The relevance of Jewellery in Human Evolution: Why is jewellery so important to us?
As long as humans have been civilized, they have practiced adoring themselves with shiny objects. There is something about the rugged individualistic identity that we have that all but requires us to set ourselves apart from everyone. In pursuit of this search for identity, jewellery has been the tool we have used. And with a history of use going back over 100,000 years old, it’s definitely one of the oldest types of adornment we know of. Today, it’s pretty simple to type “german silver jhumkas online india”, wait, and it’ll just come to your door. But how did this innately human tradition start? What is the meaning that jewellery holds in our culture, and how has it changed over the years?
If these topics interest you, then read on, as we explore how it has impacted human culture, and it’s relevance in modern times, along with some interesting titbits along the way!
The History of jewellery
When we talk about jewellery, it is quite helpful to have some idea of how it has come about. As we have learnt from archaeological surveying, the earliest jewellery was made of shells, wood, and leather. Due to the relative rarity of these objects, coupled with the spiritual mindset of the people at the time, they attained deep meaning behind them, as a representation of the culture and beliefs of the people that made them. Craftsmanship evolved alongside, making these into ever more complex and beautiful pieces of adornment. With the discovery of precious metals, and the Iron Age, the form of jewellery evolved to include precious metals, and gems, but the symbolism remained. In India, oxidised silver earrings were especially popular. Today, while we use science and rationalist thought to explain much of our behaviour, jewellery still has some important functions in today’s society. Let’s see what they are!
Jewellery is a manifestation of your identity
The biggest reason people wear jewellery is to show others who they are. Whether it’s a married woman with a mangalsutra, or a young girl with a traditional choker necklace, jewellery is an intensely personal choice, and so reflects someone’s deeply held beliefs perfectly. Think about these pieces of jewellery, and what they say about the people that wear them. Wedding bands, engagement rings, a locket with somebody’s picture in it, and a piercing through the eyebrow. Did you not instantly make associations and impressions of the people that were wearing them? That is the power of jewellery!
Jewellery symbolises important events
As every Indian knows, one of the most important times of a child’s life is their first ear piercing, or Karnavedha. Apparently to make them receptive to the sacred sounds of the Vedas, it is an important rite of passage in children. Or think about the engagement ring a couple wears before their wedding. Or the mangalsutra that a married woman wears. What is common to all these pieces of jewellery? They demarcate important events in people’s lives. Even rappers and musicians wear important jewellery to show significant events in their life! Bappi Lehri, anyone?
As a practical storage of value
Due to the usage of precious metals and gems in the making of premium jewellery, they are extremely expensive, but also hold their value very well. In fact, some even appreciate in value over time, especially as they cross the line between new and heirloom. In addition, over the years they also develop sentimental value to the owner, or owners, if they are passed down multiple generations. This further reinforces their value, and in fact their identity.
As you can see, far from being just an afterthought to one’s appearance, jewellery is a fundamental part of the human experience. Just like magpies and crows, the shiny appeal of jewellery is universal across the cultures of the world, and is not going away any time soon. Join in the fun, and buy some Indian traditional jewellery online, and enjoy making it part of your unique style! Fun!