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Jewellery from Ancient Period

 It is rare to find any woman in early India who may not have ever loved to adorn herself with jewellery. Jewellery has not only traditional and artistic value but is also viewed as a source of assurance in times of monetary emergency in India.  But the narrative of Jewellery started in India from the ancient period. 

There has been no crafts or creativity, so closely connected with the beginning of all things as jewellery. It was very much dependable upon these early provisions of nature and those of the artist who works on jewellery and precious metals and cut and polish of the hardest gems. Jewellery gained a lot of experiences in their art since the earliest beginning. A precedent of the same can be still found in modern jewellery which shows that there is still a close affinity to the earliest attempts at shaping metals and setting stones. This is also due to unchanging metals, their alloy, constituents and properties of the materials on which it is created. It may also be the reason to some extent to the fact that the objects and uses of jewellery are similar from time to time as it was many centuries ago. If we look on the other side on the clothing or garments are constantly changing and there it has been steady progress in the evolution of wearing apparel rather than any sudden change but in jewellery, the early wearers are still same or near to as in olden times. It is probably that feminine love of adornment was a natural gift and its expression was found in the chains of shell, seeds or flower which was used by women to cover themself in the early ancient period. Slowly the chains of seed, shells, the flower was more replaced by gold and precious stones. To understand the jewellery of the ancient period we need to understand the jewellery of all the period in the world with a different race of people along with their surroundings. With time new evolutions brought new jewellery like beads of glass for bangles, waist belts, necklets. Similarly, the colour has always had great attraction for men and women of all ages and was very much deemed starting from prehistoric time. 

We can say for thousands of years, India was the exporter of many Gemstones, Ornaments, Jewellery all across the world. There was an age when India was the most generous producer and exporter of beads. Ancient India was not only famous for jewellery but was also the roof of diamonds and many semi-precious stones like turquoise, soaprock, carnelian, various agate. India was recognised for import and fixing them on gold, silver other precious metals. Beginning from the Indus Valley civilization or in Mohenjodaro, around 5000 years earlier, there were many instances of jewellery that have been found in the excavation. It can be said that these civilizations were one of the preeminent to start jewellery composition. Jewellery in the Indus Valley was consumed predominantly by females and males as there were infinite clay or shell bangles on their wrists.

There will be barely any Hindu god or goddess who is not found wearing any jewellery in any of the idols. In the sculptures at Ajanta, Sanchi, or Amaravati, one can see the large range of jewellery worn by scriptures of Gods, Kings, men and woman. Even the epics like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Puranas talks about the ornaments, different variety of jewellery embraced with many precious Gems. 

In Ancient India this jewellery wore for beauty, sometimes to cure illness and seldom for the evil energies. The word Navaratna means nine gems which were mainly like diamonds, pearls, ruby, vaidurya, sapphire, emerald, topaz, coral and red zircon. The diamond is the most powerful gems among the nine stones. There is a powerful correlation between the nine celestial planets and the gemstones in Hindu Astrology. Additionally, India was one of the primary countries to mine diamonds, with some mines dating back to 300 BCE.

Most modern commercial jewellery continues to use some of the other forms of traditional jewellery in diverse techniques. Our ancestors who formulated these jewels outlined them fashioned them and preserved them through many eons as priceless artwork and our precious heritage. Some of the examples of such jewellery are Sarpech, Kada, Nath which can be seen on the walls and paintings at Ajanta wore as head ornaments by women some 2000 years ago.  

Similarly, many of the Jewellery is found in the Mughal period of India and are still worn today one such famous example is Jhumkas. However, with the change in times, contemporary jewellery which is thinner and lighter in weight has gained a lot of reputation among Indian women. In the Present-day the Jewellery shops, stores are full of bright and new design jewellery with the latest design, fashions. Yet all these things are but very similar or seldom replicas of the jewellery design of older articles.

Team EkNaari,

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