Some notes on traditional Maratha jewellery

Research output


The history of Indian jewelry goes back to about five thousand years. During its history, India has been conquered numerous times. However, despite the foreign influence, Indian culture has not lost its identity. The Marathas are carriers of a unique subculture, located at the junction of the Aryan and Dravidian worlds. While the political and socio-economical history of Maharashtra is well studied, there is a considerable lack of research on the culture of the Marathas. Meanwhile, the material culture of the Marathas has its own characteristics, particularly Maratha jewelries arouse profound interest. Ornaments of a Maratha woman is not just a decoration but a special language speaking to others about her status and the events of her life. Jewelry is a family treasury and amulets. Some of the ornaments in modern Maharashtra are known by Persian names, which is incorrectly attributed to their non-Indian origin. Much Maratha jewelry have an ancient history, evidenced in the paintings of Ajanta, sculptural groups, etc. This study provides a brief overview of some pieces of the Maratha jewelry. They are divided into several groups: jewelry for the head, nose ornaments, ear ornaments, neck ornaments, arm ornaments, ornaments for the hand, rings, ornaments for the waist, foot ornaments. The article provides local terms, descriptions of jewelry, their mention in historical sources and cultural monuments. KEYWOR D S : Deccan, Maharashtra, Maratha, jewelry, neck ornaments, ear ornaments, rings, feet ornaments, waist ornaments

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-178
Issue number4(6)
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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