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Unveiling the Rich Tradition of Jewellery in Meghalaya



Meghlaya, a land of breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant cultural diversity, is not just known for its scenic landscapes but also for its rich tradition of jewellery. In this article, we will delve into the world of Meghalaya jewellery, exploring its history, significance, and the exquisite craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations. Join us on this journey to discover the allure of Meghalaya jewellery and its enduring cultural importance.

The Cultural Tapestry of Meghalaya

Before we delve into the intricacies of Meghalaya jewellery, let’s take a moment to appreciate the cultural tapestry of this northeastern Indian state. Meghalaya, which means “Abode of Clouds,” is home to diverse indigenous communities, each with its unique customs and traditions. These cultures have a profound influence on the jewellery crafted in this region.

Meghalaya Jewellery: A Glimpse into History

Meghalaya jewellery has a history that stretches back centuries, with roots firmly embedded in the traditions of the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia communities. These communities have a deep connection to the land, and their jewellery often reflects elements of nature and spirituality.

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Materials and Techniques

Meghalaya jewellery is known for its use of indigenous materials and traditional techniques. Silver, bamboo, and beads are some of the primary materials employed in crafting these exquisite pieces. The use of bamboo, in particular, is a testament to the resourcefulness of the people of Meghalaya, who transform this humble material into intricate jewellery designs.

Symbolism and Significance

In Meghalaya, jewellery is more than just adornment; it carries profound cultural and spiritual significance. Each piece of jewellery is crafted with precision and is often symbolic of the wearer’s social status, tribal identity, or even their spiritual beliefs. For example, the ‘Kynjri Ksiar’ necklace is worn by Khasi women and is believed to bring good fortune and protect the wearer from evil spirits.

Types of Meghalaya Jewellery

Meghalaya boasts a diverse range of jewellery, each distinct in its design and purpose. Some of the most notable types include:

  • Tiewlasuid: These are intricate silver earrings that are worn by Garo women during special occasions and festivals. They are known for their delicate craftsmanship and symbolic designs.
  • Dakmanda: A traditional necklace worn by Khasi women, the Dakmanda is a beautiful piece of jewellery made of silver and beads. It is worn with pride and signifies the cultural heritage of the Khasi community.
  • Sohphoh Ksiar: This is a significant ornament among the Jaintia tribe. It is a silver necklace adorned with precious stones and is often passed down as an heirloom, symbolizing family lineage and prestige.
  • Bamboo Jewellery: Bamboo jewellery is a unique specialty of Meghalaya. These lightweight and eco-friendly ornaments are not only visually appealing but also reflect the sustainable lifestyle of the people.

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Craftsmanship and Artistry

The artisans of Meghalaya are the heart and soul of its jewellery-making tradition. Passed down through generations, the craftsmanship involved in creating Meghalaya jewellery is unparalleled. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted, with great attention to detail, resulting in stunning works of art.

Preserving the Legacy

In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve and promote Meghalaya’s jewellery heritage. Government initiatives, NGOs, and local cooperatives are working together to provide training and support to the artisans, ensuring that this rich tradition continues to thrive in the modern world.


Meghalaya jewellery is not just about aesthetics; it is a testament to the region’s cultural diversity, craftsmanship, and heritage. From intricate silver earrings to symbolic necklaces, each piece carries the stories and traditions of the indigenous communities. By wearing Meghalaya jewellery, one becomes a part of this rich tapestry, connecting with the land, culture, and history of this enchanting state. As we celebrate the legacy of Meghalaya jewellery, let us also appreciate the dedication of its artisans who keep this tradition alive for generations to come.

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With its deep cultural roots, exquisite craftsmanship, and timeless designs, Meghalaya jewellery continues to be a source of pride and fascination for people both within and beyond its borders. As you explore the beauty of Meghalaya, consider bringing home a piece of this cultural treasure, and in doing so, become a part of the enduring legacy of Meghalaya jewellery.

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