Perak

Perak is a traditional female headdress worn by women of the Ladakh region. Ladakh region is part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in the far north of the country. Perak includes a leather strap or a piece of dark fabric covered with semi-precious stones like lapis lazuli and turquoise. These stones represent deities of the local religion. It is believed that the stones can protect from the troubles of this world. Perak also symbolizes economic and social status of the woman.

Perak – female hair accessory
Perak – female hair accessory

Number of front-to-back stone rows on the perak is quite important. Nine rows existed only on the perak worn by the queen of Ladakh capital Leh. Nowadays the woman with seven rows of stones is regarded as the one of high status. Women of lower socials status wear perak with three rows of stones. The “ga'u” or amulet box is sewn in the centre of every perak. Perak is further decorated with several pieces of cloth. Perak is fastened to some sort of wig made of woollen braids. Everything mentioned is tied on to a woman's head with silver chains and stiff ear-flaps.