The discovery of metal changed human life where prehistoric men were using metals to make tools and weapons. Silver is valued as a precious metal and one of the rare elements on earth’s crust. Silver is a white, soft and shiny metal, which can be shaped easily by hammering. Silver possesses the highest electrical conductivity of all metals even higher than copper and also has higher optical reflectivity than aluminium. Silver has numerous applications in various fields like air conditioning, water purification, dentistry, photography, electronics etc.
Indian women and jewelry are linked inherently. Whereas the history of Indian jewelry is as ancient as the country itself. There cannot be a single woman who doesn’t admire minimum jewelry. Indian jewelry designs are very unique and purely depend on craftsmanship. In olden days the jewelry was handcrafted artistically out of natural’s stuff like seeds, feathers, leaves, berries, fruits, flowers, animal bones, claws, teeth etc. Even today the different tribal communities use such eco-friendly jewelry. As time passes this natural stuff is replaced by metals. In India, jewelry is not only crafted for humans, but also for the Gods, ceremonial elephants, and horses. The art of jewelry making differs from place to place, for example, the gold jewelry of Tamil Nadu and Kerala is inspired by nature. Similarly, the Meenakari and Kundan jewelry making styles have been influenced by the Mughal dynasty.
Traditional tribal silver jewelry is quite rich in India and ethnic tribes have preserved the original format of jewelry design. When the whole country was taken over by the spirit of globalization it was the tribes of India who had preserved the ancient crafts and arts of India. Silver jewelry is not just for decoration but also serves a useful purpose. Women wear broad Kadas with cramped nail-like surfaces, which is a traditional design that provides safety from wild animals when they are in the forest for rearing cattle and gathering wood. Thoria (a stud) is said to be essential for acupuncture points, to ensure good health. The traditional silver jewelry is adorned by ethnic tribal communities to distinguish themselves from the other tribal communities, for example, Rabari people can be easily identified by observing their womenfolk, covered with long black head scrapes, heavy brass earrings and a magical tattoo on their neck and arms. There is a particular meaning for each jewel, for example, Vatla is a spiral necklace worn by Harijan women and Nagali, spring earrings are the sign of marriage.
Kutch is well known for its tradition and also famous for traditional silver jewelry and Kutch embroidery, which is famous all over the world. In 2001, the earthquake had a huge impact on Kachchi's silver craft. The workplaces and houses of silversmiths, silver traders, and the small kansara artisan community got destroyed and the major market for silver formed by the local communities was also disturbed by the disaster. For almost eighteen to twenty-four months, shops were closed because of the disaster and the artisans were left with no work. Then some changed their trade and turned to wage labour and some remained unemployed.
Mr. Mukeshbhai Pomal from Kutch is a renowned master craftsman who has experience of fifty years and got this unique skill from his ancestors. During the natural calamity, many craftsmen lost their houses and shops and Mr. Mukesh is one of them. But later on, he decided not to leave this unique craft so he continued and also trained this traditional craft to his son and outsiders who were interested in learning. Artisan uses only silver and gold to achieve a traditional jewelry design. Artisan said that this traditional jewel is a very old craft and a particular community people were wearing these jewels.