Maharashtra is a beautiful state, rich in culture and heritage. Its vibrant jewellery is famous worldwide as it reflects the essence of Maharashtrian culture, its people, and its history. From royalty’s opulent adornments to commoners’ everyday wear, Maharashtrian jewellery is a treasure trove of symbolism, craftsmanship, and artistry.
Let us delve into the fascinating world of Maharashtrian jewellery, their names, and their significance, and understand the cultural narratives they carry.
The Nath: A Symbol of Tradition and Identity
The nath is a distinctive nose ring, a hallmark mark of Maharashtrian bridal jewellery. It is a crescent-shaped, uniquely designed nose ring that deeply symbolizes Maharashtrian culture. The word “Nath” is derived from the Marathi word “naath,” which means “nose.” The married woman wears it to symbolise her commitment to her husband. It is made of gold, embellished with white pearls and pink stones that enhance its beauty. Previously, it was believed that the larger the size of the nath, the more it signifies the wealth and social standing of the family. The intricate patterns and embellishments on the Nath showcase the artistry of traditional jewellers, and it is often worn with other jewellery pieces like the Mundavlya (a forehead ornament) and the Kolhapuri Saaj (a multi-layered necklace).
The Thushi: A Fusion of Tradition and Trend
The Thushi is a choker-styled necklace which is very popular in Maharashtra. The name “Thushi” is derived from the Marathi word “thushi,” which means “choker.” It is closely woven with gold beads that look amazingly beautiful while forming a flexible and comfortable design. Original Thushi is always made of gold, but as time evolved, it is now designed with other materials and metals that give it a modern twist. You will find this Maharashtrian jewellery in every Marathi woman’s jewellery box. The Thushi represents a blend of traditional and contemporary fashion, making it a versatile piece that can be worn with traditional and modern outfits.
Beyond Nath and Thushi: Exploring Other Maharashtrian Jewellery Styles
While Maharashtrian Nath and Thushi are iconic jewellery, many others offer an array of styles, highlighting the region’s diverse heritage. Some of them are listed below.
- Kolhapuri Saaj: It is a multi-layered necklace that embodies the essence of tradition, spirituality, and artistic finesse. Rooted in the Maratha era, this necklace carries the legacy of Marathi queens and noblewomen, and its intricate craftsmanship reflects local artisanal mastery passed down through generations.
- Bormala: The Maharashtrian Bolmala is a captivating necklace that embodies the essence of Marathi culture and spirituality. Comprising layers of intricate black beads interspersed with gold beads, the Bolmala is more than just an accessory; it holds deep symbolic meaning.
- Vaaki: The Maharashtrian Vaaki is a distinctive and symbolic piece of jewellery graces the upper arm with elegance and meaning. Also known as an armlet, the Vaaki holds cultural and traditional significance in Marathi culture.
- Chaplahar: The Maharashtrian Chaplahar is a captivating necklace that weaves together tradition, craftsmanship, and cultural identity. Comprising multiple chains of varying lengths, the Chaplahar necklace drapes gracefully around the neck, adding an exquisite touch to traditional attire.