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Hair ornament (jadai-hu)
Karnataka, 19th century
Acc. No. 94.85
The hair ornament (jadai-hu) is crafted from sheet gold worked in beautiful repoussé. The hollow units are filled with lac and backed with silver. The round jewel on top symbolizes the sun and is worn on top of the head. Below that is the diamond-shaped screw-pine flower (thazhampu -  Pandanus odoratissimus) decorated with flowers and vines, below that is the hooded cobra (nagar) and then the tapering v-shaped units that rest on the braid each decorated with a Shiva lingam, rearing beasts and foliage. The jewel ends in a tassel. The finely detailed  repoussé work executed in sheet gold is a hallmark of the goldsmith of this region.