The idea of this series is to talk about the different expressions and how each one of them makes us feel alive. We are constantly searching to give voice to these expressions and convey who we are and what we feel. So far, we have discussed how people from ancient to modern times have used jewellery to express their identities and celebrate tradition. In this blog, we’ll be talking about love. It is one of the most important human experiences without which life cannot be fully experienced.
Throughout the human lifetime, we’ve used different ways to express love and given birth to all kinds of symbolisms. Like roses are seen as a symbol of beauty and love. We see people gifting roses to express their admiration. The Claddagh ring, which we discussed in our last blog, is an Irish symbol of love. In West Africa, Eban (a diamond-shaped sign made of four squares) symbolizes safety and security, which love and family provide. The name “Eban” literally translates to “fence,” inferring its symbolism. Then there are countless poetries, songs, stories, and whatnot. It is such a universal feeling that we’ve found so many different ways to express it. And because of this, the definitions of love can vary vastly from person to person. For someone, something as grand as building a Taj Mahal might be the most prominent expression of love, whereas, for someone, providing undivided attention and time might be the only qualifier. Even in such subjective matters where definitions dance all over the place, jewellery has provided a common ground to express this essential emotion. Jewellery has been popularly used for centuries as a universal instrument for expressing sentiments. Sentimental jewellery carries a story or has a memory attached to it. These can be mourning jewellery, posy rings, or even a piece of jewellery bought on special occasions like welcoming a new child, proposing to someone, starting a new journey, and so on.
Apart from rings, in India, the groom ties mangalsutra (an auspicious necklace) around the bride’s neck on the wedding day in Hindu weddings. It symbolizes lifetime unity. So, no matter what kind of love and in which country you’re trying to express it, jewellery provides creative and meaningful ways to do so.
Note: This blog is part of the “Stories of self-expression” series, where we talk about the different ways jewellery has facilitated our journey to expressing ourselves. In the next blog, we’ll discuss how jewellery became a symbol of power and status. To read about how jewellery has helped humans celebrate tradition and belongingness, read our previous blog: Tradition