In India, many traditions are followed blindly without any particular logic. For someone who has been practising the ancient cultures, it is imperative to learn about the history, impact and significance of such practices. Like the newborns are adorned with various jewellery items such as silver payal and silver bracelet.
It was a prehistoric practice to celebrate the arrival of new little members into families through gifting them precious decorative items. People also believed that it protected their children from evil powers. This tradition was followed across the world including Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe and even different parts of Native America. Though it was not gold or silver earlier. Baby jewellery was made out of locally available things such as shells or animal hair. However, in later times, various historians and archaeologists found the traces of gold and silver crafted jewellery in different civilizations like Egyptian, Babylonian, Roman and Byzantine. Even, the Bible reveals references to jewellery for babies.
It is not a new practice for parents living in Cambodia to put tiny bells in silver strings over their little one’s ankles. This is done with two motives, one to keep an eye on the child’s activities and another to sway away any evil force. Since many centuries, African parents are straightening out the earlobes and lower lips of their wards as a part of their customs through fancy ornaments. Right from the 1300s, new parents in Italy are warding off the evil from the newborns by adorning them with coral crosses.
It was in the 17th century when the art of baby jewellery-making was tried for the first time by a plethora of European craftsmen. The craftsmen went a step ahead in developing baby jewellery. However, it was in England where this art became more popular than ever during the reign of Victoria. The commonly produced items were glittering gold or silver bracelet stamped with the ‘baby’ word.
More than often, the alphabets were crafted from enamel with an intent to add embellishments to the plain looking bracelets. Also, there are many types of jewellery that have been displayed in public museums, or that reflect a strong family bond. The present-day styles that are gaining popularity in today’s market draw inspiration from them as well.
However, in America, this tradition was practiced in unique forms. Americans offered baby pins that were basically small gold clips. They were meant to be placed instead of the buttons on the babies’ apparels. Also, Italian practice was witnessed in the 18’s and 19’s in different areas of the United States.
Aren’t you fascinated to learn about the jewellery culture followed in different parts of the world? Tell us in the comment below if you know about any other practice.