Jewellery gifted by Ma Nature:

Posted by-Kalki Team

A unique exhibition of jewellery made from paddy, plant seeds

The natural world has much beauty to offer. Seeds have always held fascination for people with their colour and texture. Fancy wearing a paddy necklace? Paddy, by the way is rice, still in its husk. Jungle Jewels, a Tiruchi-based green start up makes tribal-styled jewellery from different plants seeds (mostly non-edible) and paddy. It is an eco-friendly initiative supporting rural artisans, says automobile engineer-turned-rural activist and entrepreneur, J. Balamurali. One can’t imagine that the seeds of the Canna plant, a very common garden plant in many old home gardens of Bengalureans can yield some real pretty jewellery when mixed with a few ceramic beads! Soapnut seeds are another hot favourite material they work with.

And who knew that the humble Leucaena leucocephala (which looks like watermelon pips) and used as cattle fodder can make a lovely contrast in a long necklace with the Coix lacryma-jobi or Job’s tears used in medicines and as a barley. They also use a lot of the shiny red gulaganji seeds used in India to weigh gold. There are beautiful necklaces, earrings, and sets to be had.

Balamurali’s father had set up a herbal park to provide alternative primary health care to villagers near Tiruchi in 1979. Many years later, it occurred to Balamurali that the seeds in the park were going waste. The idea of making jewellery struck him one day when he saw women arranging paddy seeds one day in a pattern. “Research showed that no one had done this commercially, though some tribals already knew the art,” says Balamurali.

Jungle Jewels has many women from economically backward backgrounds trained to craft these jewels. They drill the seeds, and paint some elements and string them together at a workshop. Many have stepped out of their homes of the first time to work and supplement family income.

Balamurali says: “When people buy a product, they dont know what its roots are, who made it and where it came from. Here, we have a story. By buying a necklace, we are supporting a group of women who are financially not doing well. We don’t exploit anyone in the chain.” Manjunath P.R., owner of Lumiere, the seed to table organic restaurant and store felt that this would be a great gifting option during Deepavali and is hosting the exhibition in the city. The jewellery, priced Rs. 100 to Rs. 1,000 will be on exhibition and sale at the Lumiere outlets in Koramanagala till October 25 and the Whitefield outlet from October 26 to 29. For details check

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