#PhotoHistory Igbo Ankle Bracelets: Fashion of the Past and Present
Most of our modern day jewelry has a lot of history attached to them. A lot of accessories we wear especially the female folk have a lot of culture embedded in them. In the igbo culture, the brass anklet rings was an important fashion accessory for young maidens.
For the complete outfit, they are graduated in size from the ankle upwards, the number of rings, depending on the size of the girl. Up to a certain age, the rings must finish below the knees. These are worn prior to marriage and never after. Besides, these bracelets of ivory or sections of huge elephant tusks are worn by rich ladies or women of high rank. The anklets are about nine inches in depth by from two to three inches in thickness. At the time, girls were so crazy about them (and the effect it had on men) that they wouldn’t take them off, many fashionable young igbo girls would even sleep with their legs hanging off the bed, just to keep them on at all times,
The anklets were so heavy and cumbersome that they caused the wearer to walk in a rolling gait. This style of movement was imitated by women who wanted others to think that they were accustomed to wearing such expensive items.
It is not at all comfortable to wear these, but girls have to put it up with them as being imposed by fashion.
Even among titled men, brass rings had their significance. On the staff of the titled men were four brass rings which signify the four nations of igbo, the four market days, four pieces of afa and four of everything which is the basis of the igbo world. .