Highly auspicious in almost all Indian traditions, in the Southern part in special, the pendant form of banana buds, the main designing pattern of the ornament, seems to have been inherited from the nineteenth century Tamil Nadu where the use of this motif as the component of various articles, ornaments in particular – a tradition still live, was in vogue. Besides its exceptionally rich vegetable properties banana’s links with Shiva family : a fruit specially favoured by his son Ganesha, and its form resembling Shiva-ling, the aniconic manifestation of Shiva : a more worshipped deity-form than his anthropomorphic image, seems to have been and extra reason for its popularity in South, a strong Shaivite belt. By a large part of populace in South banana is treated as an auspicious amulet endowed with powers to cure from and keep away many ailments.
An exclusive piece, not merely in the sense of its rare design and artistic character, it excludes all other neck-ornaments and singly endows it with such beauty, glow and grace that a neck truly deserves. Worn on any occasion this monarch of ornaments outstands and impresses every eye with its rareness and the beauty of rhythm. A highly simplified design, the breadth of the necklace – a half circle, is divisible into two parts, the bottom comprising thirty banana-bud pendants in silver, each piece a realistically designed banana bud-form, the tough base-petals and strong stem, and the upper tier, consisting of twelve compartments : the identically designed ten holding under them thirty pendants, and one on either side, with angular apex, aligning with the chains attached for holding the piece around the neck.
Each of these twelve compartments consists of five horizontal stands made of the finest amethyst beads uniform in size, finish and colour-quality, and in between every two compartments a rigid vertical divider designed with six elevated squares. A course of beautifully moulded tiny silver balls, used in between every two pendants, manipulates the junction where the two parts join. A lace of silver balls, fifteen on either side, frames the end compartment. Here to a silver ring is attached a silver chain consisting of interlinked loop-rings with a hook on one side and a holder, or holding ring, on the other. The deep purple of the amethyst beads and the milky translucence of silver lay so delightful as feast to the viewing eye.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books. .
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