Jewelery reflected not only the owner’s personal wealth, but also social and political status, whether worn by noblewomen or government officials, as well as the ancient cultural values of Hinduism and Buddhism. Gems and jewelery often served as metaphors for ideals of the faith, and Himalayan deities were lavishly adorned. Until now, much of the information on this jewelery has been derived from accounts by Western travelers or Tibetans in exile—a lack of archaeological and literary evidence and recent political upheaval having prevented a proper study. This book offers an introduction to the subject, exploring issues of adornment and iconography, materials and manufacture, and how jewelery was defined and appreciated in the Himalayas. It is illustrated with examples of the gold jewelery produced in the region in recent centuries.
Jane Casey Singer