In late September we went to Cham! from Bhutan. Thirteen monks from the monastery fortress of Trongsa in central Bhutan perform the mesmeric ritual demon subjugation dances in public spaces in and around New York City. We went to the performance in Corona Park Queens.
It was an amazing experience but I am afraid it was very hard on the monks they are use to performing in an altitude of 10,000 feet and 40 degrees instead of the 80 degree temperature which NYC was enjoying that weekend.
So what does Cham have to do with jewelry design not a lot however on our way home to Brooklyn we stopped off at the Jackson Diner for great Indian food and exploring 74th street. Jackson Heights especially 74th street has many great traditional Indian jewelry shops. The workmanship is amazing and all the gold jewelry for sale is at least 18K if not 22K or even pure gold.
Indian gold jewelry is sold by weight which seems odd to Americans. When I asked about prices of a large filigree bracelet the clerk put it on a scale and calculated the price which was lower than I thought it would be but it was still more than I had. In a way traditional Indian jewelry is highly ritualized especially the jewelry worn by a Hindu bride which also functions as a dowry, it has both traditional significance as a part of the 16 adornments (Solah Shringar) which completes the bride’s wedding attire the and is also a commodity.