Pure gold has always been used to make the traditional jewellery in Kerala. The exquisite designs, unbelievable craftsmanship and the purity of gold jewellery make this south Indian gold jewellery quite popular all over the world.
The gold jewellery and gold jewellery design remain timeless in fashion. No wonder these jewellery styles continue to be the most preferred choices at weddings, traditional events and festivals in our country.
Traditional Jewellery Styles
Traditionally gold jewellery was worn in Kerala to symbolize prosperity and wealth. Some of the most popular traditional gold jewellery styles that are still in fashion are given below.
Kasu Mala/ Lakshmi Mala: Necklace
The word ’Kasu’ refers to coins and ‘Mala’ refers to the necklace. Kasu Mala is a necklace made up of gold coins that are strung to each other. Kasu mala that has the imprint of goddess Lakshmi on the gold coins are referred to as the Lakshmi mala. This gold jewellery design remains timeless in fashion. There is rarely a traditional wedding in Kerala where the Kasu Mala is not a part of the bridal jewellery.
Manga Mala: Necklace
Manga Mala consists of pendants that are mango-shaped and are woven together to form a beautiful necklace. This is one of the most common gold jewellery design adorned by the women in Kerala.
Palakka Mala: Necklace
The colour green is prominent in a Palakka Mala which is a leaf-shaped necklace. This gold necklace is embellished with green and deep red stones and the design resembles a leaf that is outlined with gold. Traditionally emeralds and rubies were always used in a Palakka Mala design.
Pulinakha Mala: Necklace
Pulinakham means a tiger’s nail. This piece of gold jewellery contains ‘Pulinakhams’ crafted out of glass stones. These Pulinakhams are woven together with gold to form a necklace that is elegant in design. Traditionally these necklaces were worn to symbolise courage and strength. A Pulinakha Mala works perfectly with the traditional Kerala Saree and Set Mundu.
Swarna Pathakka Mala: Neck Chain (Pathakkam)
Pathakkam is a beautiful piece of traditional gold jewellery in Kerala which is attached to a gold chain. Pathakkam is a pendant made of pure gold or that which is studded with precious/semi-precious stones.
Mullamottu Mala: Necklace
Mullamottu means Jasmine buds in Malayalam. The Mullamottu Mala is a gold jewellery design that resembles jasmine petals arranged together to form a beautiful gold necklace. This traditional gold jewellery design comes in two styles. One design is made completely from pure gold and the other design has gemstones studded on gold.
These traditional gold earrings are a part of temple jewellery. Jhimikkis/Jhumkas are bell-shaped earrings that are timeless in fashion and are mostly worn by brides in Kerala and south India. Jhimikkis usually come in two different designs. One design is where the earring is made in gold with attached danglers that are shaped like bells. The other design has a gold stud attached to a leaf or the Palakka.
Swarna Kolusu: Anklet
The Swarna Kolusu refers to a gold anklet which is a traditional jewellery design quite popular among young girls and women in Kerala and southern parts of India. Traditionally the Kolusu used to be made of silver but gold anklets have gained more popularity over the years.
Elegance and diversity in design can be seen in great measure in traditional gold jewellery designs in Kerala. Most of these designs get their inspiration from temple traditions and nature.
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