Nowadays, many people are turning towards the past when it comes expressing themselves through their clothes. Traditional is back in fashion, not only with mature folks but also with younger people who like to dress up in ‘Baba’ contemporary style with batik and sarongs. But what makes this style all the more attractive are the accompanying accessories. Peranakan costume jewelry is varied and colourful, incorporating vivid earrings, necklaces, hair crowns, belts, bracelets, broaches and rings. Peranakan ladies in the past would dress up for special events such as weddings and religious ceremonies. The accessories are very important as they denote wealth and rank in society. Let’s have a closer look at them.
Kerosang – the spelling sometimes varies between ‘karosang’ or even ‘korasang’ but it defines a silver or gold pin decorated with jewelry. It usually comprises three pieces with a large central piece and two smaller round pieces. The big piece is pinned on the top button and the smaller piece in the lower button of the collar.
Pin Tang – is a round accessory depicting a ray of sunshine or a star – or even the shape of a flower. A pin tang can be either a broach, a pendant or earrings. Pin tangs can also help identify the wealth of a lady while gentlemen wear them on their blazer or jacket.
Three-Piece Broach – three-piece broaches with a connecting bracelet are usually worn as buttons.
Golden Buttons – normally come as five buttons. In the past, they could be individually taken off. They usually indicate the wealth of the wearer but nowadays they can be normal plastic buttons in a gold hue.
Hair Crown – is a hair accessory that complements a topknot or high bun. The hair crown is for the bride and is usually worn with lace blouses. The crown is made of gold and comes in the shape of flowers. When the bride moves, the flowers will move as well. Some elderly ladies also wear hair crowns but without moving flowers – rather jasmine.
Earrings – earrings can be long and luxurious or feature small sweet flowers.
Necklaces – necklaces are usually made of gold and can be short or long. The short versions are worn with a high collar baba dress. The long variety are usually worn with lace blouses.
Rings – in diamond-shaped quadrangles or depicting small flowers, the more rings you wear, the richer you are.
Bracelet – either the engraved and large versions or loose and small, they both look charming. Bracelets can vary in patterns but engraved golden ones look more luxurious.
Belt – people in the past wore sarongs held in place by a belt. Engraved gold and silver belts were commonly used in that period.
Beside these main accessories, there are also shoes with colourful beads, along with fans and attractive handkerchiefs. The more details in your attire the more attractive and meaningful it will be.
Thank you for the beautiful accessories photos from the Peranakan Phuket Museum and Taweesuwan Jewelry. For more accessories details and Baba dress, go to: http://peranakanphuketmuseum.com