BTEEN POP­U­LAR THROUGH THE AGES In­dia’s in­valu­able her­itage of jewelled beauty.

Woman's Era - - Short Story - By Kusum Me­hta

The aborig­nals of In­dia used to wear twisted grass bracelets and arm­lets. A torso (carved in sand­stone) from the end of the 3rd mil­len­nium B. C. shows a man with his hair gath­ered by a band from which a round or­na­ment dan­gles onto his fore­head, a bracelet on a half-bro­ken arm in­di­cates that per­sonal or­na­men­ta­tion was al­ready con­sid­ered very im­por­tant.

A ter­ra­cotta fig­ure of a woman has neck­laces, bracelets and a belt.

The paint­ings of Ajanta (4th-5th cen­tury AD) shows men and women wear­ing more jew­els, than clothes. The size and com­plex­ity of ear­ings, bracelets, belts and rings which adorn these mas­ter­pieces of pic­to­rial art, re­flect the fan­tas­tic splen­dour that was In­dia.

At Taxila, ev­ery avail­able inch of sur­face on medal­lions is en­graved with flow­ers, ele­phants and pea­cocks and large gold bracelets are dec­o­rated with sep­a­rate mo­tifs and small stars.

The jew­ellery funds at Sirkip and Bhir are of var­i­ous de­signs and dif­fer­ent work­man­ship and fin­ish. The pieces in­clude neck­laces, rings ear­rings, and bracelets and many mis­cel­la­neous ob­jects.

In an­cient times bracelets could be made of rows of beads shaped like mice teeth or seeds of plain strips of gold with dec­o­rated bor­ders dec­o­rated all over or of square metal bosses mounted on strips of silk. An­other type of gold bracelets like a long sleeve made of rows of linked chains, oth­ers were tubes with beads in­side which rat­tled when the arm moved or hoops with pen­dants dan­gling from them which also jin­gled har­mo­niously; an­other type was tubu­lar with five links which were at­tached to the rings on each fin­ger. Then there were bracelets com­posed of broad bands of many rows of chains or pearls sup­port­ing lit­tle gold bears dec­o­rated with gems elab­o­rated in var­i­ous ways.


Odisha furnishes with many va­ri­eties of this type (bracelet) viz Ban­dachuri, San­thalchur Kharu, Saukha Haku­pan­jar Saukha etc. Ban­dachuri is a closed bracelet made of sil­ver and has flo­ral de­signs on the outer sur­face. San­thalchur is the same as the above but is or­na­mented with ge­o­met­ri­cal de­signs. Kharu is a closed bracelet made of sil­ver, brass or bronze. It is pro­vided with an out­wordly pro­ject­ing rim and nar­row cir­cu­lar ridges on the body. Saukha is a closed lac bracelet with a ta­per­ing end. The outer sur­face of the body is en­graved with lines and dots. Haku­pan­jarsaukha is also a closed bracelet made of sil­ver. Flo­ral de­signs dec­o­rate its outer sur­face.

In Ut­tar Pradesh, sil­ver wristlets with clefts like churi and pan­huchi are found. Pan­huchi is a com­par­a­tively less broad sil­ver bracelet with var­i­ous de­signs in re­lief on the outer sur­face. It is pro­vided with a screw ar­range­ment at the cleft for clos­ing the same dur­ing use.

Chur of Ben­gal is a closed bracelet made of gold or sil­ver. It is highly or­na­mented with fine and del­i­cate de­signs and is a spec­i­men of su­perb work­man­ship.

Chud is a very broad and closed bracelet of Gu­jarat, ta­per­ing at one end.

Ch­hailkara and Taka sil­ver made closed bracelets with line en­grav­ings, are found in Pun­jab and Hi­machal Pradesh.

In Jammu and Kash­mir, Bun­gur and Kan­gan are two va­ri­eties with clefts and are pro­vided with geo­met­ric de­signs.

Modern de­sign­ers have done much to keep alive a de­light­fully dec­o­ra­tive fash­ion and the bracelets of today are dis­tin­guished both by ver­sa­til­ity of de­sign and beauty. Skilled work­man­ship has evolved a flex­i­bil­ity of set­ting which gives a rib­bon-like sup­ple­ness to even the most heavy bracelets so that both pre­cious stones and met­als have an added beauty and im­part even greater charm and grace to a well-shaped wrist.



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