Spectacular Art of Jewelry Making in Nepal
Jewelry making in Nepal is an art. Items of jewelry have a cultural, historical and traditional meaning, and the style of jewelry can help identify the different ethnic groups of Nepal. While some of the jewelry worn by the Nepalese women has been passed down through the generations and are cherished family heirlooms, there are still jewelry makers in Nepal who specialize in the custom making of traditional jewelry.
Tourists will find a great selection of jewelry on sale in Nepal and will also see many woman wearing large and often bulky pieces of jewelry. Understanding Nepalese jewelry can help visitors make an informed decision when choosing a piece to purchase. Gold and precious stones have always been the preferred materials used in Nepalese jewelry, and the size and weight of some pieces are astounding.
Originally the jewelry makers of Nepal would get their gold, of which they prefer 24 karat gold or pure gold, from India. Today the Asian markets fulfill those requirements and within the forgotten villages of the Kathmandu Valley, traditional artists of gold and stone can be found making the pieces that have been popular for centuries. In some stores and shops, a combination of ethnic styles can be found, with some pieces becoming more refined to appeal to the international visitors. Unique items, which are more intricate than the usual pieces, are generally used in festivals and marriages, and it is custom for the groom to present his bride with a gift of jewelry that consists of an anklet, a headpiece and a ring, which weighs approximately a 100 grams in gold.
Terai women are known for wearing a plain gold nose pin and big round pure gold earrings, referred to as Tuki. They also wear a studded ring in the top of their ear, and a vast number of different necklaces. Gurung women also like wearing earrings, but theirs are shaped in the form of a flower and cover most of the ear. The outer ridge of the ear is often adorned with up to ten piercings, complimented by a granite stone necklace and studded bracelets. Tibetan and Sherpa woman are easily recognized through their affection for turquoise stones and coral. Features like these distinguish between tribes. Some pieces, such as multi-stranded necklaces of red or green beads, are worn by all tribal woman.
Kathmandu is the ideal location for jewelry shopping, as it is famous for its magnificent variety of traditional and modern items. Often handcrafted, unique and striking pieces of jewelry found in Nepal make perfect gifts and valuable souvenirs of a country that is rich in history and in beauty.