African Culture

What do ankle bracelets really mean in Africa? Promiscuity?

African braceletsAfrican bracelets
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I know you have thought about what ankle bracelets mean, whether its promiscuity? Marine identity? Fashion?

African bracelets
African bracelets

Today, one of the loathed and bashed fashion sense is ankle bracelet, which was symbolic in ancient Africa, but it’s meanings aren’t as extended as they once were. Still, the African fashion culture imbibed in it is intact.

What do ankle bracelets mean?

Just as women wear wedding bands and engagement rings on their right or left ring finger, ankle bracelets once symbolized marital status. Historically, anklets were a gift from the groom to the bride to make their nuptials official and known to the world. The first anklet dates back to ancient Egypt when it was feminine jewellery gifted to women by men, mostly to indicate marital status, just like the wedding and engagement rings.



Anklets could tell the fortune and the societal status of a woman. The bravery of a woman. In Igbo tradition will see EZENWANYI “s that wore anklets to, which signified their status and power.

Some anklets had sound too. To show that a female is around.

Queen mothers in Ghana wear anklets, and why do you think cultural dancers wear anklets while dancing?

But with colonization came foreign religion, which ended up corrupting the African mentality in it’s initial culture, wearing of anklets. Now people see anklet to mean promiscuity, and people use anklets to identify bad and corrupt women, some say that the women that wear it are from the marine kingdom.

Hypocrisy is having a problem with ankle bracelets and comfortably wearing necklaces and wrist bracelets.

Anklets are signature of African queens, an identity on its own, it can be Cowries, beads, it can be precious stones, and it can be a fine chain. But know that it promotes African culture, and makes one stand out. It has no marine or evil connotation.


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Francis Chidera
the authorFrancis Chidera
Popularly known as Chokolate is a content creator. A lover of simplified words making it easy to get to a wider audience. It pains to see that Africans are forgetting and neglecting who they are, hence, I am passionate about reminding us of our culture. I work with 54history on the African culture category, to achieve this aim.

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