| Neck pieces:Raanihaar and Guliband (chik) are collar necklaces worn close to the neck and is tight fitting. Sitahaar/Haar is a huge and heavy necklace, worn next.Instead a 3, 5 or seven strand necklace of gold beads or stones (polki in jadau setting) with a central pendant may be worn. Matar mala or a long chain with pea shaped/sized golden balls/beads follows this. Mangalsutra (auspicious thread) is a pendant necklace with black/gold beads and it is akin to the wedding ring of the west.|
The bridal bangles differ on the basis of the customs and traditions of a community.
Haathphool: known as Ratanchur in Bengali, is common to both Hindu and Muslim weddings. A haathphool, which means flower of hand, covers the fingers, the back of palm, and the wrist. It consists of a bangle/bracelet fastened to the wrist, which is attached to a flower sitting pretty on the back of palm, spreading out to five rings, one in each finger and thumb.
Chudi: - These are the usual bangles in glass or gold which are, generally, in sync with the neckpiece and the outfit. Red and green glass bangles are a norm in Marwari weddings where the bride wears them for 45 days starting from the day after wedding. Gujaratis wear chuda a mix of red and white ivory (or lac or acrylic) bangles for upto 6 months after their wedding.
Kada, known as Bouti, Chur, or Bala, is broader than a bangle and is worn in each hand. are Bengali variations of a Kada. Mantasha is a golden cuff.
Sankha and Pola traditionally made of conch shells are white and red bangles which are a must in Bengali weddings. Equally important is Noya, an iron bangle, worn in the left hand.
Baajuband/Bhujband is a decorative armlet. And Kaliras (golden flower shaped danglers) are worn by Punjabi brides to ward of evil. The brides wave it over the head of the unmarried girls in the family, with the wish that they get married soon.
Waist:Taagadi, known as Biche in Bengali, is worn on the waist. Chaabi ka guccha or challa is a bundle of keys hung on the waist. It is not a jewelry in the true sense of the term, but considered a transfer of power from the mother-in-law to the daughter in law.
Leg: Paajeb/Payal/Nupur are Silver anklets set with ghunghroos and, at times, semi-precious stones. Bicchiya/Chutki/ Anvta are Silver toe rings.
It is not mandatory to wear all of the above listed jewelry pieces. And the must wear pieces vary from one community to another and depending on the family’s budget. They can be artificial, silver, golden, set with semi-precious stones/kundan, diamond, jadau, or platinum. Gold jewellery is the most common, followed by diamond. Jadau pieces became the rage following the movie ‘Jodha Akbar’. Some Kashmiri brides and hill (tribal) brides wear beaten silver with filigree work. Some also include coral and turquoise beads with silver to make the jewelry special and auspicious.
That's part one for you. Thanks Vichitra and I hope that you join us more often in the future. Tune in next week for the post on South Indian traditions by yours truly.
Images: net : Brides of India