Marriage Necklace (Thali)

India (Tamil Nadu, Chetiar)

Not on view

Elaborate necklaces of this type were presented by the groom’s family during wedding celebrations of the Chetiar community, a Shaivite mercantile caste, and formed part of the bride’s wealth (stridhan) thereafter. The necklace was initially part of a dowry given to the bride by the groom at a climactic moment in the ceremony, the three knots ritual. This form of necklace is known as a Kali-Tiru; the elaborate Thali type, as seen here, generally includes a central Shiva and Parvati on a medallion. The four fingers of the central pendant are understood as denoting the four Vedas.

Marriage Necklace (Thali), Gold strung on black thread, India (Tamil Nadu, Chetiar)

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