Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tanii beads 3 : Turquoise-blue glass beads

The Taniis use turquoise-blue round, chunky or cylindrical beads to make large necklaces worn by women known as santer tasan and sampyu tasan. Though imported from Tibet and indeed reminiscent of the true turquoise stones much prized by the Tibetans, they are in fact Chinese glass beads commonly known as "Padre" beads, whose colour is similar to those of turquoises (it can be also turquoise coloured tile beads in some cases). They are very popular among the Tibetans as among most indigenous communities of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • sambyu : medium size light blue beads (top)
  • santer : larger type of light blue beads (bottom)

  • santer page is a blue melon-shaped glass bead of the larger type (santer). On this picture displaying a few old beads the original shape has been abrased and only notches remain visible.

The smallest type of turquoise-blue glass bead is called sampyu. It comprises :
  • - alan : roundish, chunky beads
  • - sampyu peron or sampyu perun : literally "bean sampyu", cylindrical in shape

alan and sampyu perun interspersed on sampyu tasan

  • - sampyu page : melon-shaped bead

An old Tibetan necklace made of melon-shaped turquoise-blue glass beads (for comparison)

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