Friday, May 28, 2010
JINGLE-JANGLE OF BANGLES
Anyone who has spent time at the centuries-old temples at Belur, Halebid or even closer at Srirangapatna's Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, will see on the temple reliefs sculptures of celestial damsels with ornate bangles and anklets.
This tradition of wearing bangles, bracelets and anklets continues to this day from the Banjara woman with bangles made of horns of animals and silver from her wrist to her elbows, to the young woman in your neighbourhood wearing intricately designed gold jewellery.
All women, young and old, married or unmarried wear bangles, Kangan or chudi, made of gold or silver, glass, terracotta or plastic. They may be plain or studded with precious and semi-precious stones.
In a country as diverse as India, you can, if you make the effort, identify the region from where a woman comes from the kind of bangles she wears: the ornate, heavy gold bangles from say, Kanchipuram or Madurai or the colourful Kundan lac bangles of Rajasthan or Gujarat.
In this modern age, most women love to adorn themselves with flashy and ornate bangles which make a jingling sound when they move their hands. To find out how far the sound of tinkling glass bangles can be heard, SOM spoke to some of 'costume jewellery' shop-keepers in Devaraja Market.
"Inexpensive bangles made of plastic are slowly replacing those made by glass. But it is the glass bangles that are still preferred during occasions such as marriages and festivals. Most Indian women prefer wearing either gold or glass bangles or a combination of both," says Shoaib who is in this business for the past 20 years.
"Now-a-days most bangles are made of metals. They come decorated with either lac or embedded with small glass pieces, paintings or even small hangings attached to the bangles. Among the recent entrants are rubber bangles that are worn more like a wristband by youngsters, while the plastic ones give a trendy look which are available in unique colours, but they are a bit expensive," adds Shoaib.
"Glass bangles are available in every shades of colour. One can mix and match the glass bangles until you found a perfect match for their costume. Bangles covered in glitter look great under stage lights or in sunlight. They produce a completely different sound than metal bangles and add movement and flash to your wrists," says Shoaib.
"Nothing can match glass bangles. The luminescence, elegance and the unique sound produced in these bangles are incomparable. When these colourful glass bangles are worn in a countless ways it percepts one's own style," adds Asline.
"We are specialists in designing and making all kinds of glass bangles, jhula & jhumki bangles, traditional glass bangles, fancy glass bangles, mirror bangles, thread bangles, Kundan and antique bangles. We have skilled designers who design the bangles by creating the customer's own art on them," adds Asline.
"The normal procedure adopted for making glass bangles is by melting a mixture of silica (sand) with required calcium compounds (lime) along with some metallic oxides which are added as colouring agents," adds Asline.
"Bangles give me an elegant look and I prefer to wear glass bangles because of their novel designs. When I want to appear formal, I wear an extra large set on each wrist with very less jewelry. A set of elegant glass bangles sets me apart from all the tennis bracelets and watches," says Nruthya, a housewife.
These bangles are completely unique and ethnic. Being inexpensive, they can be easily bought and added to one's collection.
The demand for glass bangles has led to manufacturers coming out with dazzling designs every now and then. Gold-plated alloy bangles which look like real gold are also very popular.