Part of the ‘cool tradition’ collection of Convertible jewellery we’ve put out constantly over the past fifteen years, this long earring traces its design aesthetic to the long-held beliefs of Lada...
Part of the ‘cool tradition’ collection of Convertible jewellery we’ve put out constantly over the past fifteen years, this long earring traces its design aesthetic to the long-held beliefs of Ladakhi women regarding personal ornamentation (especially the gems they’re encrusted with) and the sacred cultural symbols they abide by.
You’ll find coral, turquoise and pearls play a prominent part in this jewel where a radiant pola-centered sun in katai-ball open-work forms the pasha from which descends a gote chain that breaks in the middle for a firoza-pola-firoza section and continues on to the jhumka which draws its form and plain-but-elegant detailing from that of the ‘kalchakra’ stupa, erected to shield against negative energies. The arrangement of the ball row, chhela ‘chokh’ border and the fringe of single orbs creates the base upon which the polished dome is placed, and the only decoration here is its seed-pearl crown.
Both the pasha and the stupa-jhumka are fitted with a hook into which the chain is fixed to complete the earring. Unfix it and you’ll get the pasha separate from the jhumka.
To Ladakhi women, the turquoise connotes wisdom and spirituality; the coral is considered a “women’s gem” and is believed to regulate the monthly cycle and also keep blood pressure in control ; and the pearl, of course, is a symbol of fertility. Combined with the motifs of the stupa and the sun (which in itself stands for feminine wisdom and the radiance of the mind) connected with a chain that, alluding to the fetter that ties us to the cycle of life, can be removed, this pair of long earrings — a jhumka-pasha, in fact — gathers bits of the arcane but beautiful way of life and thinking of the women of Ladakh and interprets them in pure guinea-gold as a universally lovely jewel, as also one that holds within it the power of the sacred.
Festive as it may appear in its bright colours, there’s also something meditative about the ornament, as though it holds within it a supreme consciousness such as that of a mind infused with clear light.