The Jewelry of Nepal, first edition, published 1999 by Weatherhill.
This stunning book was a labour of love for jewellery designer and goldsmith Hannelore Gabriel, who made 16 trips to Nepal's most inaccessible regions to research and document these vanishing jewellery forms.
Accompanied by her research assistant Jeevan Giri (pictured here, whose alertness and firm grip saved her from plummeting to her death on a mountain trail), she walked for weeks to reach remote villages, aligning trips with the lunar calendar in the hope of witnessing ceremonial festivals and documenting the jewellery in its cultural context. The result is as much an anthropological study as an artistic appreciation.
Indeed the jewellery is not just for adornment, but imbued with ancient symbolism and worn for talismanic and investment purposes, or to celebrate marriage, promote fertility and protect against evil spirits; gold, silver coins, glass beads, coral, turquoise, amber and agate abound.
The geographical and ethnic diversity of these regions is reflected in the dramatically varying styles, which are identifiable at a glance: the Tibetans favouring turquoise and coral, the Tharu silver and white metal, the shamans ritual shells, bells, seeds and potent amulets. The craftsmanship is masterful throughout.
Though for many centuries the remoteness of these Himalayan settlements served to protect them from external influence and modernism, in recent years the historical traditions, beliefs and craftsmanship of the indigenous people have been dying out. Gabriel’s work is a singular record and authoritative resource.
She dedicates it to the women of Nepal, who included her in their ceremonies and dressed for her photographs, some very wary of the camera, others feeling unworthy, or simply wanting to comb their hair first.
The Jewelry Of Nepal
- Product Code: Gabriel, Hannelore
- Availability: In Stock