19.10.12

Nepali glass beads jewelry

There is an unusual market in Kathmandu, called "Pote bazaar." In the area of ​​750 sq m, exclusively glass bead jewelry is being sold. Its name "pote" came from the name of jewelry worn by all married women of Nepal. Pote is a necklace made of at least 20 strands of coloured glass beads with a golden hollow "tube" called "tilahari" attached to it as a pendant. This necklace is symbolic of the married state of a woman. Tilahari is given to the bride by the groom on their wedding day and the wearing of it by a married woman symbolizes the wish and the prayer for a long life of the husband. When the husband dies a woman will stop wearing the tilahari and will give it to the goldsmith to be melted down as it is taboo for a widow to wear tilahari. In everyday life many women do without this golden "tube", and wear just beaded necklace. And they do not remove it even at home.

A bride with the festive pote-tilahari

 
There are 40 shops on the territory of the bazaar, packed and hung with strings of beads of various lengths and colour. The favourite colours of Nepalese women are green and red, so it is not surprising that this colour palette dominates on the shelves. In addition to the simple strands of beads, there are many things with more intricate designs: patterned necklaces, pendants in the shape of flowers or bunches of grapes and ornamented bracelets. Part of the jewelry is made by apprentices on the spot, but many - by prisons' inmates. The beads are of good quality. Mostly they are imported from Chech Republic and China.

 

 

The whole day to string the beads is the work for the patient ones

Most of the shops in the bazaar are owned by Muslims, whose ancestors came here in the 16th century from India. The merchant, with whom I spoke, his name is Yusuf, belongs to the sixth generation in the family dealing with this beads business. I don't know how much profitable this business is. On the one hand, there will always be demand for this stuff, because for Nepalese women such ornaments are a sign of marriage and they will continue to buy them; on the other hand - they are quite inexpensive.

 

 

Being in such a place with so many beautiful bright things around couldn't resist to choose something for myself. And that's what I bought. It cost me just 7$.


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