Tribal Jewellery not only reflects a cherished outward appearance but is an identity in itself. While mainstream ornaments keep evolving, tribal jewellery stands a class apart in its heritage and continuity. Sometimes a symbol of spirituality, sometimes the social class and sometimes used for mere beautification, we have collected some info about tribal jewellery history and unique ornaments from tribes around the world and the ideas they represent.
Afghan Jewellery is known for its deep-blue Lapis Lazuli – a stone that has been used for centuries in jewelry making. The Lapis Lazuli stone is often associated with royalty in archeological excavations. The deep blue stone is marked by sparkling bits of pyrite, giving it the appearance of the night sky – a symbol of infinite possibilities. Silver and coin metal are preferred in this jewellery, gold rarely being used. The beautiful Lapis Lazuli represents honesty and wisdom — some qualities deeply cherished in the Afghan culture.
Hmong tribal jewellery
Miao or Hmong Tribal Jewelry is associated with a group of Asiatic people who migrated from their homelands. They are praised worldwide for their beautiful, intricate skills.
Hmong jewelry is typically made of 99% Silver or a zinc-copper-nickel metal alloy that is artistically handcrafted into neck rings and large earrings. During the ‘naming ceremony’, a child is made to wear a neck ring to mark it as a part of the ‘human world’. The jewellery is often inscribed with clouds, flowers or with a classic bent-spear design intended to celebrate hunts.
Tibetan tribal jewellery
of high-grade silver skillfully crafted with well-detailed symbolic representations covering all surfaces. The most commonly used stones are amber, turquoise, and coral. Sometimes, conch shells are also used.
Since most of Tibet is located in the high mountains, it is often called the “roof of the world.” Many cloud motifs can be found in the designs of these Tibetian pieces, engraved as a tribute to the natural phenomena that occur frequently at this high altitude.
Banjara tribal jewellery
The Banjara tribe of India has such a peculiar way with their jewellery that they can be identified at the very first glance. Using metal mesh, coins, stones and beads, the Banjaras are known as the ‘colourful tribe of India’. They even wear an ornate belt on their waist to complement their vibrant attire. The Banjara tribe is a group of nomads who originate in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan has some of the most colourful cities of India, and the world. The word Banjara has come to mean the “Indian hippie” because of their flamboyant lifestyle and love for singing, dancing and life. This is where their brilliant jewellery takes birth.
The Giraffe women of Myanmar (Burma) belong to an ethnic minority in the Tibeto-Burma region. These women are known as giraffe women because of their unusually long necks achieved by wearing metal hoops around their neck. This is done throughout the life of these women, starting from when they’re only girls. The metal hoops end up pushing down the collarbone into the chest cavity, giving the appearance of a long and beautiful neck.
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