‘Badaga Jewellery’

Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added

Do not forget to see the pages [links] shown on the right like Hattis, Hethai, Rare photos, Recipes etc >>>> for more of BADAGA –>–>–>–>–>–>



This website is dedicated to the memory of the Great Badaga Leader

Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder

<h2 style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://badaga-jewellery.blogspot.com&quot; target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Badaga Jewellery</span></a></h2>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://badaga-jewellery.blogspot.com&quot; target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="color: #0000ff;">[click here for a different view of the information on this page] </span></a>
<strong><span style="font-family: Arial;">Badagas, especially the women, have some exotic and unique jewellery that they wear on their person.</span></strong>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><strong>It</strong> <strong>was a chance but a wonderful meeting with Mrs.Gangamma, aged 78 years, daughter of Karibajja Kari Gowder of Pedduva Kallatti who was associated with Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder ('Ari Gowda koottuda maathu adile, Koodi ebba ella bae muchindu unnippa ortara endu appa hegina', she remembers ] and wife of late Kari Gowder of Kerben Village (Kotagiri) who passed away about 40 years back, at Mettupalayam in Feb,2007. </strong></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><strong>She was wearing traditional Badaga Jewllery – ‘Mookkuthi [nose ring] & Chinna [ear ring]’ which made me ponder and wonder about Badaga Jewellery and offered me the opportunity to take her snaps with these unique ornaments. </strong></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><strong>To my great pleasure, she also has the typical tattoo on her forehead called ' ASALU /ASILU ' a tradition which is completely extinct now. She told me that the tattooing was done when she was twelve by her mother. The soot at the bottom of mud pots used for cooking in those days, was scrapped on the rim of a silver finger ring and the circular impression was first made on her forehead before being ‘pricked’ with a needle, she says. </strong></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><strong>“ Madekkeya pitti eendhu masiya belli ungaradhoge ujji nethiga haakki , adu mele soonjiya kuthidha awai. Appara urichidhamane krichi butte..adutha asilu ollagenge kuthule” ( The black soot from the bottom of a mud pot is scrapped on the rim of a silver finger ring and an imprint is made on the forehead, over which mother would 'tattoo' with a needle. Since it hurt a lot I cried out in pain and Mom did not prick deeper and hence the tattoo is lighter).</strong></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><em>[Thurston (Some marriage customs in South India) : {In the olden days} The tattooing of the forehead indicates that the Badaga girl of the Nilgiris is available for matrimonial purposes]</em></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><em> </em></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span class="a"><span style="color: #008000;">The following motifs of forehead & hands given below can be found in <a title="Badaga tattoo" href="www.hesseltvandinter.com/downloads/spreads.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.hesseltvandinter.com/downloads/spreads.pdf</a> </span></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span class="a"><a title="tattoo3.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/tattoo3.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/tattoo3.jpg&quot; alt="tattoo3.jpg" /></a></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><a title="Hasilu" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/hannikore-hethe-asilu.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" src="/files/2007/04/hannikore-hethe-asilu.thumbnail.jpg" alt="Hasilu" /></a></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><a title="g-h-tattoo-asilu.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/g-h-tattoo-asilu.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/g-h-tattoo-asilu.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="g-h-tattoo-asilu.jpg" /></a></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><a title="g-h-tattoo-asilu.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/g-h-tattoo-asilu.jpg">Notice the two rings and dots in the center of th forehead</a></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin: 0;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;">It is with a great sense of honour I present her pictures to high light the jewellery on her person. Thank you Gangamma Hethe !</span><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000;"><a title="gangamma-hethai-78-of-kerben1.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/gangamma-hethai-78-of-kerben1.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/gangamma-hethai-78-of-kerben1.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="gangamma-hethai-78-of-kerben1.jpg" /></a></span></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">The main ornaments are the nose ring called ‘ MOOKUTHI ‘ and the ear ring known as 'CHINNA' . Chinna , literally means gold but usually refers to ear rings. The type shown above is worn both by men and women. Of course, the ' BELLI UNGARA ' [silver finger ring] has a special place in Badaga tradition and considered to have medicinal / health benefits. On the occasion of death, silver finger rings form part of a ritual of 'decorating the dead'.</span></strong></p>
<strong>Usually a pair of silver rings are worn on the same finger.</strong>

<a title="belli-ungara.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/belli-ungara.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/belli-ungara.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="belli-ungara.jpg" /></a>

<strong><span style="color: #ff0000;">Photo above : Late Janaki Akka of Hubbathalai. She was very jovial and was always there to help out in any emergency. She was quite close to me and had given a lot of imputs about our culture. She passed away in Aug 2007. May her soul REST IN PEACE !</span></strong>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="g-hethai-nose-ear-rings.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/g-hethai-nose-ear-rings.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/g-hethai-nose-ear-rings.jpg&quot; alt="g-hethai-nose-ear-rings.jpg" width="400" height="300" align="middle" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="badaga-nose-ring.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/badaga-nose-ring.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/badaga-nose-ring.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="badaga-nose-ring.jpg" /></a> <a title="badaga-ear-ring-chinna-copy.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/badaga-ear-ring-chinna-copy.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/badaga-ear-ring-chinna-copy.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="badaga-ear-ring-chinna-copy.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="chinna-kothibenhethai.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/chinna-kothibenhethai.jpg"><img src="/files/2007/04/chinna-kothibenhethai.thumbnail.jpg" alt="chinna-kothibenhethai.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Perhaps, it would be an interesting topic to research why Badagas have chosen these two particular designs for nose and ear rings that have not undergone any changes in ages. Is it due to their simple but very beautiful get up or are there some great hidden stories?</span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Badaga women also [used to] wear a kind of <em>chocker called </em>“ SARATTADI “ that is a short chain around the neck with a biggish pendant. Then, of course is the ‘ SERUPPINIGE ‘ a silver necklace / chocker.</span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Courtesy Mr.Karia Gowder of Nattakal Village, I could take some pix of Seruppinige, Mani Maale, Sippu Bae etc, which are produced below :</span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="seruppinige-with-pendent.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/seruppinige-with-pendent.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/seruppinige-with-pendent.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="seruppinige-with-pendent.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong>Seruppinige </strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="mani-maalai-copy.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/mani-maalai-copy.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/mani-maalai-copy.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="mani-maalai-copy.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;">Gubbe (Maale) Mani</p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="sippu-bay.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/sippu-bay.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/sippu-bay.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="sippu-bay.jpg" /></a> <a title="bae-dsigns-copy.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/bae-dsigns-copy.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/bae-dsigns-copy.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="bae-dsigns-copy.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;">Kadaga – Sippu Bae with their unique designs</p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">The other long chain with silver beads is GUBBIGE MANI . There are also 'KAASU MAALE, KUSURU & KOLU SERUPPINIGE'.</span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><strong>The picture of a Badaga woman [dark blue blouse – left extreme] was taken by late Chantal Boulanger-Maloney [she was a social anthropologist specializing in Indian culture and I thank her husband Peter Maloney for permitting me to use it. You can see more pictures on Badaga by Chantal in her </strong></span><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: Arial; color: #008000;"><a href="http://www.cbmphoto.co.uk/"><span style="color: #24355d;"><strong>website</strong></span></a> [other pics are by me – Bellie Jayaprakash]</span><strong>. </strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong>The next pix is that of Mrs.Gowri wife of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder and to its right is Mrs. Nanji wife of Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder and mother of Ari Gowder. On the right extreme is Lakshmi Hethai from Chinna (Ooru) Hubbathalai. These pictures are chosen to show the ' SARATTADI '.</strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong> </strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="text-align: center; margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><a title="baddu-jewel.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/baddu-jewel.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/baddu-jewel.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="baddu-jewel.jpg" /></a> <a title="laxmi-ag-with.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/laxmi-ag-with.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/laxmi-ag-with.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="laxmi-ag-with.jpg" /></a> <a title="nhethaiwith-sara2.JPG" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/nhethaiwith-sara2.JPG"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/nhethaiwith-sara2.thumbnail.JPG&quot; alt="nhethaiwith-sara2.JPG" /></a></span></strong><a title="laxmihethai-3.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/laxmihethai-3.jpg"><img src="/files/2007/03/laxmihethai-3.thumbnail.jpg" alt="laxmihethai-3.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">The bangle or rather bracelet around the wrist is known as ' KADAGA ' or ' CHIPPU BAE ' and the thick flat armlet just above the elbow made out of gold or silver is ' BAE .</span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><a title="kundha-037.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/kundha-037.jpg"><img src="/files/2007/04/kundha-037.thumbnail.jpg" alt="kundha-037.jpg" />      </a><a title="kadagakothibenhethai.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/kadagakothibenhethai.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/kadagakothibenhethai.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="kadagakothibenhethai.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;">When I took this picture of Kothiben Hatti Laxmi 'Karuppi' Hethai on 09-04-07 and mentioned that the photo has come out well, she mentioned with a great sense of humour, ' potto olange bandu ena maaduva, utti enbudhu tha kappu edhaga -what is the point in photo being good, I was born dark'. Thank you Kothiben Karuppi Hethe, it was wonderful meeting you !</p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><a title="kadaga2.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/kadaga2.jpg"><img src="/files/2007/04/kadaga2.thumbnail.jpg" alt="kadaga2.jpg" /></a> <a title="badaga-jewellery-kadaga.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/badaga-jewellery-kadaga.jpg"><img src="/files/2007/04/badaga-jewellery-kadaga.thumbnail.jpg" alt="badaga-jewellery-kadaga.jpg" /></a></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Then, there are the anklets called ‘ GOLASU ‘ for girls and ‘ GAGGERE ‘for boys.</span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"> </span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong><span style="font-size: xx-small; color: #ff0000;"><a title="ode-darae.jpg" href="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/ode-darae.jpg"><img src="https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/ode-darae.thumbnail.jpg&quot; alt="ode-darae.jpg" /></a></span></strong></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;">N Bellie of Achenakal writes to mention about <strong>HODETHARA,</strong> a chain worn around the hip of a year old baby on the occassion of <strong>MANDE BEESUVA</strong> [head shaving] ceremony.</p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0;"><strong>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Given below is this rare photo of Mrs. Gauri Ari Gowder, wife of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder,and the eldest daughter in law of Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder, then the ‘uncrowned king of Nakku Betta’, was taken some 80/90 odd years back on her wedding day. Probably, she was the first Badaga woman to dress up in a saree for the wedding. She died very young (less than twenty) after delivery of her second female child – the epitome of beauty. Unfortunately, the baby also did not survive. The photo is given here to high light the badaga jewellery she was wearing.



The photo [from Prof : P.Hockings’ book] below is about 100yrs old. See the Jewellery



No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the written permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)


Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com




Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash’s other website from the heart for some ‘light’ reading


Click to listen to this beautiful Badaga Song


13 responses to “‘Badaga Jewellery’

  1. fantastic


  2. Anand Rajbelli

    Great collections Uncle.Hat’s Off


  3. Sureshkumar

    Great work on creating a website, Its just amazing to see our community on web…Mind blowing ….Good initiative…



    appara super.WONDERFUL JOB
    keep up the good work…


  5. Satheesh Nagulan

    This is great. I don’t have any words to explain that how i feel. I haven’t seen this before. I don’t have any idea about our jewellery and clear idea about our history. You’ve done a great job.







  8. rakesh babu

    there are more to learn


  9. manju rajesh

    appara olliya ghelacha maadithi………keep it up….
    innu niraya hattiya sethile ollange attara…….


  10. Realy very nice(hettaia bangarava nodudhuga appara ollenge adathe).


  11. Magesh Chandran

    Its really amazing…


  12. lovely………………


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