N = Noa

Noa, or a bangle made of iron and gold, maybe considered the Bengali equivalent of the mangalsutra or the wedding ring. All married women are expected to wear this apart from the traditional white (shaka made of conch shells) and red (pola made of red coral) bangles. Seven married women slip these bangles on the bride’s hands on the morning of the wedding in an elaborate ceremony. Usually simple shaka pola are worn while gold work shaka pola are also available.

On the other hand (rather, for the left hand), the noa is gifted by the groom to his new bride upon her arrival at his home. In case the family is too poor to afford a gold bangle, the groom gifts an iron bangle to his bride. The noa is supposed to protect the bride from the evil eye and evil spirits. Like the mangalsutra, there are several exotic designs of the noa, with varying amounts of gold.

Most Bengali married women of today tend to forgo all symbols of the wedded status (yours truly included), yet they do continue to wear the noa. This is possibly because the noa looks like any other bangle and is available in several tempting unique and attractive designs!

Quote of the day: “Jewelry takes people’s minds off your wrinkles”― Sarah Phillips

So what do you think?

Wish you all a very happy and enjoyable weekend – will be back on Monday 🙂

PS: Interestingly, the word bangle originated from the Hindi word bangli or glass ring armlet and entered the English language between 1780-90.

PPS: For glimpses of exotic traditional Indian jewelry check out this site.

Edit: Just in case anybody is interested in knowing more about Bengali jewelry, please check out this site

Published by

Dahlia

Email me at mysilverstreaks@gmail.com or tweet me @mysilverstreaks

18 thoughts on “N = Noa”

  1. There is more to it. Coral, of course, comes from the sea. Red Coral aids conception and aids the mother’s bonding with the child. All coral help in nourishing blood cells and in retaining youth! Among many others, conch shells prevents skin disease, rashes and allergies. Spiritually it is said to awaken the soul from the slumber and work for their own well-being and for the welfare of others!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know this name. My in-laws call it a loha to this day, and I agree- its innocuous appearance doesn’t give it away as yet another symbol of marital bandage :). So I still wear mine.
    A shorter post that usual. Partying too much with friends, maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh!..they are made of iron(or gold)!…never taken a closer look…seemed like plastic to me 😀
    They look beautiful especially with the white saree with the red border (y)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are mixing it up – there are 3 types of bangle described here (albeit briefly and a bit overlapping – hence the confusion). Noa is the iron/gold one. While the white and red set of bangles which can be spotted from a mile are called Shaka (white) Pola (red) and look plastic and indeed at times maybe of plastic but are actually made of conch and coral respectively. You can check this site for more info and bengali jewelry http://www.indianblush.com/2012/11/traditioal-and-trendy-bengali-wedding.html

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Am not a jewelry person and I am not a wedding jewelry person at all.. In punjabi’s we wear Chura – a set of read and white bangles and its a huge ceremony as well .
    There are women who wear the chura for a year .. or even more .. though I could hardly wear it for some weeks.
    its interesting to see how various customs across ethnicities , overlap or converge..
    makes weddings quite a colourful and memorable affair..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Am not a jewelry person and I am not a wedding jewelry person at all.. In punjabi’s we wear Chura – a set of red and white bangles and its a huge ceremony as well .
    There are women who wear the chura for a year .. or even more .. though I could hardly wear it for some weeks.
    its interesting to see how various customs across ethnicities , overlap or converge..
    makes weddings quite a colorful and memorable affair..

    PS : I realized I wrote RED and read .. you know AtoZ is on our mind ..
    PSS : I loved the piece of trivia in your note about the origin of the word .. very interesting !

    Liked by 1 person

Go on - express yourself!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s