Ornaments have a typical place in every home, and women have an added attraction for them. They have an inherent instinct to present a charming appearance with beauty aids and ornaments made of gold, silver, diamonds and jewellery. However, in rural areas ornaments arc: specially considered more as store of value rather than for their decorative value or their use as beauty aids, and as such ruralfolk is rather reluctant to spend much on the goldsmith's labour resulting into ornaments being specimens of clumsy form and workmanship.
The type of ornaments used differs with men and women, and boys and girls. The pattern of ornaments also differs from community to community, and from caste to caste. Hindus consider yellow metal to be sacred and as such they would not wear gold ornaments below the waist to maintain the dignity of the holy material. A golden head is also used in the mangalsutra that is worn by Hindu women of Maharastra. Generally Brahman and Maratha women will not have any ornaments for head and arms of any material baser than gold. Gold and silver in ornaments is considered to have a protective magical effect that is attributed to charms and amulets. Ayurveda considers gold to have a medicinal value too. Due to constantly rising-prices of gold, silver and precious stones the tendency is witnessed to substitute these articles by alloys, cultured pearls and synthetic stones. Till recently, the use of ornaments was very common and customary amongst men. They were bhikbali, a gold ring set: with pearls and pendant-emerald hanging by the upper lobe, gold salkadi or a poci on the wrist, a goph or chain worn with a locket: round the neck, silver girdle and gold armlet, pearl necklace, etc. The ornaments commonly used by men are the gold finger ring and the silver chain girdle called kargota used round the waist.
The fashions and mode of female ornaments have undergone
considerable changes during the last few decades. The frantic
affinity of the female mind tor decorative ornaments has subsided
to a great extent. Women from the aristocratic families in the
past used to wear a variety of ornaments. The head ornaments comprised mud, agraphul, rakhdi, ketki-kevda, guhibace-phul, bindi-bijora, candra-surya, gonde-phul, etc. The group of neck ornaments consisted of candrahar, caplahar, bakulihar, puspahar, mohanmal, putalyacimal, bormal, kolhapuri saj, ekdani, sari, cittang, vajratik, thusi, petya, tanmani, all made of gold. Ornaments of pearls, diamonds and precious stones were to be found only in the rich families. Gold bangles, patlya, gotha, bajuband, and tode of various patterns were more common among the well-to-do. The peasantry and the class of labourers vised to have ornaments made of silver. Tode made of silver were very common among the womenfolk in the rural areas of the district.
However, most of these ornaments are either uncommon or they have undergone a thorough change in their form. Heavy gold ornaments are not popular here. Head ornaments have almost gone out of fashion. The ear ornaments at present comprise mainly kudya, ear-rings and karnaphul. Among the neck ornaments mangalsutra is the most important which is in cumbent on every ' suvasini'. Formerly, it was made of black beads with gold half-beads in the centre. Now-a-days the beads are woven in gold-strings and is fashioned on different patterns. The candrahar, caplahar, mohanmal, puspahar, ekdani, tanmani, laffa are more in vogue among the Hindus. Nose ornament are rarely used barring nath and camki. A pair of jodavi (silver rings in the toes) and virolya are generally prepared for the bride at the time of marriage.
Child ornaments falling under the group of wristlets compris bindalya, mangatya and kaditode. The necklaces put on by children are mainly goph, hasli, sakhli, taiti- and chain lockets. Sakhali and sarpoli are used on the waist and ghungarvale are worn on the ankles. These ornaments are made either of gold or silver.
Under the Gold Control Order, promulgated by the Government of India in 1962, the manufacture of ornaments of primary gold is prohibited. The order, however, permits ornaments of 14 carrat purity, which have now replaced ornaments made from pure gold.