Traditionally in India, every limb of a woman’s body is honored and adorned.
Jewelry was the gift of protection and praise of woman.
Visit site at: www.nakarali.com
Our ‘Vintage Collection’ contains rare and nearly extinct silver jewelry worn by the tribal, gypsy and nomadic casts of Northern India. Each museum quality piece tells a story …
Coming from small villages of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Orissa, the pieces have been worn for generations by tribal women as they wandered the deserts, tended their herds through the seasons, worked in rock mines and raised their children. The tradition of wearing wealth in jewelry is a part of nomadic and gypsy life in Northern India.
In our ‘Contemporary Collection’ are original designs based on traditional tribal and gypsy jewelry featured in the ‘Vintage Collection’. We specialize in unique silver body adornment that has been scaled to practical street wear size, including: Earrings, necklaces, bracelets for wrists and upper arms, nose pins, tikas, anklets and belly chains.
Rajasthan, is known throughout history as ‘the land of kings’. The opulence of great Maharajas who built up their kingdoms here in the desert land of India, was known far and wide. Rajasthan’s location in the North West, made it an interesting point of fusion with Islamic culture that made its way into India as early as the 7th century. Rajasthan is home to many of India’s last nomadic and tribal castes. The culture of such traditional people is still popularly celebrated in the music and dances of the region. It is widely known that the Gypsy people of Europe originate from this area and took with them the essence of the Indian nomadic spirit.
Rajasthan is also known as having one of the world’s richest supplies of silver as well as skilled craftsmen. Here our Contemporary Collection is hand made by artisans who have family lineages that span nearly 800 years of direct apprenticeship. Today the tools and secret techniques are quickly being abandoned due to a new trend in imitating western jewelry designs. Nakarali works with these artists, creating a source to nurture the dying traditions in Indian jewelry design.
The Indian jewelry aesthetic is such an important symbol, that the Gods themselves wear jewelry draping their entire forms. Much of India’s gold and silver resources go to ornaments worn by deities in the temples. Similarly, women have been adorned throughout history in a way specifically related to the ornamentation of divine figures. At the time of marriage, the newly wed couple are given kilos of precious jewelry to secure a fruitful union. The type of jewelry people wear also identifies their caste, if they are married or unmarried women, from the city or countryside and the religious sect to which they belong. Jewelry is the most important security for nomadic people and is often traded in for cash when the need arises. Silversmiths are traditionally the banks of rural India, even giving loans and payment plans. When old designs are traded to these silversmiths, they typically melt the silver down and create new designs from the raw material. It is here that we intercept and find our collection of vintage and antique silver jewelry before it goes to the melting pots.
Nakarali is a collaboration of two world class dancers dedicated to tribal cultures and arts. Colleena Shakti and Carolena Nericcio are the curators of Nakarali’s delectable silver collections. They have teamed up to combine their expertise and offer very specifically chosen aesthetic and ornamentation.
Nakarali is for these artists, another vehicle to transmit the vision of each of their life’s work:
To appreciate a tribal way of thinking, which is more in touch with nature, traditional values and communal awareness and that we find present in traditional aesthetics arts.
The mission of Nakarali is to nurture dying jewelry traditions of India, engage in creative collaborations with jewelry artisans from lineages of Rajasthan, celebrate the culture of rural tribal and nomadic people and offer exquisite adornment which honors the female form.
Nakarali is the evolution of what started as a personal collection that Colleena began to acquire over nearly a decade of her travels through remote villages of North India.
Colleena Shakti ~ Jewelry Designer / Story Collector
Colleena Shakti, original proprietress of Nakarali and internationally renowned dancer, lives in Rajasthan, India where the company is partially based. Her heart and soul is attached to the folk music, dances and people of remote and desolate places in Rajasthan. She has lived closely with a tribe of Kalbeliya Gypsies for nearly a decade and performed dance throughout India with them. Through her extensive travels with Rajasthani Gypsy people, she has learned in depth about the traditions of silver jewelry worn by different castes of nomads, musicians and snake charmers.
From her love of tribal people, Colleena has gained access to remote villages, silversmiths and traders in India. She has built an exquisite collection of antique silver jewelry and developed a careful eye for detail in traditional styles that she reproduces. Colleena is designer and collector of all Nakarali jewelry, as well as the storyteller who represents the beautiful cultures from where the jewelry comes.
Carolena Nericcio is a name synonymous with Tribal Style as we know it in American subculture today.
An early fascination with permanent body adornment lead the 8-year old Carolena to request her Father, a collector himself, to buy a ring she could ‘wear always and not take off’. This concept evolved into the study of folkloric textiles, a body full of tattoos and a collection of jewelry and textiles from around the world.
The discovery of belly dance led to the creation of her own dance style, American Tribal Style Belly Dance (ATS). It’s movements are inspired by folkloric dances of the Middle East and India. Aesthetically ATS is based on the richness of textiles and jewelry from North Africa and India. ATS is a method of improvisational choreography, using a vocabulary of natural movements and cues allowing the dancers to communicate via gesture when dancing together. The effect is a vibrant thread drawing the audience into the tapestry.
Her troupe, FatChanceBellyDance, is a Bay Area phenomenon that has become known around the world. The majestic costuming, including full headdresses and layers of ethnic jewelry, celebrate folk art of the old world. The music, a carefully chosen collection of both traditional sounds and modern fusion adds the effect… Tribal Style looks “old” but it is actually “new.”
The worldwide popularity of ATS led Carolena to create a substantial series of DVDs bringing the instruction, performance and inspiration for the dance to an global community. Musical CDs were also created in collaboration with renown artists. Through ATS, audiences are exposed to the music, textiles and jewelry of culture of Nakarali.
Currently Carolena directs FatChanceBellyDance at their studio and resource center in San Francisco, CA. She masterminds the business side of Nakarali with the same aptitude that lead to her immense success as a breakthrough dance enterprise. Nakarali is a way to continue communicating the messages in her dance form, through a collection of wearable art that represents the tribal essence.
To learn more about Carolena and her work, please visit: www.FCBD.com