(Image courtesy of Pinterest.)
(L to R: A single Indian Silver anklet from Rajasthan ca. 1st half of the 1900s; image courtesy of Pinterest. A pair of silver anklets India from Gujarat 19th-20th century; image courtesy of Christie’s.)
Anklets, nupur and payal are some of the names that the ankle bracelet goes by; girls and women alike, of Indian origin, have been wearing these since time immemorial. It has more to do with tradition than trend so what passes as a mere fashion statement in the West is rooted in history and inheritance on Indian soil. Whether she belongs to a tribe in a village tucked far away or a bustling metropolitan city, anklets are adornments but also a part of her daily life, sometimes never taken off.
(Tribal women wearing different kinds of anklets; images courtesy of Getty Images.)
The belief is that anklets, like most Indian jewellery, have a significant role to play wherein affecting the human body is concerned. The reproductive organs, in particular, have the most to gain from the wearing of anklets by women. It is also believed that a person’s energy is contained and controlled by wearing such anklets, especially in silver.
(Images courtesy of Getty Images and Pinterest.)
Anklets are an essential part of a bride’s jewellery set and a dancer’s alike; in the dancer’s case it’s a delightful set of bells made of metal strung together that are tied to the dancer’s feet and these produce a variety of musical sounds. This musical anklet is known as a ghungroo and is the focus of dances that rely on the sort of choreography that consists of a lot of footwork.
(Indian dancers wear ghungroo on their ankles; images courtesy of Getty Images.)
Having said all of that, it is seen as a fashion accessory but never just that alone.