression and attitude.

Thanks to the artist community - and that includes fashion designers and enthusiasts, painters, sculptors, art treasurers - tribal jewelry has become a rage of sorts. No wonder today’s generation divas like to go shopping for bangles, necklaces, earrings, finger rings, lip rings, toe rings which have a tribal flavour to them. This could be one reason why tribal jewelry is becoming a must wear for social evenings, college campus and adda sessions and casual lounging on the fashion streets.


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Materials Used In Tribal Jewelry

Humble looking natural materials form the backbone of the majestic Tribal jewellery. And you will be surprised reading these humble materials - there are leaves, feathers, berries, wood, leather, claws, shells, flowers, ivory, jaws of animals and much more. Yet tribal jewelry is treasured as glorious ornaments. It is a different story that the tribes of certain regions of India are scantily clad but they make up for it by wearing ample tribal jewelry on their bodies. Hats off to them!


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Tribal Jewelry Styles

Let us check out some of the Indian states that stand out with their Tribal Jewelry.

1) Madhya Pradesh: Heard of the tribes of Bastar? They largely use grass, cane and natural beads in tribal ornaments. Most of the Bastar residents wear ornaments made out of copper, glass, peacock feathers, silver, wood, even wild flowers. Necklaces made out of one rupee coins can be spotted often in Bastar womenfolk.

2) Rajasthan: Credit goes to the Banjara tribes - the nomadic group in Rajasthan that wears heavyweight and colourful ornaments embossed with shells, coins, beads and metal. Another unique thing about the Banjara ladies is the ornate belts worn by them on their waist. Rajasthani silverware is the next popular thing apart from Banjaran jewelry.



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3) Himachal Pradesh: In this state, you will find the tribes of Kangra, Chamba, Kullu and Mandi giving you anklets in elliptical fashion, iron-headed bangles and ornate daggers. The Pahari women of Himachal wear silver hansalis, silver chokers and shellac-filled silver bangles. For the Himachali women, ornaments are to be worn not only for aesthetic value but to protect the wearer from evil spirits too.


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4) Bihar: Santhal Tribe is predominant to Bihar. As for the tribal jewelry from them, there are filigree motif earrings, kardhanis (worn around waist) and Chuda bangles.


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5) West Bengal: Other than the popular and conventional forms of Bengali jewelry such as Tikli, Kaan, Chik, Mantasha, the Dhokra art is a unique tribal art presentation from traditional metal smiths of Bengal. The tribes of Maukhali are to be complemented for making it so popular.


Image Credit: pinterest.com


Image Credit: pinterest.com

6) Meghalaya: In this north Indian state, the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia tribes collectively offer red coral beads, and thin glass fluted stems as tribal jewelry. The beads and stems are strung together to form many jewelry items such as bracelets, trinkets, necklaces, earrings, and belts.

7) Sikkim-Bhutia: The Bhutia tribes used gold traditionally in the making of jewelry. Due to the affordability factor, they have made a switch over to the relatively less expensive silver. Corals, turquoise stones, dzi stones are most often used in the Sikkim jewellery style.

8) Arunachal Pradesh: Of special mention is the Karka Gallong Tribes of Arunachal who wear iron rings as earrings. This they do in order to complement their metal embossed leather belt. Beads are a common feature in their ornaments.


Image Credit: nelive.in

I hope this blog on Tribal jewellery will inspire art lovers and connoisseurs to try out these earthen jewellery forms. For any styling or shopping queries on Tribal Jewellery, write in the comments or drop us an email at contact@phaselabs.co.in.

References: culturalindia.net youtube.com nelive.in

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