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Tribal Jewellery of Odisha- A challenge to Modern Designers
By Gyanendra Choudhury  Published on: 16-Apr-2012 03:28:40
Place: Bhubaneswar
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Bhubaneswar :Tribal jewellery  is the spirit of primal mankind articulated in shapes and designs. The indomitable character, strength of spirit, ancestry and oral myths and legends of these people were handed down from generations to find a safe haven in the various tribes and their ethnic culture.

Tribal Jewellery of Odisha- A challenge to Modern Designers

In India, the trend of ethnic tribal jewellery still survives among the various tribal people inhabiting different corners of the country and Odisha takes large pie of it. Traditional artisan's decorative necklaces, earrings, noserings, bangles and various other kinds of body jewellery are a legacy and talent is innate.

At a time when Generation X has grown almost old and its juniors Gen Y is hardly shows any interest to carry age old artistic skills forward, it is very pleasant to visit a village in Odisha, where time seems to be really on a rearward journey as young people are very keen to save tribal
jewellery making skill in a enterprising way.

A village in Dahenkanal district, which still keeping the great craft and skill of making tribal
jewellery in safe is Karamula in the Gondia block.

Many college and high school drop-outs, along with graduates of this village have successfully employed themselves by taking recourse to the traditional arts and tribal crafts which are fast dying everywhere in the state.

There are some dozen Self- Help Groups separately formed by the young men and women artisans of the village which are dedicated to reviving and popularizing tribal jewellery in commercial markets. Interestinly these artisans have school and college backgrounds and they are happyly adopting this profession instead of looking for any government job.

One of such young graduate is Maguni Maharana, who runs his own registered NGO, "Crafts Orissa" in his own village, has learnt the skill of tribal jewellery making from his father. These jewellery are made of white metals, Dokra and brass and ranges from earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings and even mangalsutras.

They are all exquisitely designed and they invariably retain the authenticity and originality of the typical tribal wear.these jewellery are so good, cheap and exotic that people with some taste for change and tribular distinction will find them good enough for both casual and fashionable wear.

With more than eighty varieties of mangalsutras, two hundred types of necklaces and forty designs of earrings, just to count a few items, these tribal ornaments are definitely going to be any connoisseur's treat. And a sure inspiration for any fashion designer who has some respect for the ancient craft.

Even some tribal artisan from Nabarangpur and many part of undivided Koraput district are learning this art and they have all learnt and mastered the craft of the intricate and exquisite designs of Dhenkanal's tribal jewelry. In koraput district also There are also few artisa who are engaged themselfs in tribal jewellery making

The synthesis of these two primitive but exquisite designs of tribal jewellery will surely bring in a new tale of successful marketing of the same in future. Innovative in its own sense, artistic and very exquisite, and yet authentically primitive, the tribal jewellery making surely stands to serve as a good business enterprise for these rural youth.

Patterns and designs used are mostly conventional. Clay, wood, metal, shell, beads, bones and stones are used in making these beautiful tribal jewelry. Apart from having decorative value, this jewelry is also an important part of their daily rituals, culture and religious beliefs. Each handcrafted jewelry item has its own significance and symbolic meaning for the tribes who make and wear them. For the rest of the world - ethnic tribal
jewellery is a sizzling fashion item to be worn and flaunted in front of the glamour world

When everywhere else, youths from the rural area are going to the nearest towns and cities in search of job, Its really good to see that young people are taking tribal Jewellery making skill a forward. It's really a great challenge to morden jewellery designers.

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