Jhumar, (hair ornament)

Historical period(s)
ca. 1890
H x W x D (overall): 12.3 x 6.6 x 0.4 cm (4 13/16 x 2 5/8 x 3/16 in)
India, Punjab
Credit Line
Gift of Rajinder K. Keith and Narinder K. Keith in honor of their mother, Sardarni Karam Kaur Keith
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork



From about 1890
Mrs. Bhagwan Kaur, Punjab, India, from about 1890 [1]

To 1988
Ms. Rajinder K. Keith and and Ms. Narinder K. Keith, Washington, DC, by descent from Mrs. Bhagwan Kaur, to 1988 [2]

From 1988
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by Ms. Rajinder K. Keith and and Ms. Narinder K. Keith in 1988


[1] These ornaments were made in c. 1890 for Mrs. Bhagwan Kaur, wife of Sardar Thakur Singh Keith, a Revenue Officer in the state of Punjab. They were then handed down to her daughter-in-law, and eventually to her grand-daughters (the donors) who now reside in the Washington area. For more family history, see object file (according to Provenance Remark 1 in the object record).

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Mrs. Bhagwan Kaur
Narinder Kaur Keith
Rajinder Kaur Keith


Women's hair ornaments (passas) from the state of Punjab were worn attached to each other by a cord over the head. Hanging on either side of the forehead, they are called passas," meaning "sides." During the Mughal period, this type of hair ornament became prevalent in India and was often included in a bride's dowry. Made in the late nineteenth century, this pair reflects the continuation of an aspect of Mughal taste after the decline of the empire. The "diamond-cut" technique applied to the decoration imparts extra brilliance to the twenty-four-carat gold.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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