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Nath and Nose Ring

Nose ring or Nath is a fashionable piece of jewelry.

The practice of piercing the nose with a ring or a stud date back centuries and has increased popularity over time.

Prominently associated with Indian culture and can found in IndiaPakistanBangladeshSri LankaNepal. As well as found in many other cultures including Poland, Australia, Africa, the Philippines. Today nostril piercing is popular worldwide with the spread of Indian fashion. For some a nose piercing is simply an ornament, while for others it is a religious practice. Historically in India nose piercings are worn by women only, however this iconic look can be seen on men and women.

Nose rings are positively associated with the Hindu religion. They are often worn by Hindu women more than any other faith in India. Typically, the left nostril is chosen for piercing. This is due to Ayurvedic medicine association.  Although Tamil women traditionally pierce their right nostril. In India, like many jewelry styles, Nath’s are regarded as a mark of beauty and social standing.  Many girls at an early age get a nose piercing to maintain their cultural identity by respecting traditions. Especially the warrior class from Rajasthan who follows their tradition very strictly.

History

The nostril piercing earliest records seen in the 1st and 8th century BCE in Ayurvedic texts the ancient medicinal texts of the Sushruta Samhita. Becoming popular in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Moghul emperors. Becoming a symbols of a woman’s marital status. It also was a display of economic status. Wealthy families wore Nath made of pearls, sapphire and kundan, while others wear those made of silver.

Seen in many religious text and art most famously the goddess Parvati who wears a nose ring. Notably the goddess Kanyakumari, whose temple is at the Southern-most tip of India, wears a Diamond Nath said to sparkle so brightly that it is visible from sea. Furthermore, well-known female deities like Kalba Devi of Mumbai or Kanaka Durga of Telangana also wear nose rings.

In the 20th century hippies traveling to India in search of spiritual enlightenment brought this fashion back to the United States.

Nose piercing has historically been strictly forbidden among many families of Kashmiris belonging to the Butt, Dar, Lone and Mir castes settled in Pakistan, as their ancestors associated nose piercing with people of menial descent in ancient Kashmiri society.

Bridal Nath

Nath piercings are often an integral part of Indian wedding jewelry. Although unlike the Mangalsutra it’s not only limited to married women. Typically, Indian widows usually remove their nose studs as a sign of respect

An essential part of a bride’s Shringaar as a way of honoring Devi Parvati, the Hindu goddess of marriage, brides are mostly seen wearing nose rings. Brides wear the nose stud or ring either on the left side or on both sides, and the ring is usually connected to the ear with a long chain of gold.  Once considered auspicious and as a mandatory marriage ornament by all Muslim brides

Health benefits

The nose ring is typically worn on the left side of the nose. This is because the ancient Indian natural medicine called Ayurveda. It is believed that since the nerves in the left side of the nose are connected to the reproductive organs in the female. Piercing that side of the nose can reduce the stress experienced during childbirth, as well as can relieve menstrual pain.

Superstitions

Believed that a married woman should not directly exhale air through her nostrils as it may have an ill effect on her husband’s health. Hence, she needs to wear a nose ring which will act as an obstruction to the air passing out of the nose.

Females or girls wearing a Nath are free from “vashikaran” meaning they are free from being seduced or controlled by others.

Spiritually nose piercing thought to heal woman after long traumatic injury or illness.

Different Types of Nath’s

  1. Laung Nath is shaped like a clove. The most common of the nose rings worn by married women in India, especially in Bihar.
  2. Shikharpuri Nath is a large hoop with different motifs on it. It does come with a connecting chain. Associated with Punjabi culture. Often worn by the bride and women of the house during a wedding ceremony.
  3. Nathni Nath is the lighter version of the same concept as Shikharpuri .This style is popular in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  4. Nathuri Nath worn by brides this is a small ring made of gold or silver set with a single semi-precious stones often worn by women in In Rajasthan.
  5. Brahmani Nath are rings decorated with pearls and emeralds. Often worn by women in Maharasthra.
  6. Nathuli Nath is a large ring made of gold and adorned with pearls. Often worn by women in Uttarakhand.
  7. Mukhuttis Nath are worn on both the sides of the nose which are simple studs in the shape of the lotus flower or swan.
  8. Motyanchi or Marathi Nath is a ring without piercing is a unique jewelry design of pearls with red and green gemstone. Traditionally a Maharashtrian Nath style design found mainly in the Marathi families.
  9. Oxidized Nathstyles have become more popular in modern times.
  10. Septum Nath goes in between nostril popular with Bengali

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