Jewelry and Culture: What Do Accessories Symbolize?

Jewelry is one of the most used accessories by both men and women today. It is used as a way to enhance one’s appearance and make them look wealthy. That’s why when it gets damaged, people should immediately look for jewelry repair services in Salt Lake City or other nearby areas.

However, the importance of jewelry also differs depending on where you live. In certain cultures, it can have a significant meaning, while in others, it is essentially useless. Let’s take a look at the significance of jewelry in various cultures.

Japanese

Jewelry is one of the most common ways to display your wealth status for various cultures around the world. Japan, however, chose to use clothing in the past. It was evaluated based on how expensive the used cloth was and the tailoring’s level of expertise.

The accessories they used were hanging objects that were tucked into their waist sash, which also served as signs of wealth. Women also had hair accessories that featured designs based on nature. Most designs use flowers due to their delicate beauty.

Indian

Jewelry is significant in Indian culture. It is essential for ceremonial occasions. At weddings, the bride needs to wear various accessories that have specific meanings. Necklaces symbolize protection and prosperity, while ear ornaments represent the bride’s health.

All of its aspects hold meaning, from the type of jewelry to the metal used in creating. Gold is the most precious metal and believed to have the power of purification. Silver, meanwhile, is protection from magic. Copper signifies fertility and money. It is usually mixed with other alloys.

Jewelry also carries spiritual meaning, serving as a way to communicate with the gods and goddesses of Hinduism. Wearing jewelry with a particular deity’s design means that you are asking for protection and blessings from that deity.

African

Jewelry is incredibly relevant in African culture. However, the specific meanings can vary depending on the tribe. A common idea they all share is that jewelry represents wealth, status, and power. In some tribes, certain accessories can only be worn by the chief.

The composition of the jewelry can vary per tribe, as they only use the materials that are available around them. Some materials are animal bones, shells, or beads. Beads made with various components became especially popular later on.

African jewelry also holds religious and spiritual meaning. As the piece is made, the creator infuses it with their feelings, which is usually protection and good health. In some cultures, the wearer also affects the meaning of the jewelry they are wearing.

Egyptian

An amulet is the primary type of jewelry for Egyptians. Besides being a symbol of wealth and status, it also protects against evil spirits. This protection even extended to the afterlife, which is why the deceased was usually buried with various accessories.

The main focus of their jewelry is the precious stones used. The meaning of each stone varies depending on the color. Lapis lazuli signifies honor, wisdom, and royalty. Emeralds symbolize immortality and fertility, while obsidian denotes death.

Rings – signet rings, to be specific – were used for authentication before. After getting verified, documents were stamped with the official’s ring to signify acceptance. These rings were engraved with a specific family’s emblem and made to be unique for each individual.

Jewelry has various meanings for different cultures, but one thing can be said about them. To this day, they remain as symbols of wealth and power in our society.