Walking to Bells...

I don’t know about you but the humble anklet with its jingling charms and singing bells has the ability to put me in such a pleasant mood. The happy chimes they make as you stroll along definitely have something to do with it, but perhaps it’s also the connotations they have to summer, the beach, and warm, sun kissed skin. With spring just around the corner (enter excited dance here) it means it’s almost time to expose those pins for the world to see so why not adorn your ankle with a pretty little shiny thing to get the party started! Here are some images and tid-bits about anklets through the ages to inspire your ‘bohemian summer legs’ preparations…

heavy-ankletThe origins of the anklet descended from centuries ago where women in Egypt, India and Arab countries most commonly wore them.

Nat-Geo_Page_2(Image: National Geographic 'FASHION' Cathy Newman)

In ancient Egyptian & Indian cultures jewellery has been used for centuries as the symbol of social status and wealth. The wealthy wore anklets adorned with precious stones made from expensive metals, while the poor used them to display charms and amulets.

blk-wht-images-copyIn older Indian cultures, only unmarried girls or married women were allowed to wear anklets. Widows were not permitted to do so. Indian wedding customs of today still include wearing anklet bracelets as a part of their elaborate ceremonial wedding garments.

Nat-Geo_Page_1(Image: National Geographic 'FASHION' Cathy Newman)

It has been noted that anklets were not only worn for aesthetic purposes but in India they were also very functional items. The charms and pendants dangling from the chain would produce a tinkling sound, which would ward-off insects and small animals when working in the field. Tell that to your boyfriend when he makes sly cheeky comments about the 'annoying', noise your anklet makes…that’ll stump him.

BollywoodAlso, how can we forget Indian Bollywood & Middle Eastern dancers when we think of anklets. Their fancy footwork is a deliberate technique to make the bells around the ankle jingle during the performance, and in turn, it draws attention to the seductive and sensual sensibility these cultures have for women’s feet.

3-picsSome findings say that during the times of Purdah ( which refers to the social stitution of female seclusion in Musilum majority counties) women would wear anklets as a reminder for people that there was a woman around. The jingle would never allow them to be unnoticed.

The ancient Sumerians (Middle East) is one of the oldest civilizations that adorned their feet with bracelets. Women would wear ankle chains as an indication of the wealth of her husband. Anklets were an important custom used to signal marital status and still are an important part of ceremonial wedding garments today.

flower-ankletLeft or right?

There are many wives tales that have circulated in regards to which foot you wear your anklet on… Right foot = taken, left foot = single etc, etc. As a matter of fact, there are no stated regulations; it all just depends on your personal favour!

Ref: Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4935396

Ref: National Geographic book


Blogger, designer, beach babe and colour obsessed textiles geek Monique Luchterhand is a frequent contributor, correspondent and close friend of the brand. Follow her blog creatureofcolour.com to find out more about her colourful world…