Bengali gold jewellery is renowned for its intricate designs and profound cultural and traditional significance. This adornment is unique in Bengali culture, reflecting artistic craftsmanship and a connection to heritage. The jewellery’s elaborate patterns and motifs are not merely decorative; they carry stories, customs, and the essence of Bengali identity. Each piece symbolises a fusion of artistry and tradition, making Bengali gold jewellery a cherished and timeless aspect of cultural expression.
Types of Bengali Gold Jewellery
Shakha and Pola Bangles
These are iconic gold bangles worn by married Bengali women to symbolise their marital status. The shakha bangles are white conch shell bangles with red lacquer work, while the pola bangles are red coral bangles with gold detailing. These bangles are usually paired with jhumkas and necklaces during traditional occasions.
Jhumkas are an essential part of Bengali jewellery. These bell-shaped earrings can range from simple designs to intricate ones adorned with gemstones, filigree work, or enamel detailing. They are often worn as part of the complete jewellery ensemble, necklaces, and other ornaments.
Choker Necklace: A choker-style necklace is a classic Bengali jewellery piece worn close to the neck. It can be intricately designed with gold filigree work, gemstones, and enamel accents. Choker necklaces are often paired with jhumka earrings to create a harmonious look.
Haram or Long Necklace
A haram is a long, elaborate necklace worn as a single strand or doubled for a layered effect. It usually features intricate gold craftsmanship and might incorporate gemstones, pearls, or other decorative elements.
The Bengali mangal sutra is a black beaded necklace with a gold pendant, often featuring intricate designs or religious symbols.
Nath or Loha
The nath is a nose ring traditionally worn by married Bengali women. It can be made of gold and might feature ornate designs and gemstones. It complements the overall jewellery set, including jhumkas and necklaces.
Chandbali earrings are crescent-shaped, often studded with gemstones, pearls, or intricate goldwork. They are famous for special occasions and complement jhumkas and other jewellery pieces.
Mathapatti or Maang Tikka
While not always a part of everyday wear, the matha patti or maang tikka is occasionally worn by Bengali brides. It’s a forehead ornament that adds elegance to the bridal look when paired with jhumkas and necklaces.
Haar or Multi-layered Necklace
Haar refers to a multi-layered necklace that can be elaborate and eye-catching. It’s often worn during special occasions or weddings, and its layered design pairs well with jhumka earrings.
Bengali gold jewellery: Anklets and Toe Rings
These additional pieces of jewellery can be worn to complete the overall look. While not always visible, they add to the traditional jewellery ensemble.
The choice of jewellery and its combination may vary based on personal preferences, occasions, and regional variations. Bengali gold jewellery is known for its intricate designs, symbolism, and ability to complement and enhance a woman’s appearance.
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