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An anklet, also called ankle chain or ankle bracelet, is an ornament worn around the ankle. Barefoot anklets and toe rings historically have been worn for centuries by girls and women in India. They have also been worn by Egyptian women since predynastic times. In the United States both casual and more formal anklets became fashionable in the late twentieth century. While in western popular culture both younger men and women may wear casual leather anklets, they are popular among barefoot women. Formal anklets (of silver, gold, or beads) are used by some women as fashion jewellery. Anklets are an important piece of jewellery in Indian marriages worn along with saris.
Much more rarely, an ankle chain is joined by a stretch of chain to limit the step. This practice was once more prevalent in the South East Asia, where the effect was to give a 'feminine' short tripping step. Today a few western women follow this practice, but rarely in public. Very few people even have 'permanent', e.g. soldered-on, ankle chains, and more rarely still, so is the connecting chain.
Anklets were worn as an everyday ornament by Egyptian women of all social classes in ancient Egypt from as early as predynastic times. The name for anklets was not much different from that of bracelets being menefret (mnfrt) except by adding a phrase to denote connection to the feet. They were made of different metals and in multiple shapes, with more expensive metals like gold being more common among the rich, while less expensive ones like silver and iron more common among lower social classes. During the fourth, fifth, and sixth dynasties, anklets were usually made of beads threaded in several rows held together with spacer-bars. Anklets were also worn by dancers like those shown in the tombs of Kagemni, Ti, and Akh-hotp.
In the early twentieth century, anklets were commonly worn by Egyptian women of inner cities. They were called kholkhal (pl. khalakheel) and were most classically worn by women of Alexandria, along with a classic traditional dress covered by a one-piece black cloth called melaya leff.
Today, anklets are not commonly worn by Egyptian women in public due to increased Islamic conservatism that has spread in Egypt where wearing anklets in public is generally perceived as being immodest. Anklets are still commonly worn by dancers in public events.
Bronze anklets are visible as early as the Bronze Age in temperate Europe, in an area roughly along the Danube, in the Alpine foreland, up the Rhine to the Atlantic, and also down the Rhône (Sherratt, 2001). These were found among hoards in these areas, along with other bronze items characteristic of this time (c. 1800 BCE onwards), and are attributable to the Tumulus culture that spread across this region.
South Asia 
A first-century CE epic of Tamil literature called Cilappatikaram ("The story of the anklet") dealt with a woman whose husband was killed while trying to sell one of her anklets to a dishonest goldsmith. The anklets are described in great detail in the poem.
Rajasthani women wear the heaviest type of anklets, they are silver and signify tribals adherence. The women wear this for costume jewelry but also to show their bravery as a tribe against other rival tribes. The fashion for heavy anklets is declining in India now but is still common in the rural areas.
The word jhangheer is a word for the anklet in Hindi and Punjabi. Jhangheer means chains. This is significant in that the anklet was a chain the woman wore in her marriage. Some of the anklets were heavy and difficult to walk in.
As an ornament 
Anklets can be made of silver, gold, and other less precious metals as well as leather, plastic, nylon and other such materials. In the western world anklets or ankle chains are mainly worn by younger females, but some older women also wear them.
Metal anklets are of two types - flexible and inflexible. The flexible ones, often called paayal, pajeb or jhanjhar in India, are made by tying links in a chain. Subsequently, sonorous bells can be attached to the chain, so that the wearer can make pleasing sounds while walking. Inflexible ones are usually created by giving shape to a flat metal sheet.
The sound was also a reminder for people that there was a woman around, during the times of Purdah.
Salangai or Ghunghru 
Left or right? 
In India and Nepal, anklets are worn on both ankles. However, outside India most anklets seem to be worn on the right ankle. Perhaps this is due to more people being right-handed. Although in eastern cultures, anklets are worn on both ankles. It is common practice in the cuckold community and other lifestyle communities[which?] that the right ankle, being opposite of the left hand where the wedding ring is worn, indicates the female is married, but sexually available to other males. Most often the anklet is a simple gold chain but occasionally adorned with letters or symbols for example HW indicating Hotwife or queen of spades symbol indicating a preference for dark skinned male lovers. From the hippie culture of the 60s and more recent festival culture, anklets made from string, with beads or stones, or more decorative ornate designs are simply worn for adornment with no sexual connotation.
In scuba diving 
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