Unique Traditional Jewellery of Arunachal Pradesh

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Necklaces, headbands, bracelets, belts and other jewellery are worn by tribal women not only as adornments for their bodies, but also as prestige symbols.
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Unique Traditional Jewellery of Arunachal Pradesh
Unique Traditional Jewellery of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh’s culture is extremely diverse, as the state has 26 major tribes and sub-tribes.

Every tribe has its own set of customs and traditions. Adi, Galo, Aka, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagins, Bori, and Bokar are some of Arunachal’s major tribes.

The sun and the moon are the presiding deities of the Donyi-Polo (the name stands for sun and moon) religion’s major tribes.

People often celebrate festivals as a mark of appreciation to the Almighty for providing them with a healthy crop because agriculture is the mainstay here. The artistic abilities of the various tribes are also showcased during these events.

Ornaments are particularly popular in the state, so jewellery manufacture could be a separate sector. Beads, glass beads, coloured bird feathers and green beetle wings are among the materials used in Arunachal Pradesh’s traditional jewellery. The Akas tribe uses bamboo to make bangles and earrings, among other things. The rarity of ethnic jewellery reveals a great deal about the owner’s social standing, income, spiritual beliefs and functional habits.

The local tribes of Arunachal Pradesh don’t just make beautiful jewellery out of gold and silver. Bamboo is used by the Akas tribe to decorate their items, while the Wanchos and Noctes utilize cane, bamboo, and reeds to create attractive artistic patterns.

Necklaces, headbands, bracelets, belts and other jewellery are worn by tribal women not only as adornments for their bodies, but also as prestige symbols.

Arunachal Pradesh’s tribal men are not far behind. They wear waistbands, bracelets, animal bones and pendants or necklaces made of ivory. Silver is widely used among the Mishmi people.

The men wear silver coin-encrusted straps, while the ladies wear silver bands on their heads and krupei (dumbbell-shaped earplugs). These vintage tribal adornments offer a peek of the world’s ethnic variety. The one-of-a-kindness of those indigenous jewels has made them wardrobe favourites in recent years.

Beyond the belt, Adi (Dafla, Minong, Abor, Gelong) ladies wear a locally produced jewellery — a sequence of three, five, seven, or nine bronze discs strung on a cane, screw pine fibers, or leather cord.

Bangles made of brass are popular. Cane anklets are worn by women on their feet. The Adi women also enjoy wearing necklaces made of coins. Because they are passed down from mother to daughter for many generations, Adi shell necklaces are considered sacred and more important than other decorations.

A silver fillet-headdress typically used by wealthy Aka women consists of an outsized, centre, repousse-ornamented disc to which a succession of link chains are linked, making a broad, crown-like band that encircles the head. Those who aren’t well-off wear a simple silver chain around their necks.

The Apatani women’s most distinctive trait is the way they beautify their noses by inserting wooden plugs into their nostrils. When they’re little girls, small pegs are put in, and as they become older, the size of the pegs is raised until they’re around 2-3 cm across.

State’s males wear a strong headdress. The form and ornamental embellishments differ, but the basic framework remains the same. These helmet-like hats are made of reed fibre that is so tightly woven that they are entirely waterproof and impervious to weapon blows and thrusts. They can use bird feathers, wild boar teeth, black bear fur and a red-dyed hornbill beak as decorations.

Pendants and necklaces were also made from ivory and animal bones. They’ll sometimes wear the mandible of a leopard, a prized trophy, on their chest.

Idu Mishmi men and women wear necklaces made up of several types of beads. The arulaya necklace is the most popular. Another delicate necklace is the lekapon, which is made up of twenty strands of Pieris rapae beads.

For their crafts and daily necessities, the people of Arunachal Pradesh make use of the natural resources accessible to them. Their tribal jewellery heritage has lasted for hundreds of years and will undoubtedly continue for many more.

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