Posted on April 12 2023
Women have played an integral role in India’s jewelry industry since its inception, contributing to creating some of the country’s most iconic jewelry designs. This blog will examine women’s historical and contemporary role in Indian jewelry making and how it has evolved over time.
Historical Role of Women in Indian Jewelry Making
Historically, women have been involved in jewelry making in India since ancient times. In the early days, women made jewelry for their personal and family use. Jewelry was considered an essential part of a woman’s attire, and women were expected to wear it to signify their social status and wealth.
Women also played a significant role in the jewelry industry as artisans and designers. They were responsible for creating some of the most intricate and beautiful jewelry designs using materials such as gold, silver, and precious stones.
The Mughal era in India saw a significant rise in the popularity of jewelry, particularly among the nobility. Women artisans and designers were in high demand during this period, and many were employed by the royal courts to create unique jewelry pieces for the nobles.
However, with the arrival of the British in India, the jewelry industry began to change, and women’s role in the industry was significantly impacted.
Impact of Colonialism on Women’s Role in Indian Jewelry Making
During the colonial era, the British brought new technology and materials that drastically changed the jewelry industry. Introducing machinery and mass production methods reduced the demand for traditionally handcrafted jewelry, the domain of women artisans and designers.
Moreover, the British viewed jewelry making as a male-dominated industry and discouraged women’s participation. This led to a decline in the number of women artisans and designers in the industry. Many women were forced to abandon their traditional roles.
Contemporary Role of Women in Indian Jewelry Making
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional Indian jewelry designs, and women are again playing a significant role in the industry. There are now more opportunities for women to be involved in the industry, from artisanal work to designing and retailing.
Many women are now using traditional jewelry-making skills and techniques, such as filigree work, enameling, and stone setting, and using them to create contemporary designs. They also incorporate new materials, such as acrylic, resin, and wood, into their designs to appeal to a broader range of customers.
Moreover, women are now recognized for their contribution to the industry and for taking on leadership roles in jewelry companies. They are also becoming entrepreneurs and starting their jewelry businesses, helping create more opportunities for other women.
In conclusion, women have always been a vital part of the Indian jewelry industry for centuries bringing creativity and skill to help create some of the most iconic jewelry designs. However, the impact of colonialism drastically reduced women’s participation in the industry. Still, in recent years, women are once again playing a significant role in the industry. With more opportunities for women to be involved in the industry, we can expect to see more innovative and exciting jewelry designs in the future.