In India the art of adornment goes back to primitive society who used, for decoration, flowers and beads, carved wood, shell, bone and stone. As the civilization changed, the material also used to change in time to natural objects, stones, clay beads, bones, ivory, semiprecious stones, copper, and then to silver & gold; now platinum too. The archeological studies and evidences shows Indians were using gold as adornments since Indus-valley civilization.
Indian jewelries are as old as Indian civilization. The ruins of the Indus Valley civilization, dating back to 5000 - 8000 years, have yielded examples of beaded jewellery. The temples of South India, Bengal, Orissa and Central India present an absolute plethora of the jeweller's art. In the sculptures at Khajuraho, Bharhut, Sanchi, Amaravati, Belur, Kancheepuram and the paintings at Ajanta, Thanjavur, Mysore and Kerala are the mere example of Indian obsession towards self-adornment. The ancient texts like Kamasutra and Natyasastra depicts the detailing and methodology adoring self, according to the body structure. The epics, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Arthasastra, texts centuries old, mention the intricate arts of the jewellers of yore. The Silappadikaram, an ancient Tamil classic, talks of a society dealing in gold, pearls and precious stones. Greek visitors to ancient India marveled and precious stones. Jewellery in India is not only an adornment, but each stone is endowed with a spiritual quality and used as a protection against evil forces or negative energies. The navaratna or nine gems represents nine planets, are worn in a particular order for the same reason which continues even today. The maniratna, called the serpent stone, was used as a talisman to protect the wearer. Rudraksha and Tulsi seeds and sandalwood beads are worn even today during Hindu worship.
Maharashtra is one such place where people follow their traditions with complete devotion, even though time had brought changes like a usual activity. But the vitality and versatility of the customs, traditions, rituals, lifestyle and cuisines make Maharashtra absolutely unique and inimitable. The rich as well as raw tradition and rituals creates a complete visual extravaganza to the visitors. As well as it makes people curious to know more about it. Jewellery is an interlaced intricate obsession of Indians where ever the horizon it is. In Maharashtra also jewellery plays an inevitable role. From their weddings to day to day life it has an important role. In Maharashtra, the bridal chooda (green bangle) is significantly different. The brides wear green glass bangles in odd numbers. This signifies creativity, new life and fertility. Along with these green bangles they wear solid gold bangles called patlya and carved kadas called tode. Each and every accessory significantly plays an unavoidable role. Same like gold and silver also has important significance. There are interestingly five set of toe rings crafted in very fascinating and amusing designs. Genda, Jodvi, Birud, Masoli, Karangali are the names of the set of toe rings. There are particularities in selection jewelries from the birth of child and then the rest of life. Kardoda, Kuirya, Tode, Ghagrya are some names of silver jewelries made for babies. One very interesting and fascinating fact is without any gender difference babies are adorned with jewelries and the impeccable logic behind it is the male children won’t be able to adore them with these beautiful artifacts after a particular age.
Masoli is a beautifully handcrafted traditional toe rig which is in the shape of fish worn by married women of dhangar community all across western Maharashtra. According to the legends the bride or married woman is compared to crops which are surrounded by water and fish symbolizes water which signifies fertility and liveliness. The semiotic analysis of fish design can be connected to the beauty, grace and magnetism of women as well as in ancient times design inspiration was always directly taken from flora and fauna. Ancient jewellery artisans might have got inspired from shape, colors, patterns, texture and movements of fish as well as the cultural and traditional significance. The tradition of wearing toe rings by married women can be seen across India in different shapes and designs but the unanimity is its significance. Toe rings are not evenhanded to beautify the legs but also have some health benefits. Scientifically there are nerves from toes which connect uterus and hearts. By wearing toe rings good circulation is ensured there by strengthening the uterus. The menstrual cycle is also regulated ensuring speedy conception. Also silver is known to be a good conductor. Silver absorbs the energy from the earth and passes it on to the body thereby rejuvenating the entire system.