Importance of South India Traditional Jewelry
India’s passion for gold is no mystery. But this subject usually finds a special mention regarding Jewelry in South India.
Did you know that gold was used as a currency to get a sort of spices from Cochin during the Roman Empire?
For a prolonged time, gold has recreated a substantial part in all South Indian cultures and counted to the brilliance of their traditions.
Gold and festivals
Gold, metal and colour play an essential part in the Keralan new year - Vishu. Gold is used to illustrate ‘Vishukanni’ - an arrangement of gold, flowers, fruits, pulses, and many other things. With Vishukanni, you extend your eyes to prosperity and divine wealth, which will suffice your life for the coming year.
‘Akshaya Tritiya’ is observed with great zeal and luxury in the state of Tamil Nadu. People think this day is an especially auspicious day of the year to buy gold and prefer that marriages and other important events happen on Akshaya Tritiya. This practice is said to deliver happiness and prosperity in one’s life. Therefore, people buy gold ornaments on this day, gift them to their loved ones and even present them to those in need.
Gold and weddings
As per the India Gold Report released on 24th January 2017 by World Gold Council, the weight of the gold sported by a bride from Kerala is 320 grams. Brides from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, on moderate, wear 300 grams of gold at their marriages.
South Indian brides are decorated with gold from head to toe on their wedding day. Parents give their daughter - the bride - a significant amount of gold on her wedding day. This way, the parents guarantee their daughter’s future in her new home.
Kasavu saree with detailed golden embroideries are favored as bridal attire in South India. The bride glitters in gold and looks out of the world on her special day.
There is another tradition in Kerala in which the groom’s family believes a saree called the ‘Manthrakhodis’- these are richly embellished in gold. Threads from this saree are taken and tied roughly to the bride’s neck as the ‘mangalsutra.’
A Mangalsutra in South India is called ‘Thaali’, weighing around 4 to 8 grams. Worn with a gold chain, many make other extras to that. Some add gold coins, while others choose gold roundels and bottom to the main Thaali.
Each motif or design made on the Thaali symbolizes something distinct. For example, the shiva linga embossing on the gold Thaali represents fertility, while the Tulsi embossing indicates purity.
The mangalsutra in Andhra Pradesh typically consists of two coins made of gold. This Telugu mangalsutra is also comprehended as ‘Pustelu’. According to tradition, one of these gold coins comes from the groom’s side while the other from the bride’s side splits the two by beads.
Gold and ceremonies
Thread ceremonies or Annaprashan is a South Indian Jewellery Tradition where relatives and friends gift gold coins and other such gold items to the hosts. Annaprashan is a tradition where a baby is fed solid food for the first time. The baby’s father dips a gold ring into every food item during the ritual. This ring is then connected to the baby’s tongue.
Gold and jewellers
Many big gold jewellery vendors in India hail from Kerala. With a vast collection of gold, these jewellers can hold up with the increasing gold demand, which is why such competitive gold prices exist. Gold is so sought after in Kerala that it will momentarily have a Gold Souk Grande in Cochin, equivalent to the world-famous gold souks of Dubai!
The next time you have a piece of gold jewellery, take a moment to enjoy the long-standing bond we have ever had with gold, a bond that transcends all borders.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu are two South Indian states renowned for their gold markets. These two states are considered to be India’s biggest gold markets. South India donates a whopping 40% to the market share of the gold. This is more than the contribution of the East & West mixed together.