Kerala's bride in very very heavy gold jewellery.
Jewellery in every form be it gold, diamonds, silver, precious or semi precious stones are the most sought after all over the world by women. The Indian woman particularly holds special significance and has been very fond of this possession in particular as it stays and grows with her through her life as a child, daughter, wife, mother and further on. Keeping in mind India's rich tradition of diversity, jewellery also takes on regional nuances.
Kerala in itself has a penchant for gold that has increased with the Gulf influx. There are plenty of shops to choose from and every third or fourth shop in any market would invariably be a gold shop.
In Kerala, jewellery is part of the adornment right from a child birth. The naming ceremony holds a special significance when the child enters the human fold, the father of the child usually adorns the child with a gold/silver chain around the hip called ‘arnyananam’. This is the first piece of jewellery put on the child. The child is usually decked with bangles and anklets all in gold. These are traditional customs followed by each household. In every house hold in kerala gold is passed on from generations to generations. The bride collects a lot of jewellery by the time she is wedded off. Three are specific designs which are part of wedding jewellery trousseau.
A dark green necklace called “Palaykka” is a traditional part of the wedding jewellery collectibles. Another diversion in the same category is known as “Pulinagam”, which means “Tiger’s Nail”. Both of these are available in different colour, shapes also. These are the basic Jewellery for a Keralite bride. There are few more very famous traditional necklaces and long chains called 'Poothali, Elackathali, Thalikootam, Kuzhiminni, Menonmani, Dhalaminni. Then there is the traditional mulai mottu malai necklace which is replica of jasmine buds is an age old favourite. Designs have a come a full circle from traditional floral patterns which are old favourites to geometrical designs, and large abstracts are also gaining favour. Antiques have become a huge trend in the South. The traditional kasu malai, coins flowing from neck to waist is still very popular and remains traditional status and wealth.
Pendants and necklaces have been an epic chapter in the history of Indian Jewellery. Necklaces were made in gold along with the gemstones as an added attraction. Unlike other States, Keralite brides layer the jewellery aesthetically in an ascending order to show off the jewellery on the bridal attire. Bangles are also worn in plenty according to the affordability. Gold anklets are another desired jewel.
An amazing range of lightweight gold jewellery is available in/from Kerala. It consists of an entire range of gold ornaments, from earrings, tops, studs, finger rings to bracelets, bangles to chains and necklaces. All are characterised by their light weight. It is not as if heavy traditional jewellery is not made. Heavy jewellery is made but it is its lightweight avtaar that has caught the fancy of all. The low price makes it affordable and its purchase can be impulsive and frivolous. The collection is targeted at the discerning Indian woman who combines tradition with modernity. It is extremely affordable, contemporary yet has a traditional look and feel.
Lightweight jewellery is popular with modern, young women. The lightweight range across Kerala has superbly designed pieces, which look heavy, but are light to wear. They meet a growing need for affordable jewellery, which looks great.
What makes Kerala jewellery attractive is its fine workmanship. There are craftsmen who specialise in making this light weight gold jewellery. The years of training and their dexterity are what make the pieces so exquisite. These are made by both hand and machines. Intricate patterns are made in almost all shapes and sizes. A pair of jhumkas with a top is about half-an-inch in length and hand-made, the top being linked to the jhumka with a tiny gold chain. This delicate piece with a round of gold balls (motis) at the base weighs only 3 gm. It would seem a perfect accessory for both office and party wear. There are bracelets (kadas) traditionally weighing 40 gm. which can be made in the lightweight category in 16 gm. The list is endless and the business flourishes.