Sakdi, traditional coin necklace

Jewellery tradition of the Warli and Konkan community Back

Traditionally, women used to wear glass bangles, strings of glass beads and occasionally a silver chain around their neck. They also sometimes wear brass or silver earrings, and put on a number of large hollow silver beads in their hair. Being agriculturalists and working traditionally in the fields, they preferred to keep their ankles bare so as to ease walking through the soft, moist soil of the farms. Men also sported brass earrings once.

The Sakdi or Fasna is a coin necklace, a round silver ring for the neck called the Sari, an armlet called the Yeda, and earrings called the Longa and Mudi are examples of ornaments that have survived, which the communities once wore. The only surviving traditional jewellery that is worn by women of all age groups even today is the Gote bangles. These bangles are usually gifted by the parents of the bride during the wedding ceremony. The elder women still wear it in their day to day life, while the younger ones prefer glass or other decorative bangles.

The last few years have witnessed the traditional jewellery vanishing entirely, both in the physical form and from the memories of the community. The younger generation have no recollection of the jewellery that was once an integral part of their culture. Rampant poverty and the desperate need for money resulted in most of the community selling off their traditional jewellery for far less than it was worth, as they didn’t realise the intrinsic traditional value of these ornaments. Mindsets have altered so radically that some of the younger members of the communities are fearful of touching these ornaments, believing them to be possessed by evil spirits.

 

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