Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tanii beads-8 : small coloured glass beads

Coloured glass beads bought from the plains are very popular among Taniis, as some of their necklaces are composed of several rows of small or medium-sized beads of all sort.

1. Many of them belong to the "bimpu family". Bimpu is a generic term for medium-sized glass beads, especially those that make up bimpu tasan, a necklace composed of as many as 20 types of beads displayed on a dozen or so strands. The shapes vary from cylindrical to roundish. They are differentiated mainly on the basis of their hues:
  • lanchan bimpu : red slightly translucent glass bead
  • ji bimpu : dark blue slightly translucent glass bead.
  • jiji bimpu : green slightly translucent glass bead
  • horpu bimpu : translucent glass bead

jiji bimpu

ji bimpu

lanchan bimpu
horpu bimpu

  • bimpu ami is a special type of glass beads originating from Venice circa 19th century. Black or burgundy in colour with white dots, they are commonly known as "Skunk beads". The Taniis simply call them bimpu ami or "eyed bimpus".

bimpu ami

2. Tado are small, cylindrical opaque yellow beads used to make necklaces known as tado tasan. Two shades are distinguished, each used to make up a specific necklace simply consisting of several strands of these beads.
  • akho tado : bright yellow
  • aper tado : terracotta

akho tado (left) and aper tado (right)

pike tasan is a translucent glass bead of amber hue.

pike tasan
bimpu ami has been inserted in the middle of the row)

4. nyime perun (or peron), literally "Tibetan soja bean" is a small, cylindrical dark blue bead. As the name indicates, they seem originate from Tibet, or more probably, as F├╝rer-Haimendorf suggests, they were probably obtained from Tibet on a regular basis till the Chinese takeover. As he writes in 1962 :

"Most women possess strings of crudely cut cylindrical glass beads of dark blue clour and it could seem that these have also come from Tibet. They are quite different from any beads manufactured or known in India today (...) Today they are no longer popular, and have indeed very little market value. Their place has been taken by smaller and smoother glass beads of similar dark blue colour which have for some years been available in the bazaars of North Lakhimpur." (1962, 68).

Nyime perun

Nyime perun are used to make necklaces known as nyime tasan or ji tasan, consisting of several strands of those dark blue beads ornamented with yellow and red beads.

5. Lebu ralin, despite its name, is not a carnelian bead but simply a glass bright red bead which is set up at intervals to decorate nyime tasan necklaces.

lebu ralin


Uttam Pegu said...

Its a great blog!
I would like to request your permission to repost/republish on the community driven site for tani people

Waiting for your reply

Best regards

Uttam Pegu

NPR said...

@ Uttam Pegu
Thanks for appreciating this blog. You can provide a link to "Let us save Tanii" on your site, as we do ourselves for related blogs or websites. But please do not reproduce, repost or republish any part of it.

Uttam Pegu said...

Thank you for the quick reply. Though I am disappointed, but that is fine!
I will try to read up things and write myself!

Hope you keep up your good work!

I will surely put up a link.


NPR said...

Thanks. We'll also try to visit your site regularly.

wahid ali said...

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We would like to sale them in assam
Kindly contact us