Cultural Artifact


During my visit to the Lexington Avenue around 27th and 28th street, it came as a surprise that there was more to the Indian culture than just one restaurant that served Indian cuisine. There were shops that had traditional Indian wear, which were too heavy and could only be worn for a wedding or very special occasions (Image 1 and 2). There were a lot of patterns and colors that were seen during the visit (Image 3 and 4). There were several ornaments and statues of gods and goddesses that were covered with gold/copper colors (Image 5, 6 and 7) Even the clothes had gold embroidery on them (Image 8)

I decided to do an ornament called a Maang Teeka, which has to attached in your hair and hangs down till your forehead. I thought of including a third eye into the design because the third eye is related to Hindu mythology and Gods, and the fact that a Maang Teeka hangs till your forehead corresponds to the part of the body where the third eye opens. The initial designs are shown in Image 9. I decided to use the copper colored wire, since I wanted to incorporate what colors I saw during my visit. The prototype is shown in Image 10.

To explore more, I thought of other designs that I could proceed with (Images 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15)

I decided to create the design that shows an arm and a hand making a shape that abstractly represents an eye. The hollow shape made between the thumb and the finger form sort of an eye shape, and the rest of the open fingers are like the eyelashes. To the rest of the band, I added twists and turns and different widths to make the object appear 3D. The open fingers can also be seen as leaves and flowers and thus play a role in making the headband seem like a classic metal headband, which usually have metal leaves and flowers in them. The images below show the final piece that I created (Image 16 – 27).

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