When we were in Churu town of Rajasthan, we also planned to visit a shop of lacquer bangles and witnessed the process of making bangles out of lacquer, which is also known as ladh or lakh. This Photo Journey shares some of the photographs and videos created during the visit to the lacquer bangle shop.
Bangles are traditional ornaments which are worn mostly by women in India. Usually glass bangles are used by women in northern India and occasionally some fashionable bangles are used, which can be made up of lacquer. Bangles also have a very traditional value in Hinduism and are considered inauspicious to be bare armed for a married woman.Lacquer bangles are very popular in Rajasthan and Haryana states of India.
After a round of Havelis in Ramgarh, we came to Churu Market to do some shopping and mainly for buying some lacquer bangles. This was an intersting shop where a bangle artist was making bangles from lacquer by giving appropriate shapes using a long iron stick, burning coal and something to pat on the lacquer to shape it. Basically colorful lacquer is pasted around a stick and then it's heated to give it appropriate thickness and shape. He showed us the whole process of making Lacquer bangles. Don't miss out the video in the bottom of this post which shows the way he made some bangles for us.
It was exciting to see making of lacquer bangles in front of us and almost all of us preferred to buy the bangles which he was making at that point of time. Although girls grabed some of the other bangles which has painting or glass work on them. After shopping, idea was to visit a farm but we spent lot of time at this shop to see him making these bangles for us and we dropped the plan then. Just after this round in Churu market, we moved to our resort as a very special activity was waiting for us - Pabuji Ki Phad.
If you notice the bangles in above photograph, these are again lacquer bangles only but some colorful crystals are used to make it more colorful and designer. She is mother of the artist who was showing use Bangle making techniques.
Price of these bangles varies a lot. One of the factors that adds to the price of the bangles is the kind of artifacts or the work done further. What we bought were simpler ones with few designs which were done during the process of molding the lacquer. Other types of work on bangles include - embroidery or small glass pieces or paintings or even small hangings that are attached to the bangles. The rareness of a color and its unique value also increase the value. Bangles made from lac/lacquer are one of the oldest ones and among the brittle category too.
Bangles are part of traditional Indian jewellery for women. They are usually worn in pairs by women, one or more on each arm. Most Indian women prefer wearing either gold or glass bangles or combination of both. But lacquer bangles are preferred for some special occasions. Lacquer bangles are more popular among urban women, as many of the rural indian states prefer glass bangles over others due to some beliefs involved. Lot of fashion designers use lacquer made jewellery for their shows or clients.
Lac/Lacquer is clay like material which is molded in hot places to make these bangles and give appropriate shapes/designs. Among the recent entrants are the rubber bangles that are worn more like a wrist band by youngsters while the plastic ones are there to add a trendy look. But when in Rajasthan state of India, it makes sense to visit a small lacquer bangle shop and ask for bangles of your choice of design. Lacquer bangles are one of the best gifts from Rajasthan for your loved ones.