chapter  XXXIII
2 Pages

JEWELLERY

THE jewellery worn by Musalmii.ns presents great differences of type and fashion, but there is little that is really distinctive, both men and women often wearing patterns closely resembling those of the Hindus, this being particularly the case among the many converts from Hinduism to Islam, though, of course, the use of symbols or figures of Hindu deities are avoided. Musalmans as compared with Hindus do not invest so much of their savings in jewellery to be sold in times of need. In some parts of the country there is a prejudice against wearing gold on the feet. Some classes forbid their women to wear anything save gold above the feet, but silver may be used in the form of anklets or toe-rings, and if this is not procurable some cheaper substance like pewter or bell-metal is used. 1 In the time of the Prophet, when the type of daily life was simpler, the wearing of gold rings was prohibited. 2 Among Musalmii.ns, as among Hindus, the primary intention in wearing jewellery is not for ornament, but to secure protection against the Evil Eye and the attacks of spirits. Hence comes the use of things supposed to possess spirit power, such as the wood or leaves of certain trees and plants, the hair or claws of tigers or parts of other animals. 3 Men, as a rule, wear little jewellery except as amulets, but among the rich trading classes in western India, like the Bohras or Memans, the wearing of necklaces, wristlets, ear-rings, bangles, finger rings, collarettes, or gold chains is corn1non.