The Thalli

  1. Main Piece: The gold necklace that the bride has to wear, it is tied around her neck during the ceremony. The husband uses his own gold and his goldsmith to make it.
  2. Informant Background:
    1. What is it: It is equal in symbolism as the wedding ring. It can often be passed down from generation to generation. My father gave my mom his Mom’s Thalli. It’s also supposed to be the most valuable thing that the wife owns. It is the most important part of the ceremony. For example, when my parents got divorced, she had to give her Thalli back to my father.
    2. Where did you learn it: I learned about it from my mom when she talked about how she had to give it back. I noticed it before at weddings, but I never understood the importance of it.
    3. What does it mean to you: Doesn’t really mean anything to me. I guess I can give a Thalli to my wife if I have an Indian wedding.
  3. Context of Performance: Wedding
  4. My Thoughts:
    1. There is a very similar thing in Gujarati weddings, and other Mainland Indian weddings referred to as “Mangal Sutras.” I find it interesting that a similar exchange of Jewelry, usually being given to the bride by the groom, in so many different types of weddings: Mangal Sutras, Thallis, Wedding Rings. I do no, however, think that the root of Wedding Rings and Thallis are the same source – it seems to me to be a very interesting coincidence. Thallis and Mangal Sutras, however, I could believe to have similar sources considering how similar the two are.