Thursday, February 15, 2018

Malayalee Heirlooms

On my last trip to India, I ended up at an aunt's place and in the course of conversation, she started pulling out the bric a brac that she had rescued from her grandmother's home (where she grew up). The house was being torn down after her grandmother died and it was a free for all for the contents of the house. By the time my aunt showed up, all the large items had been carted away and she tried to grab a couple of things before they too disappeared.

Below is what a newlywed woman would wear around her ankle from her wedding day till the day she gave birth to her first child
The one pictured is solid copper and weighs in at at least 5 kg. My aunt said that the wealthy had them forged in silver or gold. The custom is long past but it was practiced till the turn of the 20th century. Quite a weight to carry around. I guess it would push one to pop out the first kid sooner than later.

Shown below, what now is being used as a flower vase, is actually a receptacle to spit the remnants of chewing tobacco.
It would be carried by a servant when the master would go somewhere. And whenever, the master needed to spit his tobacco juice, the servant would run up to provide the vessel to catch it. Talk about a shitty job.

I think I need to find the names for these two things.

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