Hindus : Ornaments are highly prized chiefly among women whether high or low. Formerly the idea was to create a sort of security or stand-by in times of difficulty by investing money in gold or silver ornaments. People did not like to spend much on the goldsmith's skill or labour which fetched no value on conversion of ornaments into cash. As a result, it was found that except for the patronage of a few princes of old or rich persons, ornaments were but specimens of clumsy designs of workmanship. Gold ornaments are simply hammered or punched into shape or crudely engraved and are practically never
cast or moulded. Often they are made hollow from the plate or leaf, the interior being filled with lac. So also is the case with silver which is rarely cast.
Ornaments differ in type as used by men and women and by boys and girls. They are worn on the head, in the ears, in the nose, on the neck, across the shoulders, on the arms, wrists and fingers, round the waist, on the legs and on the toes. They differ according to caste and community and also as used by men, women, boys, girls and babies.
With Hindus, gold is a sacred metal and gold ornaments must not on this account be worn below the waist. To do so is considered an indignity to the holy metal. Brahman and Maratha women will not have ornaments for the head and arms of any baser metal than gold or silver. Others may, if they can afford it, wear gold only on the head. Gold and silver in ornaments is also considered to have a protective, magical or even medical effect like that attributed to charms and amulets. In the making of ornaments, the recent tendency is to substitute gold, silver and precious stones by alloys, cultured pearls and synthetic stones.
Men now rarely use any ornaments. However, a sowkar may display a bhikbali, a gold ring with pearls and pendant-emerald or ruby hanging by the upper lobe of his ear. He may also use gold salkadis or a pochi on the wrist and a goph or chain-work with a locket round the neck. If fairly off, a Bania's everyday ornaments may be a silver-girdle and a gold armlet worn over the elbow, a pearl ear-ring and gold or pearl necklace and rings. Well-to-do cultivators also have gold rings in the ear, kadas of solid silver on the wrists or a dandakade of silver worn above the elbow. A silver chain-work girdle known as kargota is used round the waist by many.
Fashions in the ornaments of women have considerably changed of late, the general tendency being to avoid gold ornaments of heavy weight.
Head ornaments of any kind used by women are not much in evidence. However, such ornaments as mud, agraphul, ketki-kevada, veni, rakhadi, chandra-surya, nag-gonde and gondephule all made of gold are still to be found in old-fashioned rich families. Bindi-Bijorya and Bhangtila, a decorative ornament for the whole head, is found among Rajputs and Marwadis in this district. Flower shaped ornaments such as gulabache-phul and chaphe-kali etc., as laid ornaments, are current.
Ear ornaments such as chaukadi and kudi preferably of pearls and precious stones are in vogue. Bugdya, bedya, kap are in the wear of very old women. Ear-rings of various types are now getting into fashion.
Nose-rings such as nath and besar as ceremonial ornaments worn by married ladies in the left nostril are current. Nath of the rich is studded with pearls and gems, that of the poor is made of gold. Besar is smaller in size. Other types of nose-rings are murni, mugwat, phuli, kanta, chatnki and bulak.
Necklaces such as mangalsutras of various types the black heads being strung together by different patterns of gold chain-work with gold beads and cups in the middle and used symbolically by married women, are now-a-days worn by them as an ornament. Other types of necklaces in current use are bakulihara, bormal, chandrahara, ekdani, jondhalipot, kolhapuri-saj, mohanmal, putalyanchimal, pohe-har and chaplahar, Sari, thusi, vajrateek are now getting rare. Petya, pot,
lappha, tanmani and pende are made of pearls and are current among the rich.
Hand ornaments such as kankane (bangles) of patterns known as bilori, diamond, double-diamond, hodighat, panch-pailu, tin-pailu and Calcutta pattern, Delhi pattern and Madras pattern are current. Patlya wristlets known as jalichya, minyachya, pailuchya, purnachya, todichya all made of gold are current. Costlier bangles studded with pearls, diamonds, and precious stones are in the use of the rich, particularly on ceremonial occasions.
Armlets such as bajubands or vakis of the types known as hatrichya, modvakya, rudragath, tulabandi made of gold or silver are in vogue.
Foot or leg ornaments are usually made of silver and as worn by lower classes, they are tode, tordya, sakhlya and vale. Masolya, jodvi, phirvi, salle are silver toe rings and are used by women on marriage day and continue to be always used by the lower classes.
Child ornaments such as bindlya, mangatya, kaditode which are wristlets and goph, hasali, sakhali,
tait which are necklaces are made either of gold or silver. Sakhli and sarpoli are used round the waist and ghungurwale and vale are worn on the ankles.