Pampadam earring © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Once upon a time, women grew their ears.

Quiz

Is there a connection between the ears and a woman's health?

Answer

Yes there is, according to ancient Tamilians.

Pull your ears and see if you feel a tug in your eyes….and for that matter your navel area.

Lady wearing Thandatti earrings. Image Courtesy: Christa Neuenhofer
Woman wearing a pampadam and thandatti earrings

Quiz

What type of earring is this woman wearing?

Answer

Thandatti, behind which is a pampadam earring.  She wears a koppu on top.

A pampadam has a U shape.  The thandatti is more geometric shaped.

Quiz

Link between growing your ears and childbirth?

Answer

In Tamilnadu, long ears were linked to an easy childbirth.

In fact, long ears used to be a prerequisite for a Tamil bride three generations ago.

Quiz

What happens when you pull down your earlobes

Answer

You will feel a tug in the nerves of your eyes.

It is this connection that caused Tamilians to invent this jewellery.

What is a thoppu karanam?

Hint: it is something that Tamil people do at a Ganesha temple.

Answer

The practice of pulling your ears while squatting up and down at a Ganesha temple may be linked to the reason women wear the Pampadam earrings.

Lady wearing Pampadam earrings. Image Courtesy: Christa Neuenhofer
Lady wearing Thandatti earrings. Image Courtesy: Christa Neuenhofer

Quiz

What are the different types of ear-pulling earrings that Tamil women wore?

Answer

At least three kinds

Pampadam, which had a U shape like a snake.

Thandatti: which was geometrical

Savudi or Souri: which was a collection of many earrings worn together.

Quiz

What type of earring is the woman in this picture wearing?

Answer

It is a Thandatti.

Quiz

What type of earring is this woman wearing?

Answer

Thandatti, behind which is a barely visible pampadam earring.

A pampadam has a U shape.  The thandatti is more geometric shaped.  The savudi is a collection of earrings worn together.

The featured image is a Pampadam earring.

Quiz

Is there a way we can get the benefits of these heavy earrings without wearing them?

Answer

Difficult, but once in a while, don’t hesitate to wear a heavy jhumka or earring.

Particularly if you are pregnant.

Lady wearing Thandatti earrings. Image Courtesy: Christa Neuenhofer
Women wearing a savudi earring

Quiz

What is this woman wearing?

Answer

It is called a savudi, or souri.

Pampadam, Thandatti, Savudi….these may yet make a comeback.

Once their health benefits become widely known.