Kemps And Kanchipurams


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Kemps And Kanchipurams

The deep hue called arakku has an everlasting impact on south Indian culture. A shade created by mixing deep red and mild-brown this traditional color has been an integral part of wedding traditions. Arakku can often be found in Kanchipuram silk sarees and kemp jewelry.

The name of the kemp stone originated from the Telugu word kemp or kempu which means red. Minute red stones paired with a gold base make the traditional kemp jewelry. Kemp Jewelry and Kanchipuram silk sarees have been a classic combination ever since the era of rajas and royalty. This tradition started when dancers started pairing these fine crafted Vadassery kemp stone jewelry with their Kanchipuram silk saree draped in dance costume style for their dance performances in the temple. Ever since then, this classic combination has stood the test of time.

Kanchipuram silk sarees have always been famous for their rich color combination. Colors like Arakku ( deep red), Maavilai pacchai ( mango leaf green),manjal ( turmeric), Neelam( blue), oodhappoo( deep purple), Ilam sivappu ( pink), vengalam ( bronze) Semman( Rust) Ramar Neelam(Azure blue),mayil kazhuthu (peacock blue) became a prominent feature of kanchipurams. They became heirloom shades that were passed on from one weaver to another, for generations together now.

Kemp jewelry, on the other hand, evolved. From the authentic arakku shade to deep greens and blues, and was put together with a silver frame dipped in gold that completes the ornament. What comes out is pure magic when both these cultural souvenirs come together.

It is said that this tradition started when women of the royal family of Cholas and Pandyas donated kemp studded precious gold jewelry and fine silk clothes to the temples in their kingdom, which eventually got passed on to the temple dancers. Ever since then kemp jewelry became an integral part of performing arts and its costumes.

Often seen on Bharatnatyam dancers and tamillian brides, kemp jewelry and kanchipurams defined and sculpted the identity of south Indian fashion. Even today, the classic combination of a mavilai pacchai Kanchipuram silk saree with a red kemp necklace or a pure manjal Kanchipuram silk saree with a green kemps earring hasn't lost its charm. Charming every generation, that comes to know about it, through the books of fashion, Kemps and kanchipurams etched an everlasting mark in world clothing history.Be it in murals or through art forms, in theatre plays, or through visual mediums, Kemps has always been deeply rootedly associated with south Indian tradition. And the ever-charming queen of silks, the traditional kanjivaram silk sarees have always been one of the prominent faces of Indian fashion.