India is blessed and endowed with a rich tribal culture. Despite the pace of modernization, many of our unique traditions are still intact. Tribal Jewelry is especially known for its earthy charm. Since they are different from other conventionally made jewelry items, the rare nature of ethnic jewelry is highly cherished by many.
Eclectic, funky and earthen are some of the adjectives that can be used for describing tribal jewelry. Moreover as many of the indigenous tribes were relatively impoverished, the choice of raw materials is usually humble and limited to claws, ivory, shells, wood, etc. It is also known that royal dynasties of ancient India used the services of ingenious craftsmen for the purpose of crafting exquisite pieces of jewelry, which have in fact become priceless over time.
Characteristics of Tribal Jewelry
Tribal jewelry communicates a lot regarding the status of the individual who wears it since these represent the socio-cultural traditions of those tribal groups. Tribal jewelry integrates materials available in nature like leaves, berries, claws, feathers, leather, flowers, and others to create majestic pieces of art, which are delightfully wearable. There are few tribes of certain regions who are scantily clothed, yet they adorn ample jewelry on their bodies.
Grass, cane, and natural beads makes the ornaments created by tribes outstanding among the rest. Even to this day, many tribes in India adorn traditional ornaments created using copper, glass, peacock feathers silver, wood, and also wild flowers. Some of the nomadic groups adorn colorful ornaments. These are embossed with coins, beads, shells, and metallic mesh making them quite distinguishable.
These are varieties available like Banjara jewelry and even Rajasthani silverware, wherein the jewels are decorated with colorful beads and tinkling silver bells. Red coral beads and thin glass fluted stems are used by few tribes for making ornate necklaces, bracelets, earrings, trinkets and belts along with other aesthetic looking jewelry. There are few other tribes that use metals like silver, gold, brass and aluminum for creating beautiful braids, ear piercings and nose piercings. Even tattoo jewelry is an attractive form, created by some tribal groups.
In an era where old is becoming more fashionable, jewelry inspired by tribes is the hottest trend everywhere these days, in the world of fashion. The tribal jewelry is known for its vivid colors, unique geometric designs and unconventional look which appeals to buyers and collectors. They are affordable on the pocket and considered a big hit with the fashionistas. The increasing popularity of Tribal ornaments have made them wardrobe staples these days. Their unique look has even made them a part of hip-hop culture while others accord heritage value to it.