Gold is considered as an auspicious metal and Keralites have a special love for ornaments in gold. Irrespective of religion or caste, most women in Kerala wear gold ornaments. As far as the bridal jewellery is concerned, gold is favoured over diamonds or other precious stones. The bride typically wears a lot of gold: as how much gold the bride wears is considered to be a reflection of the bride’s family’s prosperity.
The popular traditional ornaments are rings like Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram, gold necklaces like Manonmani, Ilakkathali, Poothali, Palaykkamala, Mangamala, Dalamini, Chuttiyum Chelum and Puliyamothiram. Ear studs like Jimikki, Kannuneerthulli, Thoda and bangles like Kappu etc.
But nothing illustrates the Malyali love for gold than the multiple types of gold bridal necklaces. Here is a list of the most famous ones
Lakshmi necklaces have a number of coins across the necklace with the idol of goddess Lakshmi encrypted on each coin. In Hindu tradition, the Goddess Lakshmi is considered the harbinger of wealth, material and spiritual prosperity. And when it comes to weddings, the Goddess Lakshmi is definitely an auspicious omen.
Manga literally translates into mango. The manga mala consists of small, fine paisley (or mango) shaped pendants that are strung together in a necklace.These individual mango shaped pendants could further be engraved with exquisite designs to give that special look.
Mulla Mottu (Jasmine buds)
This traditional necklace has a number of small gold petals across the necklace. It comes both in gold and also in a combination of gold and studded with stones.
The Palakka is another traditional bridal necklace from Kerala. It is originally a combination of emerald and ruby. But the modern palakka mala comes in more designs and fashion.
The Nagapada Thali is similar to the Palakka mala. The only difference is that the shape of the small pendants is different. Today, the brides prefer a more modern interpretation of the colour and the designs.
Pulinakham literally translates to “tiger’s nail”. This is generally made out of emerald or rubies that are cut to look like a curved tiger’s nail. When they are strung together, they become one of the most spectacular and classic malayali gold jewellery you will ever see.
Pathakam is one of the quintessential pieces of wedding jewellery that is a must-have in the Malayali bride’s trousseau. Pathakkam is a chain with pendant and is usually used as the first necklace in the layer in the wedding jewelry. The pendant will be stones studded or pure gold pendant. This is usually the very first necklace in the bride’s jewellery that sits closest to her neck. The pendant traditionally has an engraving of Goddess Lakshmi. The pendant may also be studded with emeralds or rubies.