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Tracing the Evolution of Arm Jewels from Ancient Icons to Modern Chic April 18, 2024 (0 comments)


New York, NY--Arm jewelry, worn by ancient gods and goddesses and modern brides and celebrities, represents a rich cultural thread. Dr. Usha R. Balakrishnan, Chief Curator of the World Diamond Museum, notes in an article published by Only Natural Diamonds that the tradition dates back 3,000 years to the Gandhara Period, with significant artifacts like the Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro showcasing its longstanding cultural importance.

[Main image courtesy of: © 2015 Christie’s Images Limited, Ganjam, © 2019 Christie’s Images Limited, Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru, Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers; via Only Natural Diamonds]

These adornments are not just decorative but imbued with cultural significance. They are believed to stimulate pranic energies and protect from the evil eye. Across India, the tradition transcends gender and social boundaries and is often linked to enhancing fertility and vitality among married women.

[Images courtesy of: Bonhams, © The Trustees of the British Museum, Saffronart; via Only Natural Diamonds]

Historically, the materials and designs of arm jewelry indicated social status. Royals and nobles typically wore items studded with diamonds, rubies, and other precious stones, using jewelry to symbolize wealth and power. The natural diamond was especially valued for its brilliance, enhancing visibility without electric lighting.

The article also examines specific types of arm jewelry, such as the bajubandh and vanki. The bajubandh, traditionally a mark of the upper classes, has evolved into a versatile accessory for women on special occasions. It is crafted from metals like gold or silver and decorated with gemstones. The V-shaped vanki from South India features local motifs, highlighting cultural stories through vibrant gemstones.

[Images courtesy of: © Sarmaya Arts Foundation. (2016.11.2), © 2012 Christie’s Images Limited, Bonhams; via Only Natural Diamonds]

In modern fashion, arm jewelry has been simplified to suit daily wear, allowing integration into the contemporary woman’s wardrobe. Global fashion has also embraced these pieces, with celebrities and designers introducing innovative designs that merge tradition with modern style.

From its ancient origins to contemporary iterations, arm jewelry remains a powerful symbol of cultural heritage and personal expression, maintaining its relevance and appeal across generations.

Learn more in the entire article published by Only Natural Diamonds.

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