Teejan Bai


A few years ago, i had the good fortune of witnessing the legend Dr Teejan Bai perform live in front of an intimate audience in Ahmedabad. A 100 year old art of storytelling is being kept alive by Teejan Bai who retells the legend of Mahabharata in the beautiful performative style from Chhattisgarh called the Pandavani - the voice of Pandavas.


Not only was i captivated by her style of performance, i was in awe of the way she carried herself. Her trademark red sari, a big bindi on her forehead and the peacock feather adorned Tanpura in one hand.


As a jewellery lover, my eyes kept noticing all the beautiful ethnic jewellery she was wearing - dainty gold jhumkies with kanser, a beaded neckpiece (Kantha/Tilris/ Dulris), a small nosepin, the serpent armband (Nagmori), a stack of metal bangles sandwiched between two beautiful silver kadas (Kara and Kakni) on each wrist, a big silver belt around her waist (Kardhan), distinct silver rings - probably 3/4 in each hand (Angushthana, Chingh Mundri), Solid silver anklet kadas (Paijeb) and toe rings. When i walked upto her at the end of the performance and asked her about her jewellery, she smiled and said, “Beta yeah Chhattisgarh se li hai, aur mera kamarbandh 2 kilo ka hai”

What makes Teejan Bai so extraordinary is that inspite of difficult circumstances, she pursued her love for her art and became the first female to perform Pandavani standing (Kapalik Shaili), which was something that only men were allowed. She did her first performance at the age of 13 and over the last 5+ decades she has become synonymous to this art form.

She is the recipient of many awards in India and globally, including three of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. Teejan Bai is truly a legend, who continues to uphold our cultural roots and inspire audiences around the world.

𝗜𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀 “𝗔𝗽𝗻𝗶 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗮, 𝗝𝗲𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗲 𝗸𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗿𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗶” 𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 & 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗰𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲.

Aham Finds: a series that attempts to discover stories and origins of different styles and craftmanship of jewellery from India and its significance in our culture and our heritage.
Pooja, Founder Aham Jewellery 

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