Introduction –

As and when marriage of girl is fixed, the girl is escorted by her women folk by singing folk songs which are taken to the silversmiths. The bride has the option of selecting jewellery from different options. Ladies are singing and swaying around the weekly affair and the bride carried the stacked-up jewelry in a basket in their hand. Craftsmen continue the tribal jewelry for Bhils and Bhilalas.

Usage –

Tribals made jewellery from silver and white metal during festivities and marriage. Women acquire jewellery for marriages and social gatherings. The men are also fond of jewellery and one can see wearing bracelets, rings, kadas. There are different type of earrings, chains, chokers, bangles, ankles, toe-rings and hair ornaments.

Significance –

Jewellery in olden days used to mark the identity of various communities.  Tribal ornaments are gathered to showcase spiritual and emotional life of tribals. The various patterns and motifs are expressions of cultural background. It is believed that ornaments ward off the evil eye and to give peace to planets that affect the human destiny.  There is strong belief that jewellery use  certain rituals and symbolic offerings. In order to represent these symbols, various charms and amulets are crafted.  This has led to protection from bad energy and ailments.

 History –

Jewellery  has strong place in Indian culture. One can witness cave paintings of Ajanta and Indus Valley civilisation of Ajanta in the modern times jewellery  Jewellery has always held a strong place in Indian culture. Rig Veda describes jewels with divine attributes and precious stones. During the rule of Chalukyas, heavy and elaborate ornaments were in demand. Jewellery is an integral part of tribes of India since ancient times. Kutch region has strong centre of trade with Arabian, Persian and European countries. Sarafaa Bazaar is famous for silver market since 200-250 years. Silver metal is used to make lavish lifestyles product such as candle stands, furniture and tableware. Jewellery has  taken new forms and dimensions. The jewellery has magical properties of local deities to protect the wearer from evil.  Jewellery has developed a symbol of status. Jewellery has been given symbol of status and great importance in the society. Jewellery is used as investment during financial crisis. It is used to be considered as streedhan (women wealth) that comprised of inheritances from her father.

Design –

The designs of these silver jewelry is traditional but has not changed much. There are designs of snakes, fish, scorpions, butterflies and flowers are related to fertility and prosperity. The rings have carvings and endings with animal faces like elephant or tiger. There are different bracelets for women –

  • Basta Kada (Armlet)
  • Khilli Wala Kada (Wrist band)
  • Daal and Kavali (Bangles).
  • Hansuli, Mangalsutra, Taagali .
  • Paan Wala haar (Neckpiece inspired from betel leaf).
  • Jhumki – Dangling umbrella shaped earrings.
  • Finger rings
  • Anklet
  • Bhenda

 Challenges –

Jewellery making is a seasonal craft. The demand for tribal jewelry comes during the Bhagoria festival or marriage. Craftsmen seek different sources of employment to sustain their livelihoods. The increase in the price of silver has pushed the craftsmen to use different metals like white metal which is comparatively cheaper. The migration of trivial people towards urban areas is a major threat to the business of local craftsmen.