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Types of thaali/mangalyam/mangal sutra??

Discussion in 'Jewelry & Accessories' started by Rukmini, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Rukmini

    Rukmini New IL'ite

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    Namaskaram everyone. This is my first posting so I hope I am not duplicating someone else. I have many related questions but even if someone can answer one or two it would be a start. :)

    I have become fascinated by all the different traditional South Indian types of mangalyam/thaali but I can't find any resource that shows the varieties used by majority of women. (I know that yellow thread is common in Tamil Nadu and at least some parts of Andhra and that black beads are worn by most other groups except Mallus. I am more interested in types of pendants though.)

    I know each family is different but I am trying to know broadly which thaalis are used by Tamil, Telugu, Kannadiga, and Mallu ladies - both Vaishnavaite and Shaivaite. Even if it is only preference, I'd love to know which are more common to each area.

    For example, why are some Vaishnavaite ladies wearing thaali with only "namam" while others wear full namam, shangu, & chakram? And it seems some Shaivaite women wear thaali with Lingam and Meenakshi and some instead wear Naga shapes or other abstract styles that don't immediately look Shaivaite? What about the pendants that seem to have a plant with several branches growing up toward a flower (or with flowers on each branch) - is that thulasi or maybe bilva??

    Do Hindu Mallu women usually wear only a central aalilai pendant or do they wear necklace with several different pendants? I do not know what Kannadigas wear at all - is it usually simple circular pendant/s on the black beads? Are the long bars shown between some of the circular pendants special because they show carving/flowers or it is all just decorative? I wonder which (Tamil?) women wear the pendants that are basically 3-D round shape/s with two prongs going downwards (kind of hard to describe)... And last I have seen a pendant which looks kind of like a flower pointing downward with about 7 petals spread out. Is it similar to adding Lakshmi kasu on the sides or is it only used by a certain sect?

    I have seen in books the amazing thalis worn in the past by Chettiar women but am not sure if any Chettiars wear such elaborate ones anymore. They are so nice - I wish everyone still wore them.

    I know these are a lot of questions but I would be so thankful if any maamis can tell what they know - either from modern or earlier times. :) :bowdown

    Many thanks,

    Rukmini
     
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  2. SujathaR

    SujathaR Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Rukku Maami,

    In recent times, even traditional womens have started using fashion based thaali !!!!

    I could see lot of model in online for that.
     
  3. Rukmini

    Rukmini New IL'ite

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    Dearest Suji,

    Thank you very much for your reply. I was beginning to think that no one wanted to help me. :)

    I also have seen these modern thalis on black beads with abstract diamond pendants with no religious significance. It is simply so different to the way I was raised that it is hard for me to accept.

    Not to mention that I am genuinely interested in knowing how to identify the different thalis with their corresponding communities. These little details have always fascinated me. Even among the Vaishnavaite sampradayam, there are many different styles so I don't know if these really are just styles (chosen by the family or bride/groom based on the look) or if they are those same styles that were once chosen for similar reason but now have become the concrete style a family is to wear.

    I'm also very interested in the Shaivaite/Shakthi sampradayas as I know almost nothing about the many forms they seem to use. Except for the Andhra style, for us at least there is a Namam (or full Namam, Sangu, Chakram on each one) but for many Tamilian Shaivaites/Smarthas, it seems the forms are more abstract. Of course I have seen Shaivaite thalis with beautiful lingams and Ammans worshipping them but this doesn't seem to be the universal.

    At any rate, I thank you again for your help. If you happen to come across any further information (a book, a museum collection, etc) I'd be honoured to get the information from you! :)


    Best,

    Rukmini
     
  4. SujathaR

    SujathaR Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Maami,

    I have seen my friend mom wearing thaali.. They are christians. Her thaali does not seem to be specific to any religion..

    I have posted a thread recently with the various thaali designs. Try to see that..
     
  5. gayathribadhri

    gayathribadhri New IL'ite

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    Hello Rukmini

    I am not sure if it really answers at least a part of your question. Regarding why certain Vaishnavites wear Shangu, Chakram & Naamam while certain others wear only Naamam, it entirely depends on the family tradition. Some people wear only a naamam on thirumangalyam & wear shangu chakram separately while few others do not have the custom of wearing anything but naamam. My mother-in-law wears one having only naamam because that signifies Lord himself & that is my father-in-law's family tradition. While my mother wears one that has shangu, chakram & naamam & it does not suit to wear thiruman without shangu chakram & that is my father's family tradition.

    I have seen shaivaites wear lingam/meenakshi & a few others something like thulasi madam. That's all I know..This is one other link to what people think about thaali or mangalsutra.
    what is the history of the mangalsutra? When did it come into practice? - Ammas.com Ask Agent™ : Ask questions, Seek advice, Ask an expert
    Hope it helps
    Thanks
    Gayathri
     

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