Kandyan Lady

I love old photos! People and places revealing ‘the activity of the day’ of days long gone. Food for my imagination! The past looks like another world entirely.

The image of this beautiful girl is called ‘Kandyan Lady’ from well over a hundred years ago. That’s all I know of her and she will remain a mystery for now. I bought this photograph while rifling through the vintage photo collection at Plate, in search of clues to our jewellery history.

The Kandyan Lady was the first to grab my attention. Maybe it was the intensity of her eyes and the puffed white sleeve together with the layering of necklaces and bangles. She’s probably wearing heavy anklets, similar to other girls I’ve seen that seem typical of her day. Clearly from a high class or ‘caste’ as it were in those days.

Kandy was the last capital of the era of the ancient kings in Sri Lanka. It’s the second largest city and is located in the Central Province of the island. Maha Nuwara was named ‘Kandy’ by the British during colonial times and is still widely used.

I’ve heard stories about our great grandmothers decked in jewels. My own great grandmother had some clothing with buttons and decorations of small sapphires, rubies and pearls. I imagine they were fairly freely available in those days. Sadly we lost our collection. I have looked and so far found no books dedicated to the history of jewellery in ‘Ceylon’.

But I will continue my search!

I’ll be posting more images of the past. Those who love vintage images, stay tuned! Meanwhile lets enjoy the image of the young Kandyan Lady x

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