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Assam Jewellery - Gold dust on Assam River banks

Discussion in 'North Eastern and Eastern States' started by gunjanasaikia25, May 10, 2009.

  1. gunjanasaikia25

    gunjanasaikia25 New IL'ite

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    Assamese traditional jewellery is as popular now as it was in ancient <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Assam</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Gold washing and manufacture of jewellery were two important ancient industries in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Assam</st1:place></st1:country-region> & gold dust was abundantly found in the sands of different rivers of the state, particularly the Subansiri.

    During the rule of the Ahom Kings, gold washing an organized industry and the state earned handsome revenues. Gold enamelling was a specialized job done by the Mani <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">kars</st1:place></st1:city> and Jorhat and Barpeta were important centres.

    Which is your favorite piece of Traditional Assamese jewellery?
     
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  2. SoniaVerma

    SoniaVerma Senior IL'ite

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    'Gold dust on river banks'...that's interesting. Please tell us more about it. How's that possible?

    Happy posting!

    Sonia
     
  3. MayuriBordoloi

    MayuriBordoloi New IL'ite

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    Hi Sonia, it is indeed one of the amazing facts that 'gold dust was abundantly found in the sands of different rivers of Assam'

    Gold washing and manufacture of Jewellery were two important ancient industries in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Assam</st1:place></st1:country-region> & it is true that gold dust was abundantly found in the sands of different rivers of the state. References to gold in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Assam</st1:country-region></st1:place> in the early period are found in the writings of the classical writers and the earliest reference is found in the ARTHASASTRA .

    During the rule of the Ahom Kings, gold washing was done on an elaborate scale and the state derived considerable income from the yearly tax levied on Gold washing. Gold was locally available, flowing down several Himalayan rivers, of which Subansiri is the most important. In fact, a particular tribe of people, the Sonowal Kacharis were engaged only for gold-washing in these rivers.
     
  4. SabinaKhanna

    SabinaKhanna New IL'ite

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    Hi Mayuri, Thanks for this interesting piece of news. I'm really fascinated about this new fact I've read here ' Gold dust on river banks' and god washing. I've read in another thread about the unique Assamese jewellery. Looking forward to some information on this. I'm glad I joined IL, would have never got a chance to know so much about every corner of our country.

    :)
    Sabina
     
  5. MayuriBordoloi

    MayuriBordoloi New IL'ite

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    Most welcome Sabina. You really need to see Assamese jewellery, which are so distinct and unique. And most importantly, the uniqueness is because they are not influenced by modernization and people here still prefer and take pride in wearing traditional jewelleries for weddings and festivals.

    <link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CUser%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="country-region" downloadurl="http://www.5iantlavalamp.com/"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place" downloadurl="http://www.5iantlavalamp.com/"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Palatino Linotype"; panose-1:2 4 5 2 5 5 5 3 3 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870009 1073741843 0 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Gold jewelry has traditional designs,<st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></st1:country-region> which are skillfully designed by jewelers of the state and cannot be made by others. The jewellers known as Sonari make exquisite Doog-Doogi, Bana, Jon-biri, Dhol-biri type lockets Thuriya, Loka-paro and Keru earrings Gaam-kharu bracelets and Gal-pata necklaces. Gold has always constituted the most-used metal for jewellery in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Assam</st1:place></st1:country-region>, while the use of silver and other metals too have been there for centuries.

    Anyone here from Assam, who belong to Jorhat...its the hub of jewellery making.


    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
     
  6. roykakoli

    roykakoli New IL'ite

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    Could anyone please post a pic of kopo phool and loka-paro ? Also are both of thsee always made with gold or is it available on silver with gold plating.
     
  7. MayuriBordoloi

    MayuriBordoloi New IL'ite

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    Loka- paro is an earring embellished with twin birds, placed one after the other. This may be in gold, ruby, mina, or even plain enamel coating. While Kopo Phool is a special type of earring, resembling the orchid ‘kopou phool’.

    For all who are not familiar with 'Kopou Phool' - the orchid of Assam, here's a picture of it. The blooming of Kopou Phool marks the beginning of spring season and Bohaag Bihu. Girls adorn the orchid in their hair as they make a bun for the Bihu dance. It symbolically adds fragnance to the 'season of romance' - Bohaag.
     

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  8. gunjanasaikia25

    gunjanasaikia25 New IL'ite

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    Assamese jewellery is mostly influenced by nature( e.g. birds,grains,animals) and others by musical instruments (drums etc)and few more by things daily used in an assamese household, for example jaapi...a handmade headgear. Today I'll tell you about a very popular piece of ornament - Jun-biri and also my personal favorite. This traditional piece of jewellery is designed like a half-moon.

    The ornament is basically make in silver and finally covered with very thin gold foils or Paat- Xun). Besides being very affordable and easy to maintain, they go very well with the local attire mekhela-sador.

    The price of Jun-Biri ranges from Rs.1500 to Rs.25000, depending on the design and the quantity of leaf gold used. I'm attaching a picture of the ornament so that you can visualize how beautiful it looks.

    Hope you all will love it.

    Love,

    Gunjana
     

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  9. Sindhurao

    Sindhurao Gold IL'ite

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    Mayuri:

    The orchids are simply amazing. I'm sure the jewellery styled after them are as unique and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it here!

    Gunjana:

    That's a lovely piece of jewellery. Wish it was available outside Assam (I'm sure someone enterprising has already showcased it in an exhibition somewhere!) What are the other traditional jewellery in Assam? Could you post pictures if possible? It would be interesting to know about it. Thanks.

    Sindhu
     
  10. mousumidutta

    mousumidutta New IL'ite

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    A thread on jewellery is a delight for every woman, irrespective of where they belong. :)

    Assamese jewellery is very unique with its ethnic look; and as you all know rejuvenating the past is the new trend in Indian fashion today - be it apparels or jewellery. I'd like to share with you all some fascinating facts about Assamese jewellery and will be happy if some of our Assamese friends can upload some pictures of those.....

    Kopo phool - One of the most interesting piece of Assamese jewellery. It is an earring that looks like an orchid known by the same name as referred in an earlier post by MayuriBordoloi . It looks like two small shoes lynching jointly and attached to a floral segment on top which is further connected to a chain.

    Jethi poti is a wide band of cloth which is placed as row of small medallions with a central pendant.

    Gaam kharu is a large bangle with a clasp made in silver with gold polish. (See attached pic)

    Bana or Jonberi is a crescent-shaped overhanging packed with lac for a cushioned effect. The frontage is studded with rubies whereas the back always has enameling.

    Lokaparo is a popular ear ring which has twin birds placed back to back in gold , mina , ruby or even sometimes enamel coating.
     

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