Synopses & Reviews
Far more than merely a display of wealth and taste, jewelry is an integral element in the lives of the people of India. This is the first book to explore Indian jewelry comprehensively as both an ongoing aesthetic tradition spanning 5,000 years and a highly significant form of cultural expression.
Drawing on more than 35 years of research and collecting, Oppi Untracht authoritatively surveys the major Indian jewelry forms and techniques. He also examines the many aspects of Indian culture that influence the marking and wearing of jewelry: from primitive magic and formal religion to social, political, and economical factors.
The jewelry presented here is worn by many ethnic groups from every state of this vast and complex country. The nearly 900 illustrations include beautiful photographs of individual ornaments juxtaposed with others showing how they are made, who wears them -- from royalty to brides and grooms to domestic animals -- and on what occasions. Untracht, an expert on jewelry-making techniques, has created numerous line drawing that depict traditional design forms and processes. In all, this superbly produced book is the definitive resources on the subject.
"A wondrous collection of data and visuals documenting 5,000 continuous years of jewelry design." Booklist
This comprehensive survey combines a sumptuous display and documentation of hundreds of pieces of jewelry with an illuminating discussion of how myth, religion, social structure, economics, and politics have influenced jewelry design in India.
The book encompasses every area of the country, from sophisticated urban enclaves to isolated ethnic communities. Beginning with Paleothic body ornaments, the author goes on to identify the emergence of major traditional forms, such as amulets, rosaries, marriage ornaments, temple jewelry, theatrical jewelry, and adornment for animals. The illustrations are drawn from public and private collections around the world, and line drawings depict traditional design forms and techniques. 870 illustrations, 220 in color.
About the Author
Oppi Untracht lives in Finland and lectures and writes on traditional Indian jewelry and culture.