Anklets; Their Significance and Meaning in Ugandan Culture


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Many women wear anklets as a fashion accessory but often do not know the meaning and history behind the accessories. This article will take a deep dive into the history and significance of anklets in the Ugandan culture.

Anklets are bracelet-like accessories that you attach to your ankles. They were historically worn as amulets (jewelry that protects you from evil, disease or danger).

Anklets are said to have originated from ancient Egypt. They were worn as an everyday ornament by Egyptian women of all social classes from as early as pre-dynastic times.

In Uganda, anklets are mostly worn by women from the North particularly the Langi and the West particularly the Bahima.

Significance of Anklets.

  • Traditionally, anklets were given as gifts by the groom to the bride.
  • Women and girls wore anklets made of string beads to show love for their culture and portray their identity as royalties.
  • Women wore them to show their bravery as a tribe against other rival tribes.
  • They were used to attract suitable partners or to show that one has a partner.
  • Women also wore anklets to exhibit their husband’s fortune and wealth.
  • Some tribes believed that the anklet would protect them from evil spirits and enable them travel safely in the woods.
  • Some people and parents, up to this day view anklets as a sign of immorality.

The Meanings of Anklets Depend on Which Foot They Are Worn On.

Many people wear anklets as a good luck charm.

When someone wears an anklet on their right foot, it means they are single and have no lover. However, if a married person wears it on her right foot, it means that they are looking to have an affair or a fling.

An anklet worn on the left foot signifies that one is married or has a lover but is often used as a good luck charm.

However, in today’s world there’s no significance behind which leg you wear yours on.

Meaning of Anklets by Color.

Meanings of anklets change also depending on the color worn.

White anklets signify purity and innocence.

Yellow anklets signify fortune and sociability whereas pink anklets carry romance related meanings such as love and marriage.

Gold anklets symbolize secrets.

Anklets have been worn for so many years to this day and they carry different meanings to different people so feel free to add them to your accessories or not, whichever works best for you.



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