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Comprehensive Guide to Jaipuri Lac Bangles



The Jaipuri Lac Bangles are vibrant manifestations of resin that have been exquisitely crafted by the artisans. Lac is a versatile material, and the bangles come in a variety of styles. Bangles are thought to be a good omen, a symbol of happiness and celebration.


Use of Jaipuri Rajasthani Lakh Bangles

The Jaipuri Rajasthani Lakh Bangles are an essential part of the tradition. Mostly, the red and green colored bangles are purchased during the wedding season for brides specifically. Whereas, pink Jaipur Lac Bangles are worn mostly during the Holi. With the process of crafting lac bangles, artisans also make rings, toe rings, nose rings, Rakhi, Gokhru, necklaces, and many more jewelry pieces. Lac is also used sometimes to hold the ornament, during the process of setting the bangles with precious and semi-precious stones or enameled. Moreover, they are also used to fill the ornaments to give it the body and strength.


Significance of Jaipuri Lakh Bangles

Nowadays, wearing the Jaipuri Lakh Bangles on the day of the wedding as well as after being married has become the custom. In the earlier days, the Jaipuri Lakh Bangle makers were called especially home to put bangles on the bride’s wrist. A similar kind of custom was being ensured, whenever a child would be born in a household. These represent the religious, cultural, and auspicious significance of these bangles and their makers.


The ability to customize these bangles adds to their allure. The Jaipuri artisans make custom-made Jaipuri Lakh Bangles for their customers by adjusting the bangle to the desired size and embellishing it with the desired beads, stones, crystals, and other embellishments desired by the store's female customers. Lac bangles can also be reused after they have been broken. Mild heating and shaping can bring them back together. Too many times, however, causes the lacquer to become brittle. As a result, reworking is limited to 8 to 10 times. 


Lac bangles are one of the ornaments required for many Rajasthani rituals. These are in high demand for local events such as Teej, the Marwari festival of Gangaur, karva chauth, Holi, weddings, and special ceremonies for expectant mothers. They are thought to be soothing to wear and do not cause infections or itchiness, as plastic or glass bangles do.


Myths & Legends of Jaipur Lakh Bangles

The Lakhera are the artisans who make lac bangles. The Lakhara get their name from the Sanskrit 'laksha-kuru,' which means a lac worker.


The story of the Jaipur Lakh Bangles is said to originate from Lord Shiva and his wife, Goddess Parvati. When the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married, she wanted to wear a depiction of marital status. Lord Shiva had a devotee called Mahadhar Rahul, who was asked to make the Goddess Parvati Lac Bangles. He went to the peepal tree & for the first time made the lac bangles. Goddess Parvati was pleased with the bangles and gave him a handful of husked grains. 


Thereafter, Mahadhar Rahul bartered the grains for more flour with a shopkeeper. But when he looked at the few husked grain pieces that remained in his bag, he noticed that they had transformed into precious stones. This is why it is assumed that money went to businessmen while the Lakheras were left with just enough to make a living and feed themselves. 


According to the other myth, the dirt washed from the body of goddess Parvati, after she adorned herself with the 15 ornaments of a bride created the community. Lord Shiva, then created the Lac and asked the lakhera to make bangles for goddess Parvati in order to complete the “Solah Shringar”.

  

History of Jaipuri Lac Bangles

According to the history of Jaipuri Lac Bangles, it's essential to delve into the primary substance involved. Lac, a resin derived from insects, is a natural product widely used in food, furniture, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. The Caria lakka or lac insect, cultivated on trees like Dhaka, Plum, and Safflower is instrumental in lac production. Remarkably, lac's presence is traced back to ancient texts such as the Vedas, Mahabharata, and Shiva Purana, emphasizing its significance.


In the Mahabharata, a tale unfolds where King Duryodhana commissions a lac palace to eliminate the Pandavas, illustrating lac's flammability. However, the Pandavas outsmart the plot. Hindu Puranas narrate folklore associating lac bangles with Shiva and Parvati's marriage, initiating the tradition of married women adorning lac bangles.


The art of crafting lac bangles in Jaipur dates back to the city's foundation in 1727. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh-II's vision for Jaipur as a hub for trade and craftsmanship attracted artisans, including the Manihar community skilled in lac bangle making. This community, mainly comprising Muslims, migrated from Uttar Pradesh, bringing their craft to Jaipur's designated artisan neighborhoods.


Jaipur's urban planning, with distinct areas for various artisans, endures today. The "Maniharon ka Raasta" or the path of Manihars in Jaipur showcases the continuation of lac bangle craftsmanship, involving both male and female artisans. Men handle the furnace and bangle production, while women engage in selling and managing shops.


Design of Jaipuri Lac Bangles Online Availability

There are numerous designs of Jaipuri Lac Bangles Online. They are plain with a smooth surface and come in a variety of colors. Lac is sometimes used as a base to hold precious and semi-precious stones, as well as colored glass.


They also play with colors in stripes, primarily slanted ones. The designs change depending on the occasion. A bride's Bangles in Jaipur, for example, would be designed differently than those of an unmarried girl or a married woman. These are available in a wide range of sizes and are frequently custom-made.


Challenges Faced By Artisans

The availability of Lac has decreased due to deforestation, which led to the escalation of raw material costs. The lack of awareness has also led to the buyers expecting the products in the same prices. This has led to a decrease in demand and the number of outlets falling to around 200-250 in number from 1500 in the last few years. The craftsmen too have started to seek alternative professions with better returns.

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