What is the difference between a shringar patti, a maang tikka, and the jada naga? Many brides wear all of three pieces.
A shringar-patti is worn on forehead, and it includes a fringe worn on either side of the face, consisting of a star or geometrical shaped pieces linking to each other. Hung from it are pipal leaves or stars or drops. The maang tikka is the crescent shaped plaque, sometimes enameled, suspended on to the middle forehead. However, the Jada Naga has a hallowed place in Hindu tradition and mythology.
Krishna is said to have defeated the evil multiheaded serpent Kaliya, who was poisoning the Yamuna River. In the 13th Century, the disciple Sidhendra Yogi had a vision. It was a dance drama where Krishna’s favorite consort, Satyabhama, expresses her desire for total devotion to her Lord through conjugal union. Yogi found the dancers in Kuchipudi, a small village in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, India.
The Jada is a decoration for a floor-length braid, which symbolizes the black cobra Kiliya. Antique Jada Nagas were made of cloth cord with a choti at the bottom — the serpent’s head. Modern pieces can be all gold.
Here are three examples of antique Jada Nagas:
From the Creative Museum
These two are on display in The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
For more scholarly research, I recommend the book “Dance Dialects of India,” by Ragini Devi.