The Dejhore

The Dejhar or Dejhore:

The ‘dejhar’ are ear ornaments worn by the Brahman Pandit women living in Kashmir, Srinagar and Jammu. Their name has been derived from the words ‘Dejji’ meaning rhythmic movement and the ‘hor’ meaning a pair. These interesting pieces of jewellery are said to be given to the daughter by the father during her marriage.

The entire ‘dejhar’ ornament consists of a pair of pendants made of gold, red thread, gold chains and the ‘atah’. This ornament is said to be a ‘yantra’. Together, its parts are said to complete the yantra. The ‘dejhars’ are also said to represent Shiva and Shakti each.

The ‘dejhars’ can be worn through a hole in the concha region (pierce in a cartilage) of the ear. These pendants have a chain that passes through the concha. They fall and rest on the woman’s chest far below the shoulder level and sway with the woman’s movements.

The ‘dejhar’ is fairly difficult to adorn. In fact, it is very difficult to pierce the cartilage in adulthood which is why this piercing is performed in young girls at childhood itself in Kashmir.

The gold chain is called as the ‘atheru’ which has ‘dejhars’ (gold pendants) sustained from them. Initially the dejhoor are said to be suspended from red thread by the bride’s parents which are replaced with the ‘atheru’ after marriage by the in-laws. They also add a designer knot like structure below the dejhor which is known as ‘atah’ or ‘athoo’. The entire ornament is then said to be complete. Each dejhar has distinct shapes and interesting designs.

The old dejhars were made from pure sandalwood as they were said to be therapeutic to the body of the woman as it was said to aid fertility and lactation in women. The gold forms of the dejhars came up much later.

This truly striking ornament crafted with attention to design and detail is a real gem to observe. The ‘dejhar’ can be indeed stated as the culmination of tradition and sentiments translated into jewellery.

Picture credits: @malvikapriya

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