Jewels and their Link to Tamil Literature

There are people in interior Tamilnadu who sing in sweet Tamil Of Sanga-thamizh literature, the Tolkaapiyam, Kurunthogai and Thirukkural. They quote the five great epics.  And in these lie the jewellery. Jivaka Cintamani (Fabulous Gem that gave jiva or life) Kundalakesi (Kundala refers to earrings) Valayapathi [...]

The Richest Region of Tamilnadu?

The creation myth of the Chettiars begins with a long arduous migration. Some say Naganadu (land of the snakes) but there is scant proof of that. What is known is that they were gem dealers in the rich coastal city of Poompuhar or Kaveripoompattinam. They had names such as Muthu and Vairam. Also [...]

The Wondrous Kempu Jewellery

Literally-- red The Tamil aesthetic is tuned to muted colours and high-quality material. People love kempu because of high-quality rubies without additional embellishments. "No jigina," or sparkly stuff, as traditionalists would say. Kempu jewellery fits this profile to a T. Typically [...]

By |2019-09-30T22:30:36+05:30July 9th, 2019|Categories: Making, Tamilnadu|Tags: , , , , , , |15 Comments

What is the Tamil Aesthetic?

Jewellery is part of an Tamil woman's identity.  Women generally wear bangles, nose rings, mangal-sutra, chains, anklets and toe rings, as dancer Urmila says in this post here. Bless you, my heart. The shell bangles slip from my wasting hands. My eyes, sleepless for days, are muddied. Kurunthogai poetry Her waist is [...]

By |2019-09-30T22:36:46+05:30July 9th, 2019|Categories: Motifs, Tamilnadu|Tags: , , , , , , |13 Comments

Jewellery in Astrology

In Hindu astrology, the word graha means "to seize."  The nine planets or nava-grahas seize people at different parts of their life and influence them either positively or negatively. Gemology is about using gems to alleviate the effects of these planets. Some people say that a gem needs to be of at least two [...]

By |2019-09-30T22:51:53+05:30June 16th, 2019|Categories: Meaning, Tamilnadu|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |15 Comments

Welcome to our Tamilnadu Edition

What can I tell you about Tamilnadu? The land of my birth. Madurai Malli (jasmine), Kumbakonam degree coffee,  Ambur Thalapakatti biriyani, Kanchipuram silk, and the Kaveri delta. The sari-clad matron grudgingly accepts the cellophane-wrapped plastic bag from the jewellery salesman behind the counter. “No calendar?” she asks. This then [...]

By |2019-09-11T09:51:33+05:30June 6th, 2019|Categories: Tamilnadu, Welcome|Tags: , , , , , , |15 Comments

Urmila Sathyanarayanan

Jewellery was always part of giving a reward in our family.  We would procure and wear a piece of jewellery, whether new or handed-down on important occasions.  If I did well at school, or for birthdays or arangetrams, jewellery played an important role. I can remember that I got a pair of jhumkis [...]

Ahalya S.

 As a child, I was always interested in getting dressed up.  The women in my family were very simple. My grandmother had earrings, gold bangles, mangalsutra.  My mother, a few pieces more than that. The first time we indulged in jewellery shopping properly was when my brother got married.      [...]

Go to Top