Marriage necklace



Nattukottai Chettiar caste
Late 19th century
more object details

General Description

This elaborate necklace is a fine example of a ritual necklace made for a bride among the Chettiar people of Tamil Nadu in south India. At the marriage, the groom would place the necklace around the bride's neck. It was a dowry given to the bride by her family and was seldom worn after the marriage ceremony. The elaborate ornaments, including the four hand-like decorations symbolizing the joined hands of the bride and groom, generally represent the union of the humans with the god Shiva, whom the Chettiar worshipped. The deer and lion imagery on the necklace is associated with Shiva and and his wife, Parvati/Durga.

Excerpt from

  • Anne Bromberg, Label text.

Web Resources