Saturday, May 28, 2022
Madhya Pradesh

The People


Madhya Pradesh is famous for its colourful dresses and the art of jewellery. It is during the festivals that the women of this vast region wear their finest clothes and ornaments.


The urban women use gold for their jewellery and rural women use silver in large quantity. Brass or zinc or tin ornaments are common in tribal areas. The bead-work done by the Murias of Bastar is treated as a work of art.  Head-bands or earrings with pendants of red, blue and white beads or cowries and bead-belts with bells suspended are the constant source of attraction for every Adivasi woman. A sigarimugari Muria girl is one who cares for her brass  rings with bells attached and wears all kinds of ornaments with her coloured skirt and wimple.  The women of the bison-horn Maria tribe wear brass fillets on their heads as crowns when they go for dancing. As a dancing outfit, men should wear their head-gears decorated with plumes of feathers, horns and chains of cowries. The dancing-stick of the Maria girl is also considered a valuable. 

The women of Malwa wear a globular pendant called Rakhadi Bor (Borla or Bordo) on the forehead. The Bor is set with small pearls or shining stones.  Linked chains called Jhela made of gold or silver go right up to the earrings.  A gold nose-ring called Nath (Nathni) rests on the right cheek and necklaces worn round the neck cascade down to the waist.

Traditional peasant jewellery fascinates the woman for its eloquent designing. Even the poorest woman wears some sort of ornaments.  Some beliefs dominate her attachment to continue their use to signify her marital status.

Men wear bracelets in their wrists and Mundri in the fingers. In the upper part of the ears Bari or Bali is very common among the Gonds. Bala is worn in the middle part of the ears and the Lurki in the lobes. The Gond is also fond of the toe-ring called chutka.

Ornaments worn by the women in the rural areas of the state.

Nose : Nath or Nathni, Bala, Kuttlya or Long, Besar and Tui
Head  :  Rakhadi Bor (ornament suspended on forehead), Bindi, Kan-phool, Bedalia, Bhala and  Jhela (Hankliya) or Bija (ornament reaching from the middle of the forehead down to the temples).
Neck : Har, Khambia, Pan-toda, Serkyo, Hansli (neck-band), Thussi, Tinmanyo (Timnya), Galsari, Dulri, Tildi, Tagli, Sikri, Sutli, Bawal, Havel (string of silver coins common to the Gond and Bhumia women) and Munga (necklace of red beads).
Wrist and arm : Gujari, Bala, Bajadi, Kada-batla, Pachheli, Karmdi, Kakan, Banwaria (broad silver bangles), Banhuta and Bajuband (amulet).
Fingers of a hand : Chhalla, Biti (mundri), Hath-phool and Ponchi.
Waist : Kandora, Kondni (Kardhani) and Podni.
Ankle  : Kadi, Toda, Anwala, Newari, Peejnya (Paijjan), Pairi, Jhabia, Jhanjar and Jutia.
Toe fingers : Anwat Chitya, Bhichhiya or Bisura (scorpion).