BTEEN POPULAR THROUGH THE AGES India’s invaluable heritage of jewelled beauty.
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.
ODISHA FURNISHES WITH MANY VARIETIES OF THIS TYPE (BRACELET) VIZ
ETC. IS A CLOSED BRACELET MADE OF SILVER AND HAS FLORAL DESIGNS ON THE OUTER SURFACE.