This jewellery was worn by rich landlords in those days. The
zamindars especially wore them and this jewellery was related to
autocrats! This is a pendant and it is said that it contained the
tiger's nails that were encased in gold. 'Puli' in Tamil means
tiger, and Nagam means nails.
May be because they hunted a lot in earlier days, they wore this as
a way to show their bravery. Nowadays its banned, but still the
jewellery is sold, I guess with the plastic sheet inside.
All levels of people wore this, even the bird-hunter, but then he
wore it with a cheaper metal or silver.
In Yester year Tamil Movies, all bad men wore this Puli Nagam
pendant. So this is always associated with villainy type roles.