The ornaments worn by men and ladies of Mizoram are considered an essential adornment and are in perfect contrast to their colorful dresses. Most Lushai men sport a spread of products in their hair. A two-pronged pin with a head-shaped g-skewers of ivory, metal, and bone, is one of the most common items made in brass.
Then, a little beaded necklace is also a popular ornament worn by different tribes of the region. Another popular jewelry item flaunted by the Mizo people maybe a necklace having large amber beads known as the thihus. Women wear a headgear decked with a bamboo band called varika, which sports colorful feathers and beetle wings.
Traditional Jewellery of Mizoram For Women
1. Trade Beads
Trade beads are beads that used as a medium of barter within and amongst communities. They’re considered to be one of the earliest forms of trade between members of humans. It’s also surmised that bead trading was one of the reasons why humans developed language.
2. Roman Jewellery
Ancient Roman jewelry was characterized by an interest in colored gemstones and glass in contrast with their Greek predecessors, who focused totally on the production of high-quality metalwork by practiced artisans.
Extensive control of Mediterranean territories provided an abundance of natural resources to utilize in jewelry making. Participation in trade allowed access to both semiprecious and precious stones that traveled down the Persian Silk Road from the East.
Various sorts of jewelry were worn by different genders and social classes in Rome and used both for aesthetic purposes and to speak social messages of status and wealth. Throughout the history of the traditional Roman Empire, jewelry style and materials were influenced by Greek, Egyptian, and Etruscan jewelry.
Thihna is the most valuable, biggest, and most expensive necklace of the Mizo. it’s a tube shape single –strand amber bead necklace, the old necklaces are made from very dark amber, beautifully clear there could be various colors and sizes, these necklaces can normally range from 70 –85 cm long and the beads are sometimes 5-7 cm long and over 2.5 cm in diameter.
It’s probable that these necklaces came from Burma (Myanmar). The price of Thihna trusted worth and beauty, the longer the string of beads, the more beautiful it had been to them.
4. Saiha Bengbeh
The term sai means elephant͛, ha͛ here often translated as teeth or tusk͟ and bengbeh means earing͛. So, it literally means Ivory earrings. it’s very highly prized Mizo earrings and only the rich people used to wear this earring and when they wear it, they feel very proud.
Typically, it worn by both man and woman but later the women had only worn it. They sometimes add a few beads to the ivory to look more impressive. it’s circular piece with inch or inch and a half in diameter.
Thi- Val may be a red barrel shape single strand bead necklace made from semi-precious stone around 60 cm in length. it’s also obtained from Burma (Myanmar).
6. Rial Thi
The term Rial thi͛ means freezing rain necklace; Rial means freezing rain and thi͛ means necklace. The Rial Thi͛ is inspired by the beautiful sheer frozen drops made from glass beads, there might be different shapes and sizes.
Usually, the beads are strung together with a single cotton thread and range from 50 to 60cm in length. This necklace doesn’t serve as a symbol of social status, perhaps just aesthetic. Ordinary women folks often wear it.
Within the LAKHERS N E Perry tell us the old necklaces of these beads are very high valued and treated as their Heirlooms. It’s almost possible to buy them. They’re of very different quality from the old beads, and it’s easy to distinguish a modern bead from an old one.
Legend relates that old Pumteks were the droppings of a goat. When the goat’s owner fed him well, the goats produced Pumteks of great excellence; if the quality of the food fell off, the Pumteks become progressively worse.
Within the families of chiefs and nobles, heirlooms are handed down from generation to generation. These generally contains necklaces of Pumtek beads, gongs, or guns.
8. Zahau Pawi Dar Selu Thi
The word Zahau Pawi refers to the zahau pawi clan, and Dar͛ means brass; Selu here is often translated as MithuŶ͛s head. Zahau Pawi Dar Selu is a three-strand necklace of red tube tile. Glass beads feature a brass pendant carved out as a MithuŶ͛s head 64cm long, worn by a male member of Zahau Pawi clan.
It’s probable this necklace may indicate the social status of the wearer as Mithun was the main valuable possession of the mizo. A person considered rich according to the number of Mithuns he possessed. Thus, this Mithun pendant might regard as a status symbol of the wealthy man.
The word Thi-thek means spotted necklace. It’s a necklace made up of round shape black color beads with white dot patterns and incorporated a tube shape ivory locket that is 7.5 Cm long. Ivory have wanted to set the value on it.
10. Lalnu Thival Piu
The meaning of the words: Lalnu is a Chief’s wife, Thival red bead necklace, here the word piu means great. It’s brought from The Arakan state (southwestern coast of Myanmar ).
11. Thi Tengeng
Thi Tengeng means brass bells necklace: Thi͛ means necklace and Tengeng means bell riŶgiŶg. This necklace features thirty –four brass bell beads strung on a cotton thread, each of which is alternated by different color beads.
It’s worn for both anklets and necklaces by Lai women on a special occasions. Single bells are also worn by young children on their ankles with cotton thread, when the brass bell sounds while walking or running the wearer feel very proud.
12. Thi Lung
Thilung may be a single threaded yellow cone shape amber bead necklace with 45Cm of length. These beads are not indigenously made but the shape and form that resemble often seen in Mizo traditional textile motif called saidawium. Thus. It is often considered as the Mizos paid great attention to their design coordination.
13. Tangka Thi
The word Tangka refers to coins, Thi means necklace, so Tangka Thi means coins necklace. This necklace is formed of silver coins strung in a single row. At the sting of each coin, a loop is made with silver or other metals for hanging.
It is a symbol of wealth and is worn by the chief and the wealthy family only. This coin’s necklace was possibly possessed after the British East India company came to Northeast India.
14. Mangbo Nukuih
It’s worn by the ladies of the Matu community living in the northwest Mizoram. This necklace is additionally worn as a belt. It’s made of thin brass like a spiral, joined at both ends with cotton thread, and worn on festive and other important occasions.
Tribal Jewellery of Mizoram:
About 95 percent of current Mizoram population is of diverse tribal origins. This is often the highest concentration of tribal people among all states of India. The Mizo tribals make use of shells, bones, animal claws, teeth, and semi-precious stones for jewelry.
Thifen is a necklace made from a barrel, round, and cylindrical tile glass beads with six different colors red, blue, yellow, and black with white spots stranded in three rows 55 cm in length. It’s a small necklace worn by Mizo men and women. It had been owned and possessed only by the well to do and the rich family.
Bridal Jewellery of Mizoram
There is no heavy jewelry involved in the wedding outfit of the bride as seen in most Indian weddings. The bride mostly opts for silver over gold since that goes best with a white bridal gown. The groom too doesn’t accessorize much on his wedding day. Simple and stylish is the tone of a Mizo wedding with little or no accessory.
Traditional Jewellery of Mizoram For Men
1. Milu Thi
The word Milu means head; Thi here means necklace or pendant. It’s a double–strand necklace of red tube tile glass beads with a brass sculpture of a human face pattern pendant, worn by men. This necklace is 60Cm in length. It’s sort of a trophy or earned medals by a successful head taker and it symbolized the achievement of his status.
In the Đulture and folklore of Mizoram͛ B Lalthangliana expressed our ancestors were head- hunters who brought home the heads of untamed beasts and human beings. Those who brought home the heads of their enemies and performed rituals and ceremonies; and danced to celebrate their victory, gained respect. They are considered super warriors.
2. Pawa Sahi Thi
The word Pawi refers the pawi or Lai clans; Saha means animal teeth and Thi means necklace. This necklace may be a single strand with 40Cm of length made of boar tusk (5.5 cm), each of which alternated by four white heishi beads (4mm). It’s a special necklace for warriors of Pawi community.
3. Sakei Ngho Thi
‘Sakei Ngho, Means Tiger Fang. The Mizo men usually wear this necklace. It’s used for oath taking and thought to have magical properties. It said a person while taking oath bites the tigers fang saying that if he fails to stand on his promise or fails to do what he has promised a tiger would seize and devour him.