The Evolution of Bangles from Traditional to Modern Fashion Trend
20 November 2015
Bangles may have been one of the first types of bracelets to be worn by women around the world. Undeniably, bangle bracelets have been a treasured accessory for thousands of years. For centuries, they have been worn as a status symbol and as a fashion statement in various cultures. In ancient Egypt, bangles were generally worn on the upper arm instead of the wrist. Bangle bracelets are also a trademark of some cultures like the gypsies. Often, gypsy women wore bangle bracelets and earrings.
It is believed that bangle bracelets were first worn in ancient civilizations because of their simple construction. They were composed of natural materials like shells, wood or rocks and then shaped into a circular pattern to fit over the wrist or arm.
Many consider the history of Egyptian bracelets as ancient as 5000 BCE. The chief materials used to construct jewelry were gold and copper. Generally, nobility wore gold and the masses wore copper. Gold varied in shades from rose to reddish brown to grey. Lush jewelry was inlaid with countless gems and semiprecious stones like turquoise (the most popular), carnelian, lapis lazuli, garnet and obsidian. Native stones like emeralds and pearls were used for the less exquisite bracelets.
Some believe that the first bangle bracelets were from the Mohenjo-Daro (2600 B.C.) settlements. Mohenjo-daro is an archeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. It was one of the biggest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Additionally, it is one of the world’s earliest major urban settlements. Bangle bracelets from the archeological site were mostly terracotta painted with red or black designs. However, a figurine of a dancing girl wearing a bangle bracelet on her left arm was also found.
Bangle bracelets have been excavated from numerous archaeological sites throughout India – copper samples of the Mauryan Empire (322–185 BCE) and gold samples of Taxila (6th century BCE). Other decorations include shells, gold-leaf inlays and copper rivets. Glass bracelets were also common. They were ¼ – 1/8 inch wide and worn in groups so movement caused wind chime sounds. It is common for young children to wear thin gold bangle bracelets on their hands and ankles. The bracelets are also the symbol of Saubhagya ‘the complete woman’. Oftentimes, men offer a bangle in marriage ceremonies. Bangle bracelet colors can represent various meanings such as yellow for happiness and red for passion.
Bangle bracelets are even more popular than ever. There come in a variety of beautiful textures, gemstones, metals and adornments. Likewise, bangles come in many sizes, from super thin to thick. And regardless of your personal style, you can find something that completes your look.
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