Intro: A necklace or thread of goodwill that symbolizes marriage in the Hindu religion. Mangal means auspicious and Sutra means thread. In north India, it is exclusively referred to as a Mangal Sutra. It is typically made up of two strings with black beads connected to a gold pendant. In south India, it is called Thaali. This is made with a thick yellowish/gold string connected to a gold pendant. Thaali or Mangal Sutra come in different shapes and sizes pending on the community and it's customs.
Usage: The function of this necklace is to be worn by married Hindu women. This makes the Mangal Sutra/Thaali an equivilant to a western wedding ring. Though the string may need to be replaced several times in one life due to wear and tear the necklace is meant to protect the marriage of the wearer. It is also believed to protect the very life of the husband. Women continually wear the necklace until their death or the demise of their husband.
History: It began as a thread the bride and groom tied on each other signifying a union of good will. Hence, the nickname the thread of good will. In present time, only the groom ties the thread to the bride's neck as acceptance that he receives the girl from her father.