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  Wearing Art – Bhil Tribal Earrings

October 05, 2018 2 min read

Travel results in exposure. Exposure to the lifestyles of others. And to the Art within that lifestyle.

Exposure  results in desires.

Desires result in quests.

Quests can be classified loosely into 3 types:

a) Quests that continue all life long – waiting – unfulfilled.

b) Quests that lose their steam over time or more realistically over some new thought  that kills the attraction instantly.

c) Quests that end in the most fulfilling way possible: acquisition.


On my way out of Jaisalmer to a remote village some years ago, a beautiful settlement caught my attention and I went in with the driver.


Bhil Village, Rajasthan

This man saw us and seeing ‘outsiders’ he come to speak to us. He was very welcoming on behalf of his village and I took that chance to ask him about this and that and everything else.

Bhil Village, Rajasthan

I was struck by his earrings and he explained that these are modelled on a desert vegetable called ‘gokhru’ that has all kinds of benefits.


Bhil Village, Rajasthan

After a long happy chat, I left. But the visual of the earrings did not leave me.

The quest had begun.  Which of the three types was this one going to be?

I actively looked for these earrings for awhile but had no luck.

Did not find a single pair – old or new. Outside of that region, no one had even heard of this type.

And soon my quest faded away….

Until one day, years later I found these on the internet and recognised them visually. And eventually acquired them. Thus ended that quest.

It made me realise that ‘the journey is the reward’ – a much acclaimed quote by Steve Jobs is not always true.

Arriving at the destination was definitely sweeter than the journey of this quest! Holding it and doting on it and wearing it is far sweeter than seeking it …..

Few might see the 11 grams of gold as a treasure, but to me this remarkable masterpiece ismore valuable than a brick of 100 grams of 24 karat gold.

For in this piece, there are 3 things that money cannot buy – a lost art, age and a vanishing culture.

This piece is priceless!

May life be filled with more quests … fulfilled ones would be great but even unfulfilled ones will do just as well – for they give life a little edge, a little thrill and a little something to look forward to.


A very similar pair, dated 1853 may be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see page 76 of Nick Barnard’s book Indian Jewelry).

View more of this exquisite ornament – asset 1327- on WOVENSOULS.COM here. 



Jaina Mishra



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