Traditional Jewellery Designs Of Tamil Nadu
Welcome to the land of rich culture and heritage, Tamil Nadu, where every piece of jewellery tells a story of its own. The beautiful state of Tamil Nadu is famous for its intricate and exquisite traditional jewellery that is adored by women all over the world. From head to toe, Tamil Nadu has a wide range of jewellery styles that are unique and add a touch of elegance to any outfit. In this blog, we will explore the various types of traditional jewellery in Tamil Nadu, their significance, and the rich history behind them. So, let’s take a peek into the different traditional jewellery styles of Tamil Nadu and discover the beauty that lies within.
Vanki or Armlets
Vanki, also known as armlets or bajuband in Hindi, is an essential piece of jewellery worn by women in Tamil Nadu. The armlet is typically worn on the upper arm and is a symbol of strength, power, and femininity. It is believed to protect the wearer from negative energy and evil spirits. The traditional design of a vanki includes intricate carvings and embellishments with precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. These armlets are often passed down as heirlooms from one generation to the next. Vanki is commonly worn during weddings, festivals, and other auspicious occasions. The modern designs of vanki have evolved with a fusion of traditional and contemporary styles to cater to the changing trends and preferences of the younger generation. These armlets have become a popular accessory for both traditional and western outfits, making them versatile and timeless pieces of jewellery.
Oddiyanam (Hip Belt)
The Oddiyanam, also known as the waistband or the hip belt, is an important piece of jewellery worn by women in Tamil Nadu. It is a type of waistband that is worn around the waistline and is typically made of gold. The Oddiyanam is not just a decorative piece, but it also holds cultural significance in the region. It is believed to protect women from evil forces and to signify the woman’s marital status. The Oddiyanam comes in various designs and patterns, ranging from simple and elegant to intricately designed ones with precious stones and pearls. It is also available in different sizes, from small ones worn by young girls to larger ones for married women. The waistband is typically worn over a saree and is fastened tightly around the waist using a hook and chain mechanism. It not only adds to the beauty of the saree but also enhances the curves of a woman’s body, making it a must-have accessory for traditional weddings and special occasions.
Thalaisamaan, also known as Maang Tikka or Mathapatti, is a traditional piece of jewellery worn by women in Tamil Nadu. It is an ornamental hair accessory that consists of a pendant suspended from a chain, which is attached to the hairline at the centre of the forehead. The pendant is usually a circular or triangular shape and is embellished with precious stones, pearls, or intricate designs. The Thalaisamaan is an essential part of bridal jewellery in Tamil Nadu, and it symbolises a woman’s marital status. It is believed to be a protective talisman that brings good fortune and wards off evil spirits. The Thalaisamaan comes in various styles, ranging from traditional to contemporary, and can be made of gold, silver, or other metals. It is often paired with other pieces of jewellery, such as earrings and necklaces, to complete the bridal look.
Jadanagam, also known as “hair serpent,” is a traditional hair ornament that has been a part of Tamil Nadu’s culture for centuries. It is an elaborate piece of jewellery worn by women on their hair during special occasions, such as weddings and temple festivals. The Jadanagam is a long chain-like structure made of gold and precious stones that covers the length of the hair. It is designed to resemble a serpent with the head at the top and the tail at the bottom, with intricate detailing and workmanship. The serpent’s head is typically adorned with a ruby or emerald stone and is meant to symbolise the power of the divine. The Jadanagam is worn by women of all ages and is considered a symbol of beauty and femininity. In recent times, contemporary designs of Jadanagam have become popular, with the use of different materials like pearls, crystals, and coloured stones to make them more versatile and affordable.
Metti (Toe rings)
Metti, also known as toe rings, are an essential part of Tamil Nadu’s traditional jewellery collection. They are typically made of silver and worn on the second toe of each foot. It is believed that wearing toe rings helps in regulating the menstrual cycle, maintain a healthy uterus, and promote fertility. Metti can be worn on both feet or only on one foot, depending on the individual’s preference. In Tamil Nadu, it is a common practice for married women to wear toe rings as a symbol of their marital status. The toe rings come in various designs and are often embellished with stones or intricate patterns. Some people also believe that wearing toe rings enhances the energy in the body and helps in balancing it. Overall, Metti is not just a piece of jewellery but also a significant cultural symbol in Tamil Nadu.
Kolusu is an ornamental accessory that is worn around the ankles in Tamil Nadu. The anklet has a significant role in Tamil culture, where it symbolises marital status, and is worn by women after marriage. The design of the Kolusu is usually intricate and features tiny bells that make a pleasant sound when the wearer walks. The Kolusu can be made from different metals, but gold and silver are the most commonly used. The anklet is available in different sizes and can be worn by both young girls and women. It is often paired with other traditional Tamil jewellery, such as toe rings and hip belts. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the Kolusu also has cultural and religious significance. In Hinduism, anklets are believed to have healing properties and are worn for good luck and protection.
Tamil Nadu boasts of a rich heritage and culture that is reflected in India’s traditional jewellery styles. Each piece of jewellery has a unique story and symbolism behind it, making them not just beautiful ornaments but also an important part of the region’s cultural identity. From the armlets to the toe rings, every piece of jewellery has its significance and importance, be it in the daily life of the people or in their festivals and special occasions. These jewellery styles have evolved over time and continue to inspire modern designers to create new pieces that blend tradition with modern aesthetics. It is indeed fascinating to explore the intricacies and beauty of Tamil Nadu’s traditional jewellery styles.