Chettiar marriage necklace

This large-sized 'thali' (marriage necklace) is used exclusively by the Nagarathar Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu. This type of necklaces usually comprise 35 pieces and are strung by 21 lengths of twisted strings smeared with tumeric. The central pendant, also called 'ethanam', has four sharp spikes representing the four vedas (knowledge). This is surmounted by an image of Subrahmanya standing with his parents, Shiva and Parvati, who are seated on a 'nandi' (bull). Women, on special occasions like 'shashtiabdapurti', the sixtieth birthday celebrations of their husbands, wear these necklaces.