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Baju Band jewellery Femininity and Masculinity Captured in a Single Ring!
Baju band jewelery or armlets have been in use since several centuries in India and elsewhere. Even with the passage of time, the sheer charm of the handmade armlets have not diminished one bit.
By: Satyajit Banerjee
Baju band jewelery is one that is arguably more Indian than anything else. This is because right from our mythological tales, legends to the modern day, Indians seem to have produced, marketed and worn this arm band or armlet as it is variously called since time immemorial. `Baju' in Hindi means the arm. And `band' implies cover and thereby the term baju band. They are made of different material and are, largely speaking, handmade or handcrafted only here.
There is ample evidence to reveal that Indians have through the ages worn the armlets on festive and joyous occasions and have also used to flaunt their femininity and masculinity. This is one ornament that has been more willingly accepted b y the male of the species as well. The handmade baju band jewelery comes either singly for one of the arms or in pairs. They carry different motifs such as the birds, animal life and also scenes from every day life.
A very interesting fact about armlets, handmade or otherwise, is that they are worn both on socially happy occasions like marriages, and festivals, etc and also during a sad event like the passing away of a known person. The arm bands used for mourning obviously have a black or dark colour and are generally worn on one arm only. The baju band is normally worn on the upper part of the arm only.
Baju band jewellery made of gold, silver, white metal, plastic and what not!
Made of gold, silver, German silver or white metal and other metals, the handcrafted baju bands are also made of plastic. But the plastic ones do not elicit the kind of response that the others does, naturally.
The Guptas and Mauryas used armlets to signify that they are world leaders. The Mughals also had their share of contribution. Some communities also used armbands to ward of evil spirits. The soldiers heading for war invariably had one or the other kind of baju hand jewellery tied on the hand that they are going to use the maximum in the battle field.
Gujarat and Rajasthan lead from the front!
Among the states, it is Gujarat,and Rajasthan who have made significant contributions in the production of handcrafted baju band jewellery. The Mughals used gold and emerald in their arm bands. While the artisans in Gujarat have expressed their creativity by using white metal besides the precious metals.
The state of Rajasthan created history when it got back a royal set of enamelled armlets made of diamonds back from the Britishers in 1851. This was handcrafted in the craft rich district of Dholpur.
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