"Hail to that foot of the lusty beloved which hits the head of the lover, that foot which is adorned with red paste and jingling anklets is the banner of love and which is worthy of adoration by inclining one's head."
From the 5th century drama, Padataditakam (Hit by the Foot)
The human race can be so immensely creative, so immensely passionate, and this is what makes our lives so immensely rich and at times so immensely difficult, painful.
The anklet, a romantic foot fetish of great aesthetic value, is a very important part of women's adornment in the Indian culture where the ornamentation of a woman's whole body is an essential aspect of daily life, and has great spiritual and social significance.
Old Indian paintings, drama and poetry often depict men treasuring the touch of their lover's foot. Women lavish great care and attention on their feet, almost with as much as their face. The tender, delicate and well pampered foot becomes a symbol of affection, sensual desire and plays an important role in love-play.
Indian poets were inspired to picture the movements of the lover's dance and the jingling of the bells on her anklets as seductive and bewitching. The idea being that the woman has adorned herself seductively in anticipation of a meeting with a secret lover.
The classical Indian dance also concentrates on the dancer's rhythmic footwork, particularly the elaborately detailed positioning of her feet in relation to the ground. The overall effect is ever so subtle, sensuous & erotic.
But, I also read about the practical effects of the anklets with foot bells. One is that in some tribes' husbands give their wives these anklets in order to frighten snakes away. Then again, I also read that the husbands give their wives anklets with bells so that they can keep an "ear" on them, should they "dance" out of range!!
Fadwa Al Qasem
About the Author
My specialty is chokers. My concept: painting with beads. With semiprecious stones, Venetian style, lamp, & faceted crystals/beads, I create limited edition pieces. After spending much time studying beads & bead history, I discovered that glass beads have an auspicious background just like diamonds, pearls, & semiprecious stones. Inspired by this & by many pleasures in life, I design individual chokers that each have a name, a character, a story.