Smirnova E. V. Some notes on traditional Maratha jewelry

SMIRNOVA Ekaterina Viktorovna — Associate Professor, St Petersburg State University (Russia St Petersburg)


 Download  |  Go to Issue #4. 2019


УДК 391.7(=214.35)
DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2019-4(6)-172-180


ABSTRACT. The history of Indian jewelry goes back to about five thousand years. During its history, India has been conquered numerous times. However, despite the foreign influence, Indian culture has not lost its identity. The Marathas are carriers of a unique subculture, located at the junction of the Aryan and Dravidian worlds. While the political and socio-economical history of Maharashtra is well studied, there is a considerable lack of research on the culture of the Marathas. Meanwhile, the material culture of the Marathas has its own characteristics, particularly Maratha jewelries arouse profound interest. Ornaments of a Maratha woman is not just a decoration but a special language speaking to others about her status and the events of her life. Jewelry is a family treasury and amulets. Some of the ornaments in modern Maharashtra are known by Persian names, which is incorrectly attributed to their non-Indian origin. Much Maratha jewelry have an ancient history, evidenced in the paintings of Ajanta, sculptural groups, etc. This study provides a brief overview of some pieces of the Maratha jewelry. They are divided into several groups: jewelry for the head, nose ornaments, ear ornaments, neck ornaments, arm ornaments, ornaments for the hand, rings, ornaments for the waist, foot ornaments. The article provides local terms, descriptions of jewelry, their mention in historical sources and cultural monuments.


KEYWORDS: Deccan, Maharashtra, Maratha, jewelry, neck ornaments, ear ornaments, rings, feet ornaments, waist ornaments



  • Abul-Fazl-i-allami. Ain-i-Akbari. Trans. C. H. S. Jarrett. Vol. III. Calcutta: Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1948. (In English).
  • Bhushan J. B. Indian Jewellery Ornaments and Decorative Designs. Bombay;
  • D. B. Taraporevala Sons and Co. LTD, 1964. (In English).
  • Gode P. K. Studies in Indian Cultural History. Poona: Prof P. K. Gode Collected: Works Publication Committee, vol. 2. 1960. (In English).
  • Griffiths J. Paintings in the Buddhist Cave-temples of Ajanta. Vol. 2. Delhi: Caxton Publications, 1983. (In English).
  • Gupta P. G. Baji Rao II and the East India Company 1796–1818. London: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press, 1923. (In English).
  • Hendley T. H. Indian Jewellery. London: Extracted from the Journal of Indian Art, 1909. (In English).
  • Joshi S. N. [Sabhasad bakhar]. Poona: The Oriental Book Agency, 1960. 153 p. (In Marathi). Marshall J. Taxila: An Illustrated Account of Archeological Excavations. Vol. 3. London: Cambridge University Press, 1951. (In English).
  • Murthy K. K. Hair Styles In Ancient Indian Art. Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan, 1982. (In English). Patwardhan R. P., Rawlinson H. G. Source Book Of Maratha History. Calcutta: K. P. Bagchi And Company, 1928. (In English).
  • Ramanathan A. A. Amarakosha. Madras: The Adyar Library And Research Centre, 1971. (In Sanskrit and English).
  • Sen S. N. Extracts and Documents Relating to Maratha History. Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1920. (In English).
  • Sivaramamurti C. Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum. Madras: Government Press, 1956. (In English).
  • Warmington E. H. Commerce Between the Roman Empire and India. London: Curzon Press, 1974. (In English).