It is believed that the early- Indo aryans were attracted to beauty as an attribute to godhead. India is one of the cradles of infinite variety of handicrafts, where beauty has been endowed with divinity and worship. Dance – an art that is no different. The coming together of art, beauty, divinity, poetry and music.
Temples were the heart of the society. Stepping back in time, life in olden days revolved around temples. Much of the classical dance — like Bharatanatyam evolved there. When we talk of Bharatanatyam, Temple Jewellery has a trick- down history. All dancers were elaborately decorated — like a bride. It is believed that jewels used to be gifted to the deities by the king and the affluent.
This style of jewellery was called Vadasari after a place near Nagercoil, where the Pattans and Asaris (goldsmiths and jewelers) honed the technique. The craftsmen used Cabuchon (cushion-shaped) rubies. The rubies used, were procured from Burma with whom India traded extensively in those days. Embedded in pure gold or gold plated silver – these uncut polished green and red kemp stones are very characteristic of the Temple jewellery. These pieces were not just meant as ornamentation, but had deeper significance.
The art of making temple jewellery has stood the test of time-until now. It is no secret that the arts and crafts have shown a declining trend over the past few decades. After prospering for centuries, many arts are now fighting for survival. Despite the flagrant decline of this dying art, there is hope on the horizon.
On a deeper level, every piece of jewellery is magnificent as it depicts the socio-cultural narration. Through their forms and motifs, they tell stories and sagas. The vivid detailing and use of symbolic elements adds layers of meaning.
Nritya, believes that only a dedicated community of individuals and groups can play the part to protect this glorious traditions from fading away into oblivion.
Our thought is to take this dying piece of art and showcase the intricate craftsmanship to the world that believes in saving it for the future. We believe that if we want to preserve our this art, the first step is to build awareness. As a designer, I firmly believe if I can feed a set of hands by creating a beautiful jewellery pieces, it is a small but happy step in the right direction.
Art at the end of the day is a process. It is a process of creation and it takes a lot from you to create something unique and special, which means something to you.