Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Silver ornaments of Tharus

Tharus have a special affinity for silver ornaments. I wonder why Tharus are attracted by the white metal and not the glittering gold. In my opinion, silver is preferred as it suits the complexion of Tharu women and is cheaper. Another reason could be the easily available George V silver coins which were easily available in the past and could be molten into ornaments.

Few of the silver ornaments worn by Tharu women are housali, kanda, sikri, payal, motha, barhari, pahunchi, bank banju, churi, aunthi, chharra etc.

1. Housali is the Tharu version of the modern necklace. It is still worn by rural women. However, the size has diminished in comparison to earlier housalis. The housalis used to be thick round necklaces of around 2-3 Kgs silver.

2. Kanda is an anklet, but is heavy and is sometimes of around half kg silver each.

3. Chharras are thin round anklets which are worn in sets of three or more in each leg.

4. Barhari is the arm band which is often called katri in the Eastern Terai. It is thick and heavy.

5. Motha is an arm band which is similar to kanda worn on legs but is blunt at the ends differentiating it from kanda.

6. Aunthi is a ring which is made of both gold and silver.

7. Payal is an anklet which his lighter than kanda and chharra and is worn around the ankles.

8, 9 & 10. The bank banjus are worn around the upper arm.

Takka har
11. Takka har is worn around the neck and is made up of silver coins.

12. Sikri is also a form of necklace with thin strands of silver woven  together.

A Tharu belle in traditional attire

The ornaments of Tharus vary in form and size from place to place and they are also named differently by different Tharus. If you know more about the Tharu silver ornaments you are welcome to add to the list and post photos along with it.


A beautiful pair of ear rings

*Photos republished with the permission of Facebook group Tharu Community.

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