Sunday, 9 August 2015

Rajputi jewellery: 'Rakhdi', 'Sheeshphool' / 'Sheeshpatti' and 'Khaancha'

'Rakhdi' (also known as 'borla' or 'bor') is hair jewellery worn by Rajputs. It is a round piece of jewellery which is worn at the centre of the forehead, at the hairline as shown below. A thread or string is attached to the jewellery which is pinned and tied to the hair.

Rakhdi jewellery
Source: Pinterest

'Sheeshphool' Along with rakhdi, additional headgear or jewelled head band is worn known as 'sheeshpatti' or 'sheeshphool' (see image below).

Woman wearing Rakhdi and Sheeshphool
Source: Pinterest

Two or more sheeshphools are also worn with the Rakhdi as shown below:

Woman wearing two sheeshphools with a Rakhdi
Note that sheeshphools are detachable headbands worn at least an inch away from the hairline
Source: Pinterest 

The terminology for the headband can be a bit confusing as 'sheesh' (hindi term for head), phool (hindi term for 'flower') should ideally denote the round rakhdi itself and not the hairband. On the other hand 'patti' means 'band' so 'sheepatti' literally means 'head band'. However, 'sheeshphool' and 'sheeshpatti' are interchangeably used to denote the headband itself.

Difference between 'mang teeka' and 'rakhdi': A mangteeka is a flat headpiece and not a round ball like 'rakhdi' which can be worn in place of Rakhdi. See image below:

Juhi Chawla wearing a Mangteeka
Rajput women prefer Rakhdi to Mangteeka

Difference between 'sheeshpatti' and 'mathapatti': As explained above, 'sheeshpatti' literally means headband. So it is worn over the head but further from the hairline - the hairline is clearly visible as it is worn an inch further from the hairline over the head. However, the more popular 'mathapatti' is a band covers the hairline itself as shown in the image below.

              Woman wearing Mangteeka and Mathapatti
        Rajput women prefer Rakhdi and Sheeshphool to Mathapatti and Mangteeka

Rajput women generally wear rakhdi and sheeshpatti and hardly wear 'mang teekas' with / without 'mathapattis'.

'Khaancha' jewellery: However, a variation of mathapatti which adorns the rakhdi (and not a mang teeka) is known as 'khaancha'. 'Khaancha' literally stands for 'container to maintain shape' and is attached to the rakhdi (unlike mathapatti and sheeshphool which are detachable). It adorns the rakhdi as shown below:

'Khaancha' jewellery attached to the Rakhdi
Source: Blogger (Rajasthani jewellery blog work)

Rajput woman wearing Rakhdi with Khaancha and Sheeshphool

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