ORGANIC: Natural Body Jewelry

Ethnic and Tribal Jewelry: India, Nepal, and Tibet

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:: All prices listed are wholesale to shops :: Retail prices to individuals are twice those listed ::

Gold, silver, glass, base metal, pearls, coins, shell, bamboo, yarn and thread...
you will find all of these materials in the selections of jewelry we show here.
Jewelry shown has traditionally been worn in upper ear piercings, earlobes, and nostrils.
Pieces have been selected to be both affordable and functional,
but may also appeal to those with an ethnic and tribal jewelry collection as well.

Gold or silver content has not been tested, and there are no stamps to indicate their purity.
However, Indian gold overall is generally of a very high karat (over 20k),
as many Indian women wear their wealth in this form.
Indian silver is generally of the coin or tribal silver variety, containing more nickel than sterling silver.
These are generalizations; purity will vary widely from piece to piece.

Old ethnic jewelry has not been cleaned nor polished to preserve patinas
and the overall appearance of the pieces at the time of collection.
All jewelry is shipped non-sterile and ethnic jewelry should be assumed to have been previously used.

INDIA

Indian Gold Earrings, Earcuffs, and Ear Plugs

For an excellent reference source of Indian gold jewelry,
please see p. 218-226 of Traditional Jewelry of India.
To see examples of many types of Indian gold earrings, earcuffs, and earplugs
once depicted in this section but have now SOLD,
please visit our sold ethnic jewelry page.
We can get similar pairs if you are interested!

Indian nostril jewelry

*gold and ruby nostril jewelry India*

Indian gold and ruby
internally threaded nostril piece.
This could also be used as a stud in an ear or elsewhere.
It measures ≤13ga. $75.

*Indians nostril screws pin faceted prong set colored glass*

Indian nostril screws and pressure fit pin style nostril jewelry. $10/each.
Click on this image to view one that is blown up by 4X in order to show detail.
The top row shows very thin (21ga) nostril screws with faceted prong set
colored glass inlays in clear, dark pink (almost red), green, and blue (blue SOLD).
The bottom row shows two types: around 16ga silver nostril pins with faceted clear glass, and
around 16ga gold tone pins with ruby colored glass inlays (with a tiny white dot in the centers).
These bottom right style pins have SOLD, all others are still available.

South Indian barbells!

They are all internally threaded (left/"backwards" threading) with ornate ends.
There is a great diagram depicting dozens of styles of multiple ear cartilage piercings, with Tamil names of the accompanying jewelry, on p. 218 of Traditional Jewelry of India. I highly recommend it!

Gold koppu pieces similar to those below can also be seen on p. 139 of Ethnic Jewellery.
These styles are extremely similar to modern body piercing jewelry where they are referred to as barbells ;)
For example, see p. 141 in Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India, where examples with round ends worn by Muslim women in Karnataka are called gundi or tinki and are traditionally worn in the helix of the upper ears.

*South Indian gold upper ear internally threaded barbells*

South Indian high karat gold upper ear internally threaded barbells.
Called lavanga kadi; named after the clove. Around 13ga. $250/pair. SOLD
A pair that looks identical can be seen within the Tamil Nadu section
on p. 235 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.
Also see p. 138-140 ibid for more ornate pairs harkening from Karnataka.
There they are called bugudi or bugdi. The tops can sometimes be quite elaborate and resemble the tops of temples, called kalasha, and they are occasionally found with dangling tiny pearls (moti).

*silver Indian barbells*

Silver South Indian upper ear barbells, with dangling balls.
12ga to 11ga or so. Sold as singles. $18/each.
Only the first piece is still available; all others have SOLD.

Indian silver earrings and hoops

*Indian kundan earrings red blue regular ear wire thickness*

Indian earrings with kundan style red, clear white, and blue glass inlays,
with basically regular ear wire thicknesses. Front and back shown. ≤18ga. $60/pair.
These are called nasbi-bunda and are worn by Sindhi Muslims in Rajasthan, as well as near Banni in Gujarat. An example can be seen on p. 221 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

*Rajasthan India blue green red earrings*

Rajasthani colorful old earrings with blue, green, and red glass beads.
Between 13ga and 12ga wire thicknesses. $125/pair.

*Indian earrings 3 diamonds*

Indian hoop earrings with three flat diamond shapes and square-ish cut dangles.
<16 gauge. $40/pair.

*Himachal Pradesh star hoops*
*Himachal Pradesh star hoops*

Himachal Pradesh (India) hoops with star shapes and wrapped wire. 13ga/12ga. $50/pair.
Two images shown: the first is a side view, and the one with my fingers is the 'bottom' view.

*simple Indian earring hoops*
*simple Indian hoops*

Simple indian hoop earrings:
$18/pair (top)-16ga tiny coiled hoop earrings;
$20/pair (bottom)-17ga medium coiled hoop earrings.
These are called karu by the Pangi of Himachal Pradesh, which are apparently a sub-category of sutrawali (rings with thinner wires coiled around them), which are themselves a type of bali (sutra means thread and wali aka bali means ring). These can be seen on p. 128 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India. They are worn in sets of many earrings along the rim of the ear.

*5 pairs old silver Indian coiled hoops*

Five pairs of old silver Indian coiled hoops.
All are around 18 gauge. Prices are based on weights.
The top row are $25, $23, and $28/pair. The bottom row are $33 and $36/pair.
Silver examples of these can be seen on p. 128 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India, from Himachal Pradesh, and are called pher or phair by the Hindu Gaddis, which are a sub-category of sutrawali. More are shown on p. 74 ibid, attributed to several groups in Saurashtra, Gujarat, where they are called kadi.
Like those seen above with discs, these are usually worn in sets of several pairs along the helix.
A pair in gold is shown on p. 219 ibid, where they are called kurki (aka bali in Hindi),
and are worn by Brahmin women in Bhilwara, Rajasthan.

Indian silver earrings and plugs

*Indian earrings plugs enameled internally threaded*

Two pair of earrings from India: the left pair have been set with 'normal' earring hook wires,
but feature around an 8ga post and an internally threaded backing disc ($30/pair);
the right pair has enameled designs, around 5ga posts, and 1ga or so back flares ($40/pair).
This style is called meena-jhimki from Madhya Pradesh, and
similar pairs are shown on p. 176 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

Flared Himachal Pradesh earplugs

*3ga enamel plugs INDIA Himachal Pradesh earrings*

This around 3ga pair are from Himachal Pradesh and have enamel inlay.
They seem to be covered with some sort of dark resin.
These are shown on catalog page 7, and are $30/pair.

Indian silver ear plugs

Plugs like these are traditionally worn in both stretched earlobe piercings
and upper ear cartilage piercings. They are called karanphul or karnphul, which means 'ear-flower.'
Please refer to them by the letters shown; all are $40/pair. These plugs are not threaded.

*karanphul India silver plugs*

#A are between 0ga and 00ga, and appear on catalog page 7. $40/pair.
The convex style with a series of attached ball shapes are called gutti or kangutti
and are said to be used in Malwa and the entire Rajgar district of Madhya Pradesh;
similar pairs can be seen on p. 186 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

*Indian ear plugs similar to A page 7*

Shown above is a pair we refer to as 'similar to #A,' randomly scanned in black and white.
The wearing surface of this pair is between 7/16" and 1/2"; they appear on catalog page 7. $40/pair.
These resemble the convex gutti or kangutti style above,
but are called toti with attached ghungru or ghungri (silver globes or bells)
on p. 183 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

*Indian silver earplugs*

#E are between 00ga and 7/16",
and are on our catalog page 7. $40/pair.

*0ga Rajasthani traditional indian ear plugs*

A pair of 0ga Rajasthani plugs. $40/pair.
These are shown on page 7 of our catalog.

*Rajasthani internally threaded plug*

Rajasthani internally threaded plugs.
The wearing surface is >1ga but <0ga. $40/pair.
These are found on page seven of our printed catalog.

Gujarati screw plugs

These internally threaded screw plugs feature huge flares in comparison to the wearing surfaces.

*Gujarat screw plugs ear jewelry*

Above we show a pair of smaller 8ga plugs with a red colored "stone" (usually glass) at $100/pair and are shown on page 7 of the catalog. The threaded backing disc is also shown on the very far left.

The right-hand pair with a gold tone and huge front flares have a wearing surface of less than 2ga.
They are from Angar village, and are $130/pair. These are on catalog page 7.
They are called bhungri. A similar pair can be seen on p. 159 of Ethnic Jewellery,
and on p. 73 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.
They are traditionally worn by males in their upper ear cartilage piercings!

*Gujarati enamel internally threaded plugs*

Gold-toned (vermeil?) Gujarati internally threaded
>3ga but <2ga plugs with red and green enamel. $95/pair.
These are traditionally worn by men and boys in their upper ear cartilage piercings!
They are inserted with the large faces pointing upwards (or 'backwards').
See p. 73 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.
They are called bhungri by the Rabari or phul by the Bharvad.

Gujarat plugs (non-threaded)

*small Gujarat ear plugs*

*Surastra Gujarat India hollow tribal ear plug*

The top pair with large flares and short shafts are only $12/pair (4ga); on catalog page 7.
The bottom single >5/8" hollow piece (Surastra, Gujarat) is merely $10 (retail or wholesale); page 7.

Flower-fronted Indian silver plugs

*silver karanphul India tribal ear plugs*

More karanphul silver plugs; also $40/pair.
Likely from Gujarat, India.
Please refer to them as #J (±9/16").
These can be found on page 7 of the catalog.

Gujarati jumpka

*Gujarat jumpka jhumka jhumkha plugs*

These pairs with hanging pieces are called jumpka (or jhumki or jhumka, meaning bell), from Gujarat:
one with blue in the middle (around 00ga; also appearing on page 7 of the catalog),
and one that looks like flowers (around 7/16"); they are both $100/pair.

A similar pair can be seen on p. 226 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India, where they are said to be from Rajasthan called toti-jhumki. The top part of the left hand pair would be refered to as toti, while the top part of the right hand pair would be karanphul (ear flower). Both the bottoms are jumpka (bells).

Rajasthani or Gujarati cartilage pieces

*Gujarat India upper ear ring hook chain set*

Gujarati set of three upper ear pieces per side, coming together at the top with long attached chains
and hooks that would go into the hair or a headdress. 15ga to 14ga. $70/set.
These shapes are called vedhla and have a distinct identifying shape that is from Motabhai, Gujarat;
see p. 62, 85, and 96-98 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.
See also pages 221-222 in the same book for a description and images of ognia jhela from Rajasthan which these highly resemble.

*Rajasthani upper ear cartilage jewelry*
*Rajasthani cartilage jewelry*

These shapes are called vedhla, and are traditionally worn in upper ear cartilage piercings.
These came from Rajasthan, India (although attributed to Motabhai, Gujarat in the book below).
Two views are shown of this pair with convex fronts surrounded by wire petal-like decoration.
16 gauge. Only $12/pair - SOLD. Still on catalog page 7 to represent the set above.
See p. 62, 85, and 96-98 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

Rajasthani disc shaped plugs

*Rajasthani ear flares discs*

Older Indian disc shaped plugs from Rajasthan, India, with huge front discs.
This ±1ga pair is available for $40/pair. Shown on our catalog page 7.
Front and back views shown. Pairs like these are called toti batki or toti kan-ka-dhakna,
and are shown on on p. 224 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

Naga tribe glass earweights

Naga weights like these are hard to find! Glass ones are more affordable, though they also traditionally make them in quartz crystal. These Ao Naga tribe glass tongpang earweights from Northeast India/Western Burma are not perfect, but they are very well priced based on condition and how matched the pair is. There is some unrepaired damage. Some of the chipping appears newer, and some looks older, with smoothed out edges.

*Ao Naga tribe glass earweights tongpang* *Ao Naga tribal glass tongpang ear weights*

The pair above are shown on two different backgrounds. Unaltered. $225/pair.
References include p.150 in A World of Earrings, p. 322 in The Nagas,
p. 167 in Ethnic Jewellery, p. 153 in The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry, and
p. 56-57 of Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India.

*wholesale versus retail prices reminder*

NEPAL and TIBET

*Nepalese women's conch jewelry 3 pairs*

Three pairs of Newari (Nepalese) women's conch (inner ear) jewelry.
The pins are either pressure fit or internally threaded. These are called dhungri.
$40/pair. 9ga to 8ga. The top pair has SOLD.

Tibetan women's earrings

*Tibetan aylong women's earrings turquoise coral*
*Tibetan aylong womens earrings*

Tibetan women's aylong (along) earrings set with turquoise and coral. $60/pair.
These two images show the same pairs; front views shown first, followed by side views.
These are all a bit smaller than ones I have seen in the past.
The top right pair has SOLD. The left-hand pair is still available. 13ga/12ga.

*Tibetan aylong womens earrings*

The right-hand pair with coral inlays is still available. 8 gauge.
The pair with big turquoise inlays on the left has SOLD.

Other styles we've had in the past include those with smooth wires, or
with strings that go up and over the whole ear to help the heavy cabochon fronts to stay upright.
For reference, see p.154 in A World of Earrings and
p. 150 in Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India,
where this style with turquoise or coral are called rna lon or rna cha.

We have lots of Nepalese and Tibetan mantra bracelets, too!


Click the thumbnails below
to view our selection of ethnic jewelry from various parts of the world.



INDIA, NEPAL,
and TIBET



MAINLAND and
SOUTHEAST ASIA



THE
MIDDLE EAST



AFRICA



WESTERN
HEMISPHERE




SOLD PIECES





:: All prices listed are wholesale to shops :: Retail prices to individuals are twice those listed ::

Home | Download Catalog | Newly Acquired Jewelry |
Amber | Bamboo | Horn and Bone | Stone | Hardwood | New Silver and Bronze | Ethnic Jewelry |
Labrets and Septums | Bracelets | Other Goodies | Twilight | Photo Gallery | Links and Books |
Ordering Information | Size | Care Instructions | Material Information | About Us | Contact Organic

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:: Website created by Erica Skadsen on 1 July 1997 ::
© Organic LLC 1997-2013



*red dayak flower*