- For the restraint for prisoners, see Belly chain (restraint).
A belly chain or waist chain is a type of body jewelry worn around the waist. Some belly chains attach to a navel piercing; these are also called "pierced belly chains". They are often made of silver or gold. Sometimes a thread is used around the waist instead of a chain.
A belly chain is a common adornment for belly dancers.
In the West, an increasing number of women including celebrity ladies are wearing waist ornaments for various reasons. Waist chains stayed primarily as a women's fashion accessory in the West. Use of waist chains can be traced back to 4000 years or more. Historically, waist chains were used very commonly used in Eastern countries by both men and women, as a part of a religious ceremonies, as a fashion and to show affluence. Many ancient sculptures and paintings from various locations in India, dating back to the Indus Valley civilization, indicate that waist chains were a very popular jewelry. In Maldives, it was reported that scholars, magistrates and other influential people wore silver chains around their waists before 1680s. Sayyid Mohammed arrived in Male’ when he heard that Maldives was filled with what he called "forbidden practices", he banned men from wearing waist chains as part of his effort to remove superstition and heresy. Some men complied, in other cases chains were forcibly removed. Many deities in the Hindu religion, such as Lord Krishna, wore waist chains. A waistband called cummerbund or patka was a part of the medieval upper class costume of Rajasthanis.
Belly chains are so common among the women in India, in some regions waist chains are also common among men as well. A 14th Century poetry indicates that waist chain has been a fashion for men (“The golden waist chain, and fine skirts, resting upon his rainbow waist, beautifully shining”). Namboothri men generally wear waist string even as adults, in some aristocratic families, Namboothiri men wore a flattened triple gold string around the waist. As a Hindu custom newborns get a waist chain (Aranjanam) on the 28th day after their birth. In Kerala, a state in India, almost all newborns irrespective of the religious affiliation usually get a waist chain. Although many boys generally abandon waist chains during their teenage years, a large fraction of the girls and a sizable number of boys continue wear waist chains even as adults, consistent with the local traditions and culture. A follower of Lord Siva is expected to wear a chain, with Rudrakshas strung in a white chain with one hundred beads, around the waist. In Lakshdweep a silver thread is worn by both men and women. Dhodia and Kathodis are Katkari men use ornaments around the waist Because of cultural and religious traditions, waist chains became a fashion accessory for both women and men in many parts of the world.
- Art-manufactures of India - specially compiled for the Glasgow International Exhibition, 1888 - Trailokyanātha Mukhopādhyāẏa
- http://www.keralafashions.com - /keralafashions_jewellery_traditional.htm
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Belly chains|