By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Anklets, which are also called ankle chains, ankle bracelets, or ankle strings have been worn by women throughout history. Aside from functioning as foot adornments, they also signify social status. For most women, anklets are just plain accessories.
Most women don’t know the meaning of wearing chain on their legs, why and where it originated from. Most cases, people have come across women who wear chain or anklets on their legs, some wear it on one of the legs and others wear on both legs and begin to ask themselves what it really means.
While many women consider the wearing of anklets as just another fashion statement, there are less-than-ideal symbolic associations to the accessory.
According to a research, in the early days, a woman has to wear anklet because the sound of the anklet indicates that the woman is going out of the house, which was not allowed in the early times . So, ladies wearing anklets is not fashion but an indirect way to keep a check on you by your family members.
A hair stylist explained that ,”It is fashion and those people who wear it are following trends, this is because they see some celebrities who wear this on their legs so they believed it is a trend for them to wear it also but some are actually wearing it ignorantly not know what it symbolises.
She added that this trend was first discovered in India where their women wear it on their legs. “Here in Nigeria, when any lady put on a chain on the leg, some believed that it represent the act of prostitution and that is why when any man who sees a woman wearing this , just concludes that she is a prostitute”.
Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia, whenever a woman wears anklets on her leg, this mean she is married but in some cases it means she is married but she is also available for other men to take out with the approval and encouragement of the husband.
Another research believed that it is similar to a wedding ring, the anklet was a way of expressing marital status, once they were gifted by the groom as a symbol of love and a way of saying he wanted to be her husband. There is no rule to which ankle you wear the anklet; but most women wear the anklet on their right ankle.
Some people believed that wearing an anklet with hearts charms on your left ankle can tell people that you’re interested in dating and maybe not so interested in an immediate intimate relationship. Additionally, a woman wearing an anklet on the left ankle may also be taken to mean that she is interested in a relationship.
A business woman, Mrs Ronnie Bello posited that just as women wear wedding bands and engagement rings on their right or left ring finger, ankle bracelets once symbolized marital status, noting that historically, anklets were a gift from the groom to the bride to make their nuptial official and known to the world
In ancient Egypt, women of all social classes wore them as ornaments. They were made of various metals. Naturally, the rich women had gold while those who weren’t so wealthy wore silver or iron ones. Some accounts also claim that worshipers of a deity called Baal prescribed the use of anklets for prostitutes. This was so these women were easily recognised. While the ones with little bells are often worn by dancers.
On the other hand, in the ancient Indian culture, anklets with charms dangling on them were worn mostly by married women. This way, family members would know she was coming by the sound of her anklet. This way, they would be sure to welcome her with respect. They wouldn’t be caught talking about inappropriate things.
Perhaps, the mix of these cultural influences influenced the symbolism of the accessory at present.
Although many women these days may think that the anklet is just a mere trinket, it is actually a widely recognized symbol that a woman is married or committed yet available to other men for sexual activity with the husband’s consent and encouragement. When a married woman wears an anklet, it is a symbol that she is a “Hotwife” and open to relationships and sexual encounters with men other than her husband.
For most people who are not aware of the lifestyle, an anklet is simply an anklet and has no other meaning. And that’s the tricky part, it’s really hard to tell whether a woman wearing an anklet is a hotwife or not, since some hotwife prefers to wear a simple anklet in order to keep their lifestyle a secret.
However, there are certain charms and symbols that makes a “hotwife anklet” more obvious, like heart symbols, and key symbols.
However, wearing chains/anklets on the legs by ladies is not a sign of prostitution, but fashion.