Nepalese ethnic jewelry: earrings

I've already written about the nose jewelry in Nepal and today I want to tell and show you Nepalese most unique, unusual or popular traditional earrings. It is amazing at how many places Nepalese women chose to pierce their ears: the lobule, concha, helix and even the tragus.

This woman's wearing the marwari earrings

One of the most popular earring form in Nepal is the marwari. Its structure is a hollow hoop varying from two to five centimeters in diameter. The entire surface is elaborately embellished with designs, showing the more or less abstract motif of twin protective creatures. It the center the heads of the creatures hold a spherical shape resembling a pineapple. The creature represent either lions or dragons (but nobody can say for sure which of them).

Tamang woman wearing the chepti sun earrings. Photo courtesy  Gunnar Geir P├ętursson

The large disk-shaped earring chepti sun is mostly worn by the women of the Middle Hills groups, particularly by the Tamang. It is a large, up to ten cm in diameter, plate-like earring. Often the shape is not round but more that of a pear.

This woman from Humla is wearing the pear-shaped chepti sun earrings. Photo source

The name literally means "flat gold" and the earrings are supposed to be made of gold. However, at remote areas and high altitudes women most often can afford only brass or in rare cases silver. The chepti sun can be additionally decorated with moon and sun symbols or with serpent motifs.

This woman from east Nepal is wearing the kan dhungri earrings. Photo Hannelore Gabriel

The gold stud earrings worn in the center of the ear are called dhungri. They are usually of medium size, around two cm in diameter and held in place by a long tube and fastened in the back. The design is most often a star with an uneven number of points varying from seven to eleven or a flower decorated with red and green glass stones. Sometimes square dhungri can be seen. The most unusual and rarely seen nowadays is the dhungri called kan which literally means "ear". It replicates the shape of the ear completely covering it.

This Chhetri woman is wearing the pear-shaped chepti sun earrings along with the flower-shaped dhungri. Photo  source

Sometimes the chepti sun and dhungri earrings are worn togehter as on the photo above.

A woman weraring the godwari ear-disks. Photo courtesy  Raphaelle Guillon

In the east of Nepal many women wear ear disks called godwari meaning marigold. They may be especially large, up to nine cm in diameter. The disks attach to the earlobe by a thick post.

A Tibetan woman wearing the aylong earrings

The most typical earring of the women of Tibetan origin is called aylong. It consists of a circle of pearled wire set with a single turquoise facing outwards. The design can be more elaborate and incorporate a cluster of several smaller stones. The metals used are silver, gold, brass while sized vary from two to seven cm. When the earrings are large and heavy the weight is taken by a chain or thread hooking them up into the hair or even over the head.

A Newari woman wearing a set of tuki earrings. Photo  source

Newari women wear sets of tuki, rows of heavy double studs inserted in the helix of the ear. Most tuki are plain but some are made in floral designs.

A woman wearing the mundri earrings decorated with pendants in the shape of fish. Photo courtesy Shan Krish

Women of the Shrestha caste instead of the tuki wear mundri - small hoops arranged in the same multiple arrangement along the helix of the ear. Sometimes these rings support pendants in a fish design.

A Tharu woman wearing the jimile earrings. Photo courtesy Prakash Kafle

Among the Tharu the most widespread earring design is jimile. It consists of a triangular pendant with rows of chains. The triangles can be solid and simple in shape, or ornate. From the lower edge of the triangle hang rows of chains of thin wire twisted in different ways and supporting leaf-shaped pendants or spheres. The jimile is worn by attaching to a small hoop inserted in the ear helix.
These are the most interesting and typical ethnic earrings of Nepalese women.

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Nose jewelry of Nepal


  1. what a variety of earrings. I had no idea. Thank you for your research! Very helpful.

  2. What a glorious post! I have the jimille...somewhere! I'd happily wear them all, I love buying tribal jewellery when I'm in India. I shall definitely hunt the kan dhungri down, I need those beauties in my life! xxx

  3. Amazing! Really :)
    I love post like this one... it´s so inspireating for me :)

  4. Very nice and informative, thank you for your research. Those pictures are amazing, once again great post.
    Dusana :-)


  5. Very interesting and specific post. I knew all these type of earrings except for the kan dhungri earrings with ear shape and the mundri earrings with pendants in the shape of fish. They are amazing.

    Great post, thanks for the information!


  6. Amazing variety of earrings, thank you for sharing about the culture, xoxo.

  7. Thanks for sharing about the tradition and the culture of outfit. It always cool to learn and know another cultures :)

  8. Great post! I wonder, are the ear-shaped kan dhungri only worn for special occasions? It seems like they would muffle your hearing.

  9. Love the excess. Love the color.

  10. These photos are fabulous. What wonderful vibrant colors these women are all wearing.

  11. Nice, beautiful yet creative earrings are they, such a glorious post!

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  12. Aaj malai afnoo Sanskriti ko gar gahana ko jankari payekoo maa dherai dherai ramroo lagyoo...thnks :)

  13. thanks for sharing this valuable post , plz share the design of rings and chains too.

  14. Thanks for sharing Beautiful earrings photos. This is very nice design.

  15. Nice earrings.I'll try to make these earrings.Thanks for sharing this post!


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