Book Review


Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India

Waltraud Ganguly

Ear ornaments always held a significant place in the jewellery of the Indian’s. As unique works of art, they bear religious or symbolic content. This new meticulously researched book is a comprehensive documentation of the enormous treasure of old style ethnic Indian earrings.

Dr. Waltraud Ganguly, the German author, who is married to an Indian, conducted extensive fieldwork over a time of more than ten years, gathering authentic information and rare photographs of traditional earrings and their wearers, still to be found in villagers and remote areas including northeast India. 170 specific earrings types with numerous subtypes have thus been collected and are now presented in this unusual book.

In the introductory part, a general survey shows the historical connections of contemporary pieces with earrings forms of ancient Indian sculptures and archeological finds, as well as with designs of the ancient Mediterranean area.

Other fascinating themes of the first part of this book : the significance of earrings for identification , investment and medical purposes; the evolution  of the different earring shapes from their natural models ; piercing and the medical aspects of wearing earrings; earrings for men; old and new-original and fake.

The earrings with their multiple subtypes are listed according to each province in the catalogue part. Each piece is subtype illustrated and represented with a detailed description of its origin, particular history and technical features.

This book is essential for all those interested in ethnic Indian jewellery, as well as those reflecting on the cultural, social, historic and technical aspects of traditional earrings.

Orders to:

BRPC (India) Ltd

4737-A/23, Main Ansari Road

Darya Ganj

New Delhi – 110002

Tel: +91-11-23259196, 23259648

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.