Meenakari Works – An Ancient Indian Jewellery Tradition

Bridal jewellery as a forte has engaged jewelry designers to undergo experimental works rather than to stick to one particular genre. Style and fashion both have received a filtration of the best available in the Indian traditions and brought forth uniqueness that is a harmonious blend of modern and traditional.

Amongst the most prominent influences the Rajasthani Meenakari, Kundan and Thewa works have considerable hold over shaping the patterns and designs of present day Indian bridal jewellery.

Some of the basic characteristics of bridal jewellery are:

  • The traditional significance which is rich in cultural symbolism.
  • The exquisite look which must qualify the jewellery appropriate for the occasion.
  • The modern touch that will render it as a unique collection.
  • The net result is a concoction of the best features of all tradition, irrespective of north, south, east and west.

Jewellery for an Indian bride means a lot of intricacy, delicate minute detailing, potential use of precious gem stones and exquisite meena works. Thus an idea can be formed regarding the influence of such styles and make.

Rajasthan Calling:

Rajasthan has significantly influenced traditional Indian bridal jewellery with its gorgeous Meenakari works. This art form requires immense technical skill to perfect the look of ornament flaunting the Meenakari designs.

History accredits Raja Man Singh of Mewar as a patron of the Meenakari art in 16th century Jaipur. With an influx of skilled craftsman from Lahore this place became the biggest centre specializing in meena designing.

What is Meenakari?

Meenakari designing involves the process of coating engravings or grooves in ornament with coloured enamels. The ornament may be of gold, silver, copper and even brass. The jewellery has projected depressions resembling a popular design or motif like animal figures or images of gods and goddess. The idea is to present a picture like quality of the entire set. The enamels are filled in and this enhances the look and renders clarity to the theme based on which the grooves were designed. Thus the Meenakari jewellery expresses themes and occasions. This is one of the highlight of the Meenakari technique.

Types:

The Meenakari works are applied as two types – Ek rang khula and Panchrangi meena.

  • In Ek rang khula enamel of a single colour is used. If the Meenakari jewellery is meant for Indian brides, then Ek rang khula can be matched with the colour of the wedding trousseau. This will lay emphasis on the entire look of the bride with matching earrings, armbands, necklaces, bangles etc.
  • Panchrangi meena works may be used with a more austere colour like white and mute pastels. The Panchrangi means the use of five colours, namely white, pale blue, dark blue, dark green and red. They are sure to render vibrancy to Indian traditional bridal jewellery.
  • Sometimes Meenakari works are transfused with the Kundan jewellery that are also ravishing options for Indian brides. The use of gemstones and other precious stones can enhance the look of the Meenakari jewellery. These designs can never go wrong with its wearer. Exquisite in themselves the Meenakari jewellery can rave up the look of an Indian bride in an effortless manner.