All About the Bindi

Vintage Indian Clothing

The bindi/pottu/sindoor/tikli – whatever name it be known by – is probably the most emblematic of Indian elements of attire and also has a long history. It is symbolic (as a signifier of marital status or of caste),  part of the daily ritual as well as decorative. While several terms exist, I will use the term bindi in this post.

wp1The bindi as a symbol of marital status in women (Kumkum/Sindoor) is familiar to most Indians.  This can vary from region to region and does not always involve the hair parting,  but in almost all parts of the country it is a part of Hindu marriage, festive and temple rituals.  Its origin is obscure but it possibly was a blood mark of sorts to mark the bride’s entry into a new family, this later being replaced by kumkuma which was a mix of turmeric and slaked lime.  Not…

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