Santal Jewelleries | Ornaments

Santal has their own way to adorn themselves with ornaments. The change in the jewelleries has been come along with the evolution of clothing. In earlier years back, Santal women wore bangles made of terracotta which was called hasa-sakam (hasa-mud and sakam-bangle).  They also used hasa mala (necklace made of terracotta beads). The beads were had made and it was dried after making it hollow. They used it as necklace by putting them in a sequence with a thread.

The hasa sankha and the mala were worn by the women only.
The males also wore a bangle the difference was that the female bangle had motifs on the body where as the male bangle had no motifs.  Making of head of the animals and birds on joineries is more interesting in both the bangles.

Though accessories were popular but it was brittle, so it was worn during special days or when there is less physical work to do.
As the time passed on, People started using the ornaments made of bronze whey became able to afford it. In this period Santal women wore a distinct anklet which was ‘Itil Paini’ .

hasa mala

On a top view it looks like a rhombus. It was solid and had some floral motifs on it. It was being made in very small size as compared to the actual size of the foot of the Santal women. So it was a difficult job to put on the itil paini. They put it on with the help of applying oil on the foot which make it little easier to complete the job. Once it is put on then never taken out in life. That stays permanent. If it is urgent to take it out then they cut it by any means.

‘Melhed Sakam’ :
Melhed Sakam is a bangle which has very significant role in the Santal community. It is worn by married women only in left hand. It is supposed to be removed by women when she became widow. In usual days, women do not put vermillion on their partition of head and so it becomes difficult to find out whether she is married or not. But seeing ‘Melhed sakam’ on women’s can easily differentiate that she is married.

melhed sakam worn by santal married women
Melhed Sakam a bangle worn by santal married women 

danda jhinjhri

danda jhumka

different ornaments on different parts of body.

Later then, it was the time for silver and gold jewelries though silver  was preferred as it was more affordable and as for gold jewelries , it was then limited to Jamindari people who were rich.
There were a lot of Santals jewelries but as the time passed on  the today’s mainstream fashion has got those over. The each and every body parts had their own ornaments to wear.Some list of those jewelries are as follows below:
For hair bun: Pan kanta
On side of bun: Sud pasha
Above ear on hair:  Silha
For Ear:   Pagra
For nose: Phuli
For neck: Puisa mala (Coin Necklace)
For arm Baju
Hand:    Bala Sakam (Bangle)
F.ring:   Mudam
For waist: Danda jhinjri
For Ankle: khadu(anklet with solid structure) & Paini (anklet without ghungroos) and pajap (anklet with        ghungroos on it). Protection Status