Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nath- nose ring

Nose piercing (well known as Mookuthi in the Southern Part of India, and as Nath in the northern states or Koka in punjabi) is a cult-like tradition in India.The nose and ear piercing dates back to vedic times on India and and the ear/nose piercing is a religious custom. The left nostril of Hindu girls as young as five years old is pierced. On the wedding night, the bride wears a Nath (Nose ring). The Nath is hooked by a chain to either the earring or hair. The bridegroom removes the Nath, symbolizing end of bride's virginity. A widow does not wear any jewel in the pierced nose. It is claimed that nose piercing decreases pain of menstruation and eases the child birth.

In those Vedic Times and era, apart from parents, it was considered that only maternal Uncle or husband can offer the gift of Nose ornamental jewellery to a woman; taking a gift of nose ring or nath or koka from any outsider, is considered to be an act of indiscipline. Such persons who receives gift of nose ring and nose steads (nath or mookuthi) from the strangers were, the one who served the Lord as Devadasis! (The women sect of a particular community who devoted their entire life to the Lords and Temples of their choice). 

Woman follow this tradition with the fervor of a cult even if they don't have their nostril pierced, or they may not be virgin. They would wear a clip-on Nath connected by a chain to a clip-on earring, just to be removed by the groom on the wedding night.
Nose piercing is to take place before the age of 5-7 years old. In those olden days, they simply used to put a golden wire for the children below the age of seven and later. Later, when they grow, they used to wear different type of Nose stead (Mukkuthi) of their choice and liking with many design, stone studded and or even plain gold made one. And there was/is no creamy layer for any class, caste or creed! And no reservations on this particular subject as it was / is a custom with every Hindu women to wear a Nath  (Mookuthi). However, depending on their wealth, they used decorate this ornament with costly jewels, precious stones and size. Almost all the Nath  (Mukuthi) were made of only in Gold. 

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