I traveled to Jhabua last year for Bhagoria festival. On an evening stroll, we went to an artist shop who makes these micro bead jewelry in vibrant colors. Now I have seen this in many modern jewelry shops across India. And was surprised to know that it is made in remote villages in tribal belts of India.
Designs and color schemes of the bead jewelry here were pretty contemporary and inviting. There were sets, bangles, ear rings and bold multi-colored bracelets.
Micro Bead Jewelry of Jhabua.
On second thoughts I knew that plastic beads can not be a part of native culture. They must have come to this region as part of a skill development. Or employment generation initiative that the women of this region have well adapted to. Though when I asked this to the artist, he said the workers in his workshop had been working on this kind of jewelry ever since he remembers. A friend who works with a design institute later informed me that many NGOs and design institutes have been working with the artisans of Jhabua to design jewelry and other items that can be sold to urban consumers. Jhabua dolls that are made of cloth are also very famous. And many artists who make this bead jewelry also make Jhabua dolls. Most of these artisans work from home but have accolades accumulated from around the country.
I did pick up a very unusual black with multi-colored bead jewelry piece. Now I am looking for an occasion to wear the same…
Recommend you to read following blog posts on tribal festivals of Madhya Pradesh on my travel blog.