Mang Tikka and Matha Patti – The Ultimate Accessories for South Asian Weddings
No South Asian bride is complete without the quintessential Mang Tikka or Matha Patti adorning her delicate forehead. These pieces are the most distinguishing elements for a South Asian bride, but they are quite different from one another.
A mang tikka has a single pendant (which is the tikka) which is attached to a small chain. The pendant is adjusted to sit the middle of the bride’s forehead and the chain is used to secure it to her hair. The matha patti is a bigger version of this and comprises of two chains to support the pendant which is bigger and more elaborate.
What they Represent
Besides being a bridal adornment, the tikka in both pieces has significance in that it symbolizes the union between two souls through the union of marriage. According to Hindu tradition, the point on the forehead where the tikka falls represents the ajna chakra which is believed to be the third eye of chakra that represents wisdom and conservation. In other words, the mang tikka and matha patti is a physical representation of the spiritual, emotional and physical union of the bride and groom.
Even though the tradition of wearing these pieces is based on Hinduism, it has been adopted across South Asia as a staple for brides. However, each is designed according to the lehenga or bridal dress and could be equally elaborate to suit it. So don’t be surprised to see a variety of these inset with emeralds, rubies, polka, pearls and even Swarovski crystals if you attend a string of ‘desi’ or South Asian weddings.
Since these are available in a variety of designs, many South Asian women prefer to wear them as jewelry when they are attending parties, weddings etc along with elaborate dresses. Some of the more common ones include:
The Borla style maange tikkas are mostly worn by women from Haryana and Rajasthan and it gets its name from the jujube (which is called ber or bor) fruit since its tikka is shaped that way. This version is typically inset with previous stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires etc and loom amazing with traditional dresses. You can often find young women in Mehndis wearing matching pieces to represent the bride or groom.
Delicate and Refined
If you are in search of something simpler or conventional, then the delicate mang tikka or will be the perfect choice. These are also preferred by some brides and young girls since these never go out of style and can be worn with pretty much any formal dress. It’s also a better option for women who have smaller foreheads or wish to wear heavier necklaces or earrings to offset it especially in weddings. You don’t want to take the spotlight away from the bride do you?
Whether you go for big and bold matha pattis or their delicate cousin the simple mang tikka, make sure that it matches the dress you decide to wear. Matching it with the ones the bridal party is wearing in the Mehndi will also be a good idea.
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