The Tamil Iyengar community rituals have deep roots culturally and traditionally. The best place to see all three unite beautifully is at a wedding. Every ornament adorned by the bride herself is a walking showcase of what the Iyengar community proudly stands for, believes in and most importantly- wishes for. The headsets, in this case, is not only an ornament meant for visual beauty but has an important role.
Head Jewellery for Tamil Brahmin Iyengar Brides
Iyengar weddings are conducted by priests symbolising a tradition of a wedding between Lord Vishnu and Goddess Andal, a manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi. On the auspicious wedding day, the groom is seen as Lord Vishnu’s representation, while the Iyengar bride is dressed in a 9-yard madisar saree donning an Andal Kondai.
Since the wedding is symbolic, an Iyengar bride’s attire resembles that of Goddess Andal. To complete this look, the bride dons a hair bun on one side of the parting accessorizing it with gold and flowers. The traditional Andal Kondai has a bun on the base and a cone tucked into the side bun pointing the opposite direction. Precious stones, gems and pearls are used to stud this, making it a cute but elegant accessory to wear.
Netti Chutti: The netti chutti adorned by an Iyengar bride is more exquisite and elaborate than other communities in the South. Most commonly made out of ‘temple jewellery’ pattern, this borders the hair of the bride and make her look ravishing on her special day.
Chandran Suriyan: In most cases Chandran (Moon) and Suriyan (Sun) are confused to be linked along with the netti chutti, but these are separate pieces of jewellery that are also used to decorate the bride’s hair. Chandran is a cresent-shaped temple jewellery piece that is placed on one side of the netti chutti whereas Suriyan is a circle-shaped temple jewellery piece that is placed on the other side.
Kalyana Jadai: The jadai (extended hair) is made up of hair extensions (in case the bride has shorter hair) and a kunjalam, an ornament attached to the dead-end of plaited hair. In addition to these, the complete length of the jadai is decorated with temple jewellery sets that come in sets of 5, 7 or 9 which can be chosen based on the length of hair.
When the bride is dressed up in this traditional hairstyle, she looks like none other than Goddess Andal herself!