Foot jewelry has recently become a popular and favorite accessory amongst ladies. While it is a current trending fashion, history reveals that it is in fact, not so new. Foot jewelry, also referred to as barefoot sandals, has been long considered as an ornate type of jewelry in many parts of the world. In fact, its origin flows from various areas of different parts of the globe, and this marks them as a truly universal form of fashion. Admittedly, barefoot jewelry and it's beginning may be attributed to specific parts of South Asia. In this section of the world, foot jewelry became an ornament to be worn on special occasions such as weddings, ceremonies and celebrations. It became extremely popular amongst the young brides who would embellish their feet with heavy foot adornments. Women were highly fond of heavy and loaded versions of foot jewelry in South Asia, with gold and silver enhancements. However, with time, other lighter versions of barefoot jewelry were also released such as those made of light stones and gems, in order to demonstrate the variation in this much loved form of jewelry. Although regions of South Asia are rightly accredited for bringing about this movement, some other areas should also be commended for their passion for barefoot jewelry.
Egypt is one such country where foot jewelry has always been labeled as royal and high ranked. As history shows, anklets were widely worn by Egyptian women in their daily routines. These anklets were devised from different metals, and were available in varying shapes and sizes. As per the classes, gold was obviously worn by the rich women, whereas silver and iron were common among the lower classes. Anklets were thus termed as a compulsory accessory for women. However, with time, perceptions altered. Anklets and barefoot jewelry began to be equated with dancers and prostitutes. This significantly shifted the behavior of the people and how they viewed foot jewelry. As a result the wearing of such foot ornaments started to be frowned upon. Additionally, with the growing influence of Islam, certain bans and abominations on foot jewelry gripped the social classes and these have now left it rather unpopular.
South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan have contributed to the evolution of foot jewelry, and Egyptian preferences further increased the fame of it; Europe is also not far behind from upholding this form of foot fashion. European history dictates that bronze anklets were the norm during the Bronze Age. Thus, thick and thin anklets were widely worn around in Europe as a commonly accepted accessory. The fashion further gained momentum as the Renaissance and the revolutions altered the course of history. In Europe today, barefoot jewelry is a thriving business and is being sold at profitable prices.
On the other hand, the West is also not far behind from revering on such tales. It is believed that in the United States, barefoot hippies were barred from entering establishments on the basis of health requirements and were demanded to wear shoes. This event occurred in the late 1960s which is known for its counterculture movements. The period thus marks the introduction of barefoot sandals in the West and the supposed ban on them.
Foot jewelry is filled with rich history. Its origins are infiltrated with a stream of myths and stories which have perhaps all the more signified their use and wearing. These myths and references stem from different areas of the world and are therefore specific to that region only.
One such epic story travels from Indian territory of Tamil, where it narrated a detailed and exaggerated poem of a woman whose husband gets murdered while selling her precious anklet to a dishonest and cheat of a goldsmith. The literature is loaded with sorrow and condemnations, directed towards the goldsmith, who is deceitful in his trading.
Margo DeMello. Feet and footwear: a cultural encyclopedia. Macmillan. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-0-313-35714-5.
Retrieved from: https://books.google.com/books?id=5QdKSxajwP0C&pg=PA65#v=onepage&q&f=false
Author unknown. Indian Foot Jewelry?
Retrieved from: http://www.askyourfeet.com/foot-jewelry/indian
Sharon Tate's Wardrobe Revealed
Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZhkF5Uawvs
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