Discover A Few Best Ethnic Tribal Jewellery of Odisha
A few of the widely used tribal jewellery of Odisha( East India)
Koya tribals adorn their buns with flowers
Young kutia Kandha girls are no more tattooing. Image: SCSTRTI
With Saora women on the way to Puttasingi, near Gunupur.
Particularly women folk are fascinated by jewelleries and tribals of Odisha are no exception to it. Since days of yore, tribal women of Odisha use varieties of jewelleries to adorn their various body parts like neck, nose, ear ,hair etc. The aesthetic sense of the tribal people is also reflected through the kind of ornamentation they use. Those jewelleries are referred by different names by different indigenous tribal communities . Here I am going to have a short illustrative account of few of those tribal jewelleries abundantly used by different indigenous tribal communities of Odisha.
Those ornaments are made out of brass/bell metal, silver, iron, copper , aluminium etc. and they are made by a particular section of tribal/non tribal artisans. They make varieties of items as per the necessity , design and motif of each ethnic group. They utilise locally available materials to make ornaments of different body adornments that contain significant cultural meaning for the wearer.Body embellishments utilizing ornaments comprise to be a necessary piece of their lifestyle. Patterns of ornamentation often speak a volume about the social order of their societies.
Personal adornments may include jewellery and textiles as well….but here I am giving a concise portrayal of some of the peculiar ornaments being worn by some of the most sought-after tribal communities living in different nooks and corners of Odisha.Everyone realises that Odisha is a rich tribal state and Odisha has 62 kinds of tribals in its bosom. I must concede that, while choosing a few of the widely used tribal jewelleries, some significant others may be left over.
It is because of the assimilation process( as it is an extreme acculturation, where the dominant ethnicity usually prevails in the end), very few people belonging to each indigenous tribal community of Odisha are retaining their traditional customs and traditions.
Dabulubeida( Coin necklace of Bonda )
This is predominantly utilized by the Bonda women of Mudulipada in Malkangiri region of Odisha(East India) and it is locally otherwise called Dabulubeida.The bonda women weave the coin accessory without anyone else and wear it in their everyday life. The coin pieces of jewellery and coin finger rings are markers of an individual’s monetary status.
Dabulubeida, image source: OSTM
Bonda woman having aluminium neckbands all piled up , image: Pinterest
Bandariya( Silver Bangle of Gond)
This is a sort of prickly formed bangle, which is utilized by the ladies of wealthy groups of the Gond clan of nabarangpur locale of Odisha One bangle isn’t just utilized by the ladies for decorating the body yet in addition for their self security at troublesome occasions. One bangle weighs just about 500 grams each and is designed by the Gond clan and made by the nearby smiths.
Image source: SCSTRTI
Bangles also used for self-defence,
Image source: SCSTRTI
Sankhachuli( Silver Wristlet of Santal)
This silver wristlets used by the financially sound ‘Santal’ ladies are called ‘Sankhachuli’ in their mother tongue . As like Gonds, they also use it for decoration as well as for self defense. The neighborhood goldsmith plans/ designs it as indicated by the tribal ethnic theme.
Santal armlet & wristlet,image: SCSTRTI
Santal silver hairpin , image: SCSTRTI
Anduduka( Brass Anklet of Dongria Kandha)
‘Dongria Kandha’ women of the Niyamgiri hill area , purchase these items from the nearby weekly ( held every wednesday) tribal market’Chatikona’ . This brass ornament is locally known as ‘ Andu’. This is crafted by non tribal artisans. The design of these anklets sets the Dongria Kandha women apart from other tribal women.
Image source: SCSTRTI
Sipna( Hairpin of Dongria Kandha)
Excellence cognizant Dongria Kandha individuals are known for their unmistakable haircuts. This scissor molded, aluminum hairpin utilized by the Dongria Kandha ladies locally known as ‘Sipna’. Dongria Kandha ladies use it for enlivening their bun during marriage and other festive events.
Both ‘ Anduduka and Sipna’ are plentily available for sale in ‘Chatikona’ weekly tribal market.
Sipna( hairpin),Image source: SCSTRTI
Another variety of hairpin of Dongria
Dongria Kandha woman in her traditional attire, Image source: SCSTRTI
Malatada ( Waist Chain of Gandia)
This ethnically designed west chain is locally known as ‘ Malatada’ and it is used by especially the ‘Gandia’ ladies of Nabarangpur region of south Odisha. Gandia ladies use it around the midsection during marriage ceremonies and other happy events. It is made by non tribal smiths and made available to the native tribal ladies in various nearby markets in and around Nabarangpur.
Arti Nisangu( Neckband with rings of deceased forefathers of Bonda)
This is especially used by the Bonda women.The primary iron necklace is called ‘Gunnur’ and It is connected with several rings which were once used by their ancestors. The finger rings are gathered at the hour of death of male or female family members and in a bonda society , a mother gives this neck band as a blessing to her eldest daughter. It is on the grounds that Bonda society is a matriarchal society.
Susidang( Hairpin)& Wooden Ear Disc of Saora
Women of the Saora tribe can be handily perceived by the huge wooden ear discs that they wear. The upper piece of their ears is likewise designed with various rings.
Wooden ear disc, Image source: SCSTRTI
Saora women in their traditional attire
Image source:SCSTRTI, Govt.of.Odisha
Khagla ( Thick aluminium neckbands of Gadaba)
Keeping aside the other differences,Gadaba women are distinguished from Bonda women by one primary difference..and that is , a Gadaba woman wears a couple of thick aluminium neck bands where as a Bonda woman wears comparatively more number of thin aluminium neck bands.
During her marriage, a Gadaba lady gets a couple of thick aluminum neckbands which she continues to wear for the remainder of her life. She doesn’t takes off while sleeping even. In former times, these substantial and thick pieces of jewellery were saving ladies from tiger assault, since tigers typically assault on necks.
With Gadaba women in their traditional attire in the weekly tribal market’Onukudeli’
Some other varieties of armlets of Kandha and Kisan communities
Armlets of Kandha Community,scstrti
Tada(armlet of Kissan Community)
Armlets of Kandha Community,SCSTRTI
Odishan tribal jewellery is catching the fascinations of jewellery designers all world wide . Designers have started doing fusion of tribal jewelleries with the so called modern ornaments and started showcasing them on ramps.Certain things just happen with the flow of time, never seek approval of any authority. In this context ,do not you think that all pure and ethnic tribal ornamentations of different parts of earth have to be documented and kept for public viewing, keeping an eye on progression of such events? Please don’t forget to give your valuable opinions in this regard in the comment box below.
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Dr. Manoj Mishra
Thank you for the nice article and topic which you presented in a very readable way. Nyself not familiar with this part of the world, let alone with the way women live there and decorate, this has broaden my knowledge.
Thank you my dear friend Vesna for your appreciation and encouragement.🙏🌹
It’s awesome Dr Manoj Mishra. I would love to connect you on this topics. Thanks.