TRADITIONAL & TRIBAL JEWELLERY
From time immemorial, charm of ornaments fascinated people all over the world. Folklore Museum exhibits a wide array of traditional as well as tribal jewelleries from Kerala. Majority of the traditional ornaments are simple, bright and elegant which were used by the higher caste people. The lower caste people as well as tribal people were prevented from wearing gold ornaments in ancient times. Caste of the people could be easily identified by their ornaments and dressing style in olden days. Male as well as female used special ornaments.
Namboothiri men wear big ear pendants like Kundala while Namboothiri women wore Chutty Cheruthali a hollow cylindrical neck chain. Other caste ornaments include Thoda, the big ear ornament in the shape of a disc. Nagapatathali or Serpent's hood, Nalupantiyantram, puthali, avilmala, Kantaaram, Arimpumani, Tandumotiram, Pulinakham, Patakkam, Addiyal and Pavithramothiram (Payyannur) come under neck ornaments. Other ornaments like Mookkuthi on nose, Mothiram on fingers, Padasaram or anklet. Mystic power beed known as Rudraksha is also an important hindu ornament.
Christian ornaments include Mekkamothiram/ Kunuk(heavy gilt gold ring) Mudichi, Pampatam, Thandote, Arithalappu and necklace called Chittiru. Muslim women have innumerable varieties of ornaments for the different parts of the body. The ornaments for the ear are Mekkathu, Pachakallu, Alichath & Jimikki.To adorn their hair Mudippoo & Mudichakram were the ornaments used.Different types of studs like Pathakkam, Ashtik, Ottapathakkam, Padimala, Paangoa & Chakkrakannimala are also used by the muslim women. The ornament worn around the waist inside the dress is called Aranjanam which is usually a thin chain but those worn by the Muslim women like a 'belt' over their dress are called Odyanam . These Odyanams are usually broad and have intricate designs.
Ornaments made of wood, lead or brass in the dilated earlobe is worn by lower caste women. A bead necklace, bone necklace, Kallumala was the usual ornament for the neck. They used to wear Kallumala (bead necklace) and bangles made of brass and other cheap metals
Folklore Museum exhibits a wide collection of antique jewellery boxes. Ornamental boxes like nettoor petti is inspired by the temple architecture of Kerala with ornamental works , Bronze Boxes, Ivory inlaid ebony boxes, Cane jewllery boxes etc. adorn the corridor of the museum. The usual designs are adaptations of the gopurams of the temples or the chithrapootu of which hinges and nails are crafted by hand.