MEENAKARI – Tales of Art
India is known as a land of culture & heritage. A place where even a stone carries a story behind it, creating an era of civilization. It’s a place of vivid different form of art and handicraft, each place has its own form of expression, the flow continues from Kashmir’s Pashmina to Kanyakumari’s Stone Carving comprising the East and West. In between these different poles, many fascinating new things are seen and comes to life.
The journey of Banas starts from Rajasthan continuing through different steps to meet Ganga. The flow to reach this two passage has seen various culture and era. Rajasthan, a land of kings which beholds a glorious era of Rajput endowed with numerous invincible forts, well build palaces and rich culture. A magnificent desert state flourished and bloomed with full spirit and colors with poetry of forts singing the tales of bravery and vivid culture along with the rhythm of palaces royal life.
All these have been folded in the arms like a king safeguarding its heritage and making a sign of royalty and wellness. The desert coupled all the tradition together of color and art, giving birth to a form known as “Meenakari”. Meenakari is an Indian name was given to this art for Enameling, a versatile exquisite, art medium.
Going back to History Meenakari- an art form of coloring and ornamenting on a metal surface. Mina, A feminine form of “minoo” in Persian means Heaven. Originated as a Persian art of coloring was accepted widely by Greeks, Chinese, Russian and many more. Everyone has its own set of Individualities about the same.
Raja Man Singh of Amber found the Technique and Bought Persian craftsman from Lahore to Rajasthan back in 16th Century and gave the art a set of Indian Flavor and explicit look, the craft flourished under Mughal patronage. The close alliance of Mugal and Rajputs lead to the flourishing time of Meenakari. As the time passes by Jaipur became the hub for Meenakari and has its own distinctive way of the Champlevé enameling style, defined by its deep red color.
Back then Meenakari was an expression of Royalty and fierce integrity of the Rajput’s and high-class society, embellished with high-end diamonds, kundans, and various stones.
Kundan Meena jewellery was flaunted by Royals. It’s an amalgam of a jewelry style and art form which was incorporated together to give a special touch of freshness to a jewelry form. The jewelry pieces are usually a combination of two different arts which when placed together are two pieces fixing together to give a whole new pattern. A truly indigenous jewelry making craft, Meenakari has been in great demand with various experiments and different forms of the same. So, enchanted with the exquisite craftsmanship of the art, the jewelry piece says a story of its own, keeping an eye of perfection, a piece is well made from a glory that says about its culture.
Meenakari is just not confined to jewelry itself, it links to various products often with the copper base or marble base including bowls, vases, spoons, figures of deities, wall pieces and many more.
Changing times have impacted quite a lot in the jewelry making yet the essence of the art has always been kept in the mind to create a piece that symbolizing the originality of the art.
Demand has increased with growing range of consumers, giving an open platform for this art to be explored more and to provide more to the art form. In the era of modernization, this art form has been divided into different parts yet getting sew by a string of one single thing, that is its individuality of tradition.
Numerous different styles have been incorporated in the Meenakari work, giving it a new sense of style but always one thing was constantly being that the culture and tradition of the art aren’t hampered or vanished.
Various organizations have joined hands in keeping this art form alive, respecting its integrity of tradition and let the art flourish. A lavish form of art, meenakari has been appreciated world widely, by creating numerous different patterns of imitation jewelry & products from the same.
In its true magnificence and easy approachability, it keeps its crown high giving a taste of royalty.