The Significance Of Tibetan Jewelry…

The Significance Of Tibetan Jewelry

One of the most fascinating things about Tibet is the women and the jewelry they wear. It’s sort of a subtle curiosity, but if you go there you’ll notice they wear many pieces – coral, emerald, gold, silver, and jade. Jewelry plays a huge role in the culture of Tibet, with a long and rich history among its people. They value their jewelry for its rich symbolism.

Often made by skilled local craftsmen, Tibetans are known to be great silversmiths, with artifacts dating to 600 A.D. Although most of the time they were working with copper.

These precious metals were then adorned with stones native to the region, predominantly turquoise and coral – stones that carried deep symbolism for the Tibetan people. Semi-precious stones were also used including amber, jade, garnet, lapis lazuli, amethyst, and others, each with their own healing properties that were highly coveted. Yak bone was also used, an animal Tibetans consider to be sacred. The wearing of lavish jewelry was a common part of Tibetan dress and was deeply rooted as a symbol of spirituality – a showing of great honor and closeness to Buddhist gods, who are depicted with abundant gold crowns and jewels. Many also believe that by wearing fine pieces of jewelry brings them protection from evil spirits.

Tibetan women wear the wealth of their family as a sign of their position and pride. Tibetan women wear the wealth of their family as a sign of their position and pride. From all the simple and dull colored cotton shorts and shifts of the Nepalese, the Tibetan women stood out like living, breathing holy temples lavished with gifts from their parishioners.

Handmade Astral Protection Bracelet, from Tibet.

These Symbols are also Common to Tibetan Jewelry:

Auspicious Symbols: There are eight auspicious symbols in Tibetan thought that teach Buddhist principles to the people in a form that is easily remembered.

Mantras: The most common mantra is “Om Mani Padme Hum,” which means “The Jewel Lotus Flower within the Heart” And connects the wearer to the universe. This is believed to contain the essence of Buddha’s teachings.

Om: The om symbol is the sound of the universe. It has great significance to Buddhists and Hindus.

God Beads (Dzi beads): Dzi beads date back to 1000 B.C. and are believed to be capable of driving away evil spirits and protect against natural catastrophes.

The ornate jewelry of Tibet is one the region’s most culturally defining elements and is appreciated across the globe, especially in America. Their choice in materials and expert craftsmanship are almost always second to none, and bring out the ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ from those that get a closer look.


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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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