Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, is known for so many glorious things that one would lose count. It is famous for its beautiful Kanjeevaram silk sarees, beaches, lungis, backwaters, culinary delights, superstars and their acting skills. Amidst all this, how can you skip the Kerala traditional jewellery that is worn by the women of Kerala?
The folklore of wearing Kerala jewellery is as evergreen as the newly-wed women. There are gold as well as diamond designs for the Malayali Manga. You will find Purity and elegance in Keralan traditional jewellery.
Initially, the Kerala jewellery was worn by devotees and temple dancers in their daily routine. With time, temple jewellery became famous not only because it looked enchanting on women but also it induced religious sentiments among people of Kerala. This jewellery dates back to the dynasties of Chola and Pandya. Precious metal donations were used by craftsman to make beautiful Kerala jewellery designs.
Artisans started carving inspirations from the work done on temples’ walls and ceilings. These ornaments were adorned with deity inspired motifs such as coins, bells, leaves, trees, flowers etc. It is done to invoke a feeling of divine presence in the life of the wearer. Traditional dress of Kerala is ‘Mundum Neriyathum’ which looks gorgeous with jewellery of Kerala adorned by a Malayali Manga.
Read all about the different types of Keralan traditional jewellery below.
1. MULLA MOTTU
Mulla Mottu jewellery is made up of series of gold petals running across the ornament. Mulla Mottu is also known as ‘Jasmine Buds’. This Kerala traditional jewellery comes in plain gold as well as gold with studded gemstones. Adding this beautiful ornament to your bridal trousseau would add the right dose of sparkle that any bride would want to begin her new journey with.
2. MANGA MALA
Precious gemstones like emeralds and rubies are used with the use of colored glass to make intricate paisley design of this beautiful jewellery of kerala. Delicate Ambi motifs are studded on Manga Mala to make your wedding look as beautiful as you desire.
3. LAKSHMI MALA
This type of ornament contains tiny gold coin motifs, engraved with Goddess of wealth, ‘Lakshmi’. It is used to sustain the bride’s aura for her future home and hearth. It goes well with a heavily embroidered blouse and simple saree.
4. PALAKKA MALA
This ornament comes with a gold leaf pattern studded with precious green coloured rubies. Precious rubies and pearls are inlaid in a bed of gold to make it look more charming and gorgeous. Green ruby symbolize fertility, wealth and prosperity of a Malayali bride.
5. NAGAPADA THALI
This piece of jewellery is inspired by the Naga, the great king cobra. Nagapada Thali is placed nearer to the neck which is a dainty piece of Keralan traditional jewellery with emeralds or rubies encrusted in a bed of gold. This design is meant for a special occasion and it signifies the strength and royal aura of a bride.
This beautiful piece is the first necklace from Kerala jewellery that the bride adorns. This necklace is threaded through a thick gold chain with a large pendant studded with precious gemstones. Traditionally, the pendant has a carving of ‘Lakshmi’ on it. It is sometimes also equated with the northern concept of Mangalsutra.
7. POOTHALI MALA
It is a necklace with a broad motifs of leaves and flowers inspired by nature. This piece of Keralan traditional jewellery gives a beautiful rhythm and flow that compliments the charming bride.
Elakkathali sits on the top of all other necklaces adorned by the bride on her wedding day. It is a choker type ornament which is made up of pure gold plates entwined together to form a heavy thick chain. It is also known as ‘Kasu Mala’.
Popularly known as Jhumka today, these are gold earrings with small dangling bells engraved with precious gemstones like rubies, pearls, diamonds and emeralds.
Which of these Kerala jewellery design did you like the most? Tell us in comments below.