Photo credit: Sonuj Giri
An ”anklet” has been in existence since time memorial, many people don’t know this, the ancients has its uses and none of such uses where negative in nature, the use of anklets began in Sumerian but mostly known in ancient Egypt worn by many categories of women as there are many types of anklets, the gold anklets with designed with stones of rubies were worn by wealthy women and it represents to the public that she is married to a rich man or she is a wealthy woman, the silver anklets were worn by young ladies and there are anklets made of rubber mostly worn by those ladies who do not possess material wealth.
In those days of our ancestors, rings weren’t common for representing marriage among the women, when a man wants to marry a woman, instead of giving her a ring; he gives her good anklet which she wears on her left ankle. As a matter of fact the use of ring in marriage began after the whites conquered Af’raka.
Today, people have been wrongly educated concerning many Af’rakan ornaments and symbols, thus, “anklets” being one of such ornaments, have created discrimination, criticism and stigma towards those who wear them. To worsen the situation, many religious people today claim that those who wear anklets are either under a demonic possession, or members of a cult, or belongs to some kind of group that associates with the practice of lesbianism, yes many of such popular religious rumors claim that those women who wear anklets are lesbians. Those people spreading such rumors do not realize that anklets are not so different from the wedding rings we wear on our wedding fingers, and the ones we wear for fashion.
Ok, let’s get this straight, in as much as there are so many possible reasons why people wear rings, I will not fail to point out here that there are certain people who wear rings for spiritual purposes, some rings are enchanted and believed to bring protection to its wearer, others are used as lucky charms designed to bring lucks and love to its wearer too, how about occult rings given to initiates of a certain organization or secret societies? Now for the fact that that such occult societies around the globe have special symbolic rings which are worn by their members to represent certain laws or ideas or just for the sake of recognition of membership do not in any way mean that whosoever wears a ring is a members of one occult society or the other.
How about necklaces and neck chains? Many of them are talismans and lucky charms worn around the neck enchanted with spiritual energies believed to bring its bearer good luck and love, therefore at this point, I will now ask you, does this now mean that all necklaces are charms? Or does it equally mean that anyone who wears a necklace or an ornament around his/her neck is wearing a charm? Of cause not! All necklaces and rings are not charms.
In accordance with the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, it says:“An anklet, also called ankle chain, ankle bracelet or ankle string, is an ornament worn around the ankle, barefoot anklets and rings historically have been worn for at least over 8000 years by girls and women in South Asia, where it is commonly known as pattilu, payal and sometimes as nupur. They have also been worn by Egyptian women since predynastic times. In the United States both casual and more formal anklets became fashionable from the 1930s to the late–20th century. While in Western popular culture both younger men and women may wear casual leather anklets, they are popular among barefoot women. Formal anklets (of silver, gold, or beads) are used by some women as fashion jewelry. Anklets are an important piece of jewelry in Indian marriages, worn along with saris.
Occasionally, anklets on both ankles are joined by a chain to limit the step. This practice was once prevalent in Southern Asia, where the effect was to give a “feminine” short tripping step. Today, a few Western women follow this practice, but rarely in public. More rarely still, some people wear “permanent” (e.g., soldered) ankle chains and even connecting chains”.
Having said that, I am sure you now have a full knowledge on what anklets really are, now where did anklet originate from?
Anklets were worn as an everyday ornament by Egyptian women of all social classes in ancient Egypt from as early as predynastic times. The name for anklets was not much different from that of bracelets being menefret (mnfrt) except by adding a phrase to denote connection to the feet. They were made of different metals and in multiple shapes, with more expensive metals like gold being more common among the rich, while less expensive ones like silver and iron more common among lower social classes. During the fourth, fifth, and sixth dynasties, anklets were usually made of beads threaded in several rows held together with spacer-bars. Anklets were also worn by dancers like those shown in the tombs of Kagemni, Ti, and Akh-hotp.
In the early–20th century, anklets were commonly worn by Egyptian women of inner cities. They were called kholkhal (pl. khalakheel) and were most commonly worn by women of Alexandria, along with a traditional dress covered by a one-piece black cloth called melaya leff.
Today, anklets are not commonly worn by Egyptian women in public due to increased Islamic conservatism that has spread in Egypt where wearing anklets in public is generally perceived as being immodest. Anklets are still commonly worn by dancers in public events.
Bronze anklets are visible as early as the Bronze Age in temperate Europe, in an area roughly along the Danube, in the Alpine foreland, up the Rhine to the Atlantic, and also down the Rhône (Sherratt, 2001). These were found among hoards in these areas, along with other bronze items characteristic of this time (c. 1800 BCE onwards), and are attributable to the Tumulus culture that spread across this region.
Indian Sub continent
Neolithic and chalcolithic periods at Mehrgarh indicate use of anklets. Jhon Marshall describes dancing girl statue as being adorned with armlets, bangles, and anklets. A first-century CE epic of Tamil literature called Silappatikaram (The Story of the Anklet) dealt with a woman whose husband was killed while trying to sell one of her anklets to a dishonest goldsmith. The anklets are described in great detail in the poem.
Rajasthani women wear the heaviest type of anklets, which are silver and signify tribal adherence. The women wear these as costume jewellery, but also to show their bravery as a tribe against other rival tribes. The fashion for heavy anklets is declining in India now, but is still common in rural areas.
In the eastern Indian state of Odisha, which is known for its traditional jewellery, there are varieties of anklets known as Paunji Nupur, which are worn by women. Another variety, which covers the entire foot, is known as Padapadma. In ancient times men also wore anklets. Traditionally, only Kshatriya (royal/warrior caste) persons can wear gold anklets, and other castes wear silver anklets.
The word “payal” (payalak) is a word for the anklet in Hindi and Punjabi.
Anklets can be made of silver, gold, and other less precious metals as well as leather, plastic, nylon and other such materials.
Metal anklets are of two types: “flexible” and “inflexible”. Flexible anklets, often called paayal, pajeb or jhanjhar in India, are made by tying links in a chain. Subsequently, sonorous bells can be attached to the chain, so that the wearer can make pleasing sounds while walking. The sound was also a reminder for people that there was a woman around, during the times of Purdah. Inflexible anklets are usually created by shaping flat metal sheet to the ankle.
In conclusion, an anklet is an African ornament and African in origin. As you can see, before the missionaries arrived the coast of Africa, men gives their women anklets as symbol of marriage and love, those who engage do it with anklets not rings.
It has been the duty of those who wants to conquer you, to demonize anything that connects you to your root; anklets are beautiful ornaments and should not be discriminated.
However, if after reading this article, you then wish to try out this ancient practice and lifestyle, it will interest you to note that we have original Afrakan Anklets for you available on our Awake Afraka Store, to get there, all you need to do is click on “Store” through our menu section above or just visit www.store.awakeafraka.com.
May this knowledge illuminate your path,
Written by Knight Fredel © 2019