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Hello There,

Yes, it’s been a minute since you heard from me. Is it not amazing that the last blog I shared entreated us to keep pouring by showing up? Truth is it's easier said than done but hey, we keep pushing until we come to a place of equilibrium. Come to think of it. The idea of equilibrium is not a stagnant state but rather a continual progression of forging forward in our journey as waist bead artist or where ever we find yourself.

During my absence, some of the conversations that come up when I met people were how cute and beautiful my anklets were. I would go to event and ladies would admire my anklets but quickly chip in why they can’t wear them. Their reasons were mostly based on preconceived ideologies passed on by people they respected or what their faith said about that particular jewellery. I can perfectly understand them because I have been there before.

I remember when I had to give an acquaintance one of my pipe beads anklets. She had never worn them before. Basically because of what her mother had told her and the ideologies associated with it. Predominantly amongst the religious Ghanaian Community. After trying it on, she instantly became a “follower” and loved it.

A clients feet in an a  single strand layered anklet by Taltohma
Image by Vera Obeng

You see, anklets have a long history in Africa and have been worn by women for centuries. They are typically made from various materials, including beads, shells, gold, and silver. In ancient Egypt, anklets were worn by both men and women and were often made of precious metals. They were seen as a symbol of wealth and were also thought to protect the wearer from evil spirits. Anklets were also commonly worn by dancers and musicians. In West Africa, anklets have been traditionally worn by women as a form of adornment and a symbol of femininity. The anklets are often made from brass, copper, or other metals and are decorated with intricate designs and patterns.

Anklets are also considered to have spiritual significance in many African societies. They are thought to facilitate communication between the wearer and the spiritual world and their ancestors. Anklets are used in various cultures as a measure of protection or to stave off evil spirits. Anklets are still worn now in many African countries and are frequently incorporated into current trends in clothing. They are frequently worn as a mark of cultural heritage and identity and remain a popular form of self-expression.

Anklets are commonly acknowledged as a form of decoration and as an important component of both traditional and contemporary fashion in Ghana. The perception of anklet wearers changes based on the situation and the particular community. Anklets are worn as a sign of femininity and are connected to traditional roles and beliefs in various Ghanaian traditional societies. Women who wear anklets may be appreciated in these cultures for keeping these traditional values since they are considered to be royal.

In urban areas and among younger generations, anklets are often worn as a fashion accessory and are not necessarily associated with traditional values. In these contexts, the attitude towards wearers of anklets is generally positive and accepting.

These line of beautifully stranded beads are sometimes described as "shackles of beauty" because of the way they are worn around the ankles, which can resemble a shackle or chain. This phrase is often used to criticize the cultural expectation that women should adorn themselves with jewelry or other accessories as a means of enhancing their beauty and femininity.

The term "shackles of beauty" can be seen as a metaphor for the ways in which societal expectations can limit women's freedom and autonomy, forcing them to conform to certain beauty standards in order to be accepted or valued. Some argue that these expectations can be oppressive and can lead to feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt, as women feel pressured to meet certain standards of beauty in order to be seen as attractive or desirable.

At the same time, it is important to note that the phrase "shackles of beauty" can be controversial, as it can be seen as overly simplistic or reductionist. While some may view anklets and other beauty practices as limiting or restrictive, others may see them as a form of self-expression or cultural heritage. As with any cultural practice, the meaning and significance of anklets can vary depending on the individual and the context in which they are worn.

Additionally, with any form of fashion or self-expression, there may be some individuals or communities who have negative attitudes towards it or who view them as inappropriate or immodest. Overall, though, anklets are widely accepted and celebrated in Ghanaian culture depending on the context in which it was worn.

What are some of the reasons you’ve heard people give for not wearing anklets?

Happy beading.


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