Makers And Techniques,Tradition And Transformation

Traditional Indian Jewellery demonstrates a great range of techniques,some  of which are unique to the sub continent,and which began to be transformed by contact with Europe in the nineteenth century.in the Indian system of hereditary castes or jati, which determine a persons occupation,goldsmith in northern Indian are knwn as sonar, svarnakar soni and similar words and tattan and other names in the Dravidian languages of south Indian. In much of th south,they are seen as one of five groups of artisans, kammallar or kammalans,the other four being workers in brass and copper,blacksmiths,carpenters and sculptors. Generally ths onar caste was hierarchically located faily hight with in the sudra group.fourth and lowest of the larger varna social categories,or with in the vaishya division above it. And its status and attributed ritual purity varied from region to region .goldsmith usually worked in gold and silver and other castes in base metals and other materials.however,the hereditary cast system was never entirely rigid and was becoming less so by the late nineteenth century.

The structure of the gold smith trade varied from village to city.some goldsmiths worked for middlemen,while others were independent. In cities the trade could be highly specialized,with different workers carrying out each stage of the work on a single ornament ordered from a jewellery dealer,while in villages the same goldsmith would execute all types of work. The numbers employed indicate the importance the jewellery trade.

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