Bajuband jewellery has stood the test of time and travelled across the many centuries of India’s much celebrated past to become an important part of the Indian brides wedding jewellery. This delicate adornment for the upper arm is considered to be an auspicious addition to her trousseau.
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Ornament for the Classical Dancers
Archeologists and historians alike are of the opinion that bajuband designs were first introduced as decorative accessories to traditional Indian jewellery by Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancers hailing from the southern part of India. The bajuband when worn by these dancers was known as the “Vanki”.
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The armlet or Bajuband is worn in many different forms in the various states of India and in each state it is given a different name. As mentioned earlier the bridal bajuband is an essential constituent of the ‘Solah shringar’. Also known as the “Ananta”, the “Angada ” or the “Vanki” in the Southern parts of India ,it is infact a sort of bracelet for the upper arm. It is still as popular among men as it is among the women of rural India. Originally worn in pairs it later became popular as a single armlet especially for the bride or fashion conscious women in general. Bajubands or vankis are an integral part of bridal jewellery in the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and are worn as symbols of fortitude and power by the bride. The beautiful bracelet for the arm graces the upper arm of the bride.
Bajubands in Different Metals
Indian women have always harboured a soft corner for jewellery in general and for bajuband jewellery in particular and jewellers in India have taken it upon themselves to create the most beautiful bajuband designs that are handy and stylish and can be worn with traditional Indian garments as well as with modern attire. Chic and exquisite these armlet designs for women are available in gold, silver, kundan, white gold and oxidized silver. They accentuate the upper arm and are an ideal accessory to brighten up one’s look and leave a lasting impression on the minds of envious onlookers.
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Armlet designs are available in a variety of shapes and designs these include designs of crocodiles and snakes giving them an overall interesting look and giving the wearer an opportunity to create a style statement.
Jewellers in India now have access to state of the art, superior machinery to aid them in creating world class masterpieces. Some of the most famous jewellery brands in the world are Indian. Thanks to brands like Tanishq, P.C.Chandra, Tribhovan Das Bhimji Zaveri, and others Indian jewellery designs have found their way to the world map and India is now one of the leading exporters of jewellery. Bajuband designs have also been subjected to several innovations. The traditional armlet resembles the ones that adorn the arms of the deities in the temples of south India. Western influences such as the Greek and Mughal have left their mark on the present day bajuband designs. The Greeks introduced geometric patterns and stone studded embellishments on the armlet. The Mughals were responsible for bringing the art of kundan kari and the famous meenakari work to Rajasthan.
Precious metals like gold and silver were used to style the traditional bridal bajuband. Bajubands always add to the charm and loveliness of the bride and is the most traditional and flamboyant part of her bridal adornments.
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The design on the centre piece resembled the sanctum of a south Indian temple with the corresponding deity at the centre. With time and modernization, however, the place of precious metals has been taken over by imitation metals such as oxidized silver which are supple and can be moulded into various intricate shapes to give the armlet a delicate and exotic appearance. The traditional deities, snake and crocodile shapes have also been replaced peacocks and stone encrusted delicate gold and silver bands. Geometric as well as floral patterns have also been introduced to make the modern bajuband a trendy piece of jewellery that easily makes a style statement and creates a flutter in fashion circles.
Rajputi Bajuband Designs
With its glorious past and magnificence, Rajasthan or Rajputana, the land of the valiant is where bajubands is a daily wear accessory. It is a land where chivalry is worn like arm candy by the men and the women exude charm and courage at the simultaneously. Rajasthan is the land of the kings, where every second citizen is either a nobleman/ lady with a trace of blue blood flowing through his/her veins. The splendid forts and opulent palaces all have legends and stories of valour and tender romance trapped within their walls. It is a place where your dreams come alive everything is simply magical or steeped in mystery. This is what makes this magical land a much sought after destination for all those who wish to have a location wedding.
The Rajput jeweller deserves a special mention here since his job has been to create masterpieces for the nobility ever since time immemorial. Each piece of jewellery produced in his workshop is designed to suit the taste of noble queens and their consorts to cherish till posterity.
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Rajasthani jewellery is greatly infulenced by the art of the Mughals and the Rajputs. Every piece of Rajputi jewellery bears powerful evidence to the way the two cultures incorporated influences and left an eternal mark on each other. The Mughal’s obsession with beauty and attractive things and the Rajput’s appreciation of style and fine detailing are both renowned. Both precious and semi-precious stones like uncut diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, onyx, turquoise and garnet are used to make Rajputi jewellery and each adornment is lovingly crafted by master artisans who are adept in the the ancient art of Kundan and Meenakari that have survived the ravages of time.
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The Rajputi Bajuband, worn by the bride signifies the unique culture and art of the region of Rajasthan from which she hails. For example the Marwari bride would wear a Rajputi bajuband made of lac interwoven with gold threads and loom threads. A Jodhpuri bride on the other hand would wear a Bajuband with jadau work, similarly the Jaipuri bride would wear a kundan bajuband design encrusted with polki diamonds and other precious jewels such as rubies and emeralds.
The rajputi bajuband is a traditionally made of gold or silver .It is embellished with uncut diamonds, precious stones such as rubies, turquoise and emeralds . The meenakari art form is also popular in the making of this exquisite piece of jewellery.
The pearl has certain mystical qualities that are related with its close proximity with the Moon. It is supposed to symbolize the subliminal qualities of a person .The pearl has complete control over feelings, expressions, hopes and desires. It is said to ensure peace of mind, prosperity and good health. Pearls are graded according to their shape and colour and the white pearl is the most widely popular variety.
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A pearl of superior quality supposedly reflects the azure sky and emits a brilliant blue light in its sheen. Black pearls with a green sheen, pink and baroque pearls are the more expensive varieties. India is renowned for its Hyderabad pearls jewellery. Traditional pearl bajubands are made with Hyderabadi pearls.
The pearl bajuband consists of an intricately designed centre piece which is made of gold or silver and encrusted with precious or semi precious stones held together by a single string or several stings of Hyderabadi pearls. Centre pieces produced by the craftsmen of the south usually have a motif of the goddess Lakshmi in a sitting posture. She sits daintily perched atop a diamond and ruby encrusted lotus embellished with pearls. it is only natural that the Goddess who represents prosperity and abundance be present as an integral part of the bride’s jewellery since the bride herself is the embodiment of Lakshmi. Other popular motifs for the centre piece are peacocks, flowers and sometimes simple geometric designs in jadau or meenakari work.
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The use of bajubands is not restricted to weddings and brides these days. Bajubands have now become a very important part of the fashion conscious woman’s accessories. They are available in highly stylized forms and shapes making this otherwise traditional ornament that can instantly turn a mundane looking outfit into a symbol of style and chique. Bajubands are now worn by women as fashion jewellery and Bajuband designs are available in affordable ranges and materials thus placing them within the reach of every woman who wishes to augment her style and stature.