Among the many used by women to adorn themselves is an object called ‘Anklet, ‘ but have you ever wondered where it originated from and the reason why women love wearing this piece of jewelry?
Well, let me take you back in time to when this objects was first spotted on women.
An Anklet, also called ankle chain, ankle bracelet or ankle string, is an ornament used by women to adorn their ankles. It may be either worn tightly around the ankle or left to dangle slightly. Wearing of this jewelry originated from Egypt and India, where girls and women have often been spotted wearing them for centuries.
Commonly known as ‘payal’, ‘pattilu’, and sometimes ‘nupu’, these beautiful jewelries were of great social significance in the Indian culture. Whereas in Egypt, anklets were an everyday ornaments worn by women of all social classes since predynastic times. It was made from different metals and came in different designs and shapes with some having tiny bells attached to them. It only became a fashionable item in the United States from the 1930s to the late 20th century.
Today, this piece of jewelry has become some sort of Fashion all over the world. However, it is interesting to note that, there a some beliefs and significance attached to people wearing these ornaments. For instance, in India, it was important in their marriage ceremonies and it was worn along with saris and a marriage chain. This indicates the marital status of the woman. So in the Indian community, when family members are seated together and having a discussion, if they hear the sound of ankles, they would come to know that the married woman is returning home and they would welcome her with respect.In Egypt, the type of metal used for the anklet indicated the marital status of women. Expensive metals like gold was common among women with rich husbands, while less expensive ones like silver and iron were more common among lower social classes.
Talking of its significance,by wearing anklets, some people believe that its sounds destroys any negative energy flowing inside the house. It is believed to bring good luck and fortune. In countries and societies like Ghana, wearing an anklet means a person is promiscuous or ‘available’. Others say an anklet worn on the right leg represents homosexuality whiles one worn on the left leg represents heterosexuality. It must however be noted that, all these meanings are just contemporary beliefs that have no logical explanation to them. Most women today just wear them as a fashion accessory and not due to the meaning attached to them.
San Cha Yan, Writer, Engineer, Ad and Marketing Enthusiast, described ankles as “when it comes to women, symbolism builds over time. Generally, small things about them start off as an attraction, then a choice and then habit. And it’s only humane to not know or entirely guess an entity’s existence unless they find something worthy enough to attach to it.”
He continued by saying “there might be social or popular beliefs regarding wearing an anklet but a woman will always carry her own reason which could be substantial enough for them to hold onto it dearly and it goes on to become an extension of their personality. Sometimes, it might be as important as her partner’s love for her beautiful feet.”
Another interviewee, Miss Lucy Agbanyosaid, “Anklets are part of accessories and every woman likes accessories which are also a part of fashion. Me wearing an anklet has no reason, I wear it because I like it and I don’t think other people wearing it also have any bad intention for wearing it.”
Aside all these beliefs and significance of wearing an anklet, it is astonishing to discover that wearing an anklet has health benefits too. As surprising as this might sound, health practitioners and experts have advised that wearing an anklet especially a silver anklet may not be a bad thing after all. Science has discovered that not only does wearing an anklet enhance beauty but it also has a myriad of benefits.
If you’re frequently experiencing leg pain, tingling, numbness or swollen heels that frustrate your day by day routine, then wearing a silver anklet can help you. By controlling blood flow. Anklets can serve as an immunity booster. These cute decorations will unquestionably give you a chance where lymph organs are initiated into the body and lifts susceptibility. Ankles are known as a cure of gynecological unevenness, barrenness and anomalous states of obstetrics. Also, ankles help in keeping sexual yearning under check. This happens when one’s vitality is not squandered but rather re-vibrated back to one’s own body by regulating blood from the leg to other parts of the body.
Now, to those who see wearing of ankles as marine worship or promiscuity which is fallacious in a sense, Queen mothers in Ghana and cultural dancers also wear bead anklet. So the question is, dothey wear them to portray their promiscuity or allegiance to a marine god?
If we as a society has a problem with wearing of anklet bracelets, then we should equally have a problem with wearing of necklaces, waist beads and wrist bracelets.
DZAH RITA MAKAFUI
GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM