Jewelry forms an intricate part of our Indian culture and has been in vogue from the time our country has come into existence. In fact, early Indians used to adorn themselves with ornaments from head to toe irrespective of gender, religion and community. Today, traditions and lifestyle may have changed but, the charm of ornaments remains the same.
While earlier forms of jewelry were made with flowers, beads, horns and claws of animals, today, all kinds of metals including gold and silver are being used. Some of the earliest forms of jewelry were amulets usually worn for protection by the males. Red coral beads, amber beads and fossils from cone trees were not just used as jewelry items; they were also worn for good health, vitality and as protection from evil.
Over the years, the medicinal and scientific significance of ornaments diminished instead, style and fashion took up more importance.
Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, amulets, rings and many other different kinds of jewelry are still being worn by both men and women. Although men do not adorn as many ornaments as women still, jewelry is getting back in fashion for the male species too. This can be seen especially in the modern generation who consider it cool and classy to sport earrings, bracelets, chains and rings with their outfits.
But do we really know the significance behind the origin of the use of some of the ornaments? Why are they worn on specific parts of the body? Do they have a medicinal effect?
The most common of the ornaments is the finger ring which is worn by men and women alike. In foreign countries it is mainly used to reveal the marital status of a person. In India, it is more ornamental in nature although many people wear rings because their astrologers recommend them according to the movement of the planets. It is believed that the ring finger has a certain nerve that travels all the way to the neuron cells in the brain. Any metallic friction in this nerve is said to be good for one’s health.
The ear stud, made of beautiful designs and even embedded with gems is another commonly worn piece of jewelry. It is generally believed that
a nerve connecting the brain, kidney and cervical passes through the ear lobe and any pressure here controls the proper functioning of the kidney.
The bangle is usually seen as a prominent display of wealth on a woman’s hands. The more the better and yes, in gold! The logical theory behind the wearing of circular rings on the wrist is that as the pulse beat is often used to check various ailments, the round piece of metal increases blood circulation.
The electricity passing out through the skin goes back into the body since circle shaped bangles have no ends to let it pass outside! The nose stud commonly known as ‘nath’ in Hindi and ‘mookuthi’ in Tamil is worn by most Indian women as it adds to their beauty. There is no denying it. But, the primary reason for wearing it is that it regularizes breath!
In the same way, the ‘metti’ or ‘bichchiya’ worn by women on the second finger from the toe, apart from indicating a woman’s marital status also regularizes her menstrual cycle and helps in the conceiving process. Quite similarly, silver anklets known as ‘golusu’ in Tamil and ‘paayal’ in Hindi are good conductors of energy and absorb energy from the earth and pass it back into the body.
After mentioning all these ornaments, can the ‘mangalsutra’ or ‘thaali’ be left behind? This symbol of a married woman is said to regularize her blood circulation.
Today, ornaments are worn to look good but it all seems to have begun ages ago for specific reasons mainly pertaining to the health of men and women. Isn’t it wonderful how the origin of these pieces of jewelry came up? What we thought as just pieces of beautiful metal traces its origin to the world of science and medicine!