Nature inspired traditional Assamese jewelleries
Assam is one of the seven north eastern states of India. Like all her sisters, this land is also known for the abundance of natural resources. The lives of people of the state is immensely touched by the nature. A visual treat of such inspiration of nature can be found in the designs of traditional assamese jewelleries.
Flora, fauna, traditional musical instruments etc are intricate parts of the designs. They are so beautiful and never really go out of fashion. They are evergreen.Each piece has a name which describes and indicates the shape and decorative work done on it .Many of the designs are exclusive to this state only.
In olden times, the different metals and materials used for the making of ornaments were gold, silver, copper, brass, bronze, amber, rhinoceros’ horns and ivory.Well, the traditional Assamese jewellery designs are simple but gemstones such as ruby, pearls and diamonds are also used.The most popular pattern used in Assam Jewelry is black, green and red enameling which is done on gold jewellery.
Among the popular jewellery designs are
It has two pigeons placed back to back in gold and rubies. It was originally worn by high profile dignitaries of the royal Ahom dynasty.
which is a crescent moon shaped pendant and earring with gold and rubies in the front and enamel coating behind.
Dholbiri is based on a special Assamese musical drum(Dhol).
This Assamese jewellery design is made of gold. Stuck around the neck, it has different floral designs on it.
Japi is a traditional conical hat which inspires a popular design element for neck and earpieces.
It is a hornpipe musical instrument that is used in traditional music in Assam. It is usually made with the horn of a buffalo. The design of pepa is used in jewelleries.
8. Gam kharu:
Gam-Kharus are broad bracelets with clasps previously worn by the males only but now very popular amongst females.The gold gamkharu has a lovely floral pattern inscribed on it. This Assam Jewelry is worn on occasions such as marriages and bihu. In previous times, men used to wear silver gamkharu.
These are gold earrings worn largely by older Assamese women. They are notable for a special studded gem stone.
This exotic ear ornament, made in gold, was largely popular among the locals. Previously the design was only used in ear pieces but the it is now used in pendants too.
This ancient jewellery comprising of heart shaped neck locket, ring and earrings might be great to look at but the name is still a mystery today.
Traditional designs are exquisite. However everyone wants to wear a unique design, something that will stand out. To satisfy this urge of a unique piece while not losing the traditional touch, designers are creating new designs — using different coloured gems or incorporating two-three traditional designs into a single piece.
This traditional art is attracting more youth in the state to take up jewelry-making as a profitable profession which is an encouraging sign for the economy of the state. Hope that these exquisite and unique jewelry of Assam gains popularity outside the state too and occupy a place of pride in its possessor.