Evidence of history in South Asian design culture

Design culture presents the relation between realms of design practice and production in everyday life. It deals with the objects and network that helps in shaping and reproducing them. History is quite evident in the design culture as it reflects back the evolution of the object and culture that develops around it .

In the case of temple jewellery , These were once used to adorn gods and goddesses in the temples , so is the name. Then they made a comeback and is largely popular among the ladies. The dynasties of Krishnadeva Raya , Chola , Pandya were the connoisseurs of the jewellery crafting . It is told that during the Chitrai festival, they offered the jewellery to the deities as offerings. Later, Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancers began to wear them for performances. In today’s time, it is a huge fashion statement for female in southern India. Earlier the motifs usually were of god and goddesses. But with the change in time and purpose, elements of nature have also been included. Initially, each piece of the ornament was made by hand from molding to filling and finishing. However, with the advancement of technology, jewelers are opting for machines in steps like filling and polishing.

In the Vedic times, Mortar and pestle was used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines. During the 11th and 12th century, this was used as a grinder in the paddy yielding areas. It is a round shaped stone with a pit in the middle of it and a stone for grinding, generally made for the house floors. From the 1900s, an alternative to stone was found. People began to make it from cement. There wouldn’t have been a Indian kitchen without a stone grinder. It was considered one of the most important kitchen devices. the rice and pulses used to make food. In the south, the grinder was also associated with wedding ceremony where the groom places foot of the bride on it. Due to diverse social, economic and regional conditions, the material of the mortar began to change according to the availability and the location. Granite was used to make the mortar and pestle in the northern region while limestone or jade was used in the southern region. . With newer technology and machinery, Electric wet grinders were invented making the grinding process easier.

Gajra is a garland of flowers typically worn by women from south Asia for festivals, weddings or with everyday attires. It is an ornament to deck the hair and not to support the bun made. Gajras have been there from centuries decking the hair of women from day to day attires. The gajras are considered an important accessory and part of ‘Solah Shringaar’ .In the olden days ,Gajra was worn on wedding. The bride’s hair was tied in a tight bun and adorned with Jasmines. Jasmines were considered auspicious and the strong fragrance lasted throughout the day. Today, Gajras are mostly worn by classical vdancers and on regular festive occasions. Gajras now are also made with rose buds, chrysanthemum along with the old jasmine. Initially, Gajras were preferred in white, but with the course of time, yellow and red gajras are also preferred today. Plastic and even gajras made of cloth also are worn today due to the lack of availability of the flowers.