It is traditional for married Indian women to wear toe rings. Toe rings for married Indian women can be made of various metals and may be adorned with gemstones. Sometimes toe rings are attached to anklets. They can be small and simple or large and elaborate. Unlike finger rings which form a complete circle, toe rings tend to have a gap in the ring or a hinge to enable them to be easily and comfortably worn. Indian toe rings for married women are usually worn as a matching pair, one on the second toe of each foot. Sometimes they are worn on two or three toes of each foot. Toe rings worn by Hindu ladies tend to be made of silver, since gold is believed to belong to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and is respected by not being worn below the waist. Silver is also thought to have a property that benefits the wearer.
It is also believed that marriage toe rings have a beneficial effect on the female reproductive system. It is thought that a nerve in the second toe connects the uterus to the heart, thus toe rings worn on these toes are thought to regulate the menstrual cycle and increase the likelihood of conception. Moreover, these toe rings are thought to have an erotic effect and increase the libido. This relates to reflexology theory. Hindu toe rings go back to the Ramayana, one of the two Hindu epics, which tells the story of King Rama and his wife, Sita. In the Ramayana, Sita wears a toe ring. Some Indian Muslim ladies also wear toe rings, such as the Shaikh community.
Toe rings have been discovered on two ancient Egyptian skeletons. The skeletons are over three thousand years old and were found in Amarna, Egypt. The toe rings are made of copper alloy and one was worn on the big toe of an injured right foot. This suggests that the toe ring could have been worn for healing purposes. Even to this day, some people believe in the healing powers of copper bracelets.
Gemstone toe rings are also worn for healing purposes, such as in jyotish jewelry. Healing toe rings are sometimes worn on the big toe. In fact, men sometimes wear a toe ring on the big toe in the belief that it will increase their sexual vitality. Others believe that magnetic toe rings worn on the big toes or the big and second toes work by affecting acupressure points that are concerned with appetite. Many of these toe rings are made from silicon with magnets inside, but others have attractive designs and are made from copper with silver and gold plating.
Nowadays, toe rings are also worn by some single Indian women as decorations, and by women all over the world, regardless of their cultural background. Toe rings were made popular in the USA by Marjorie Borell in 1973. Apparently, Borell had been traveling in India. Toe rings are popular foot accessories worn with sandals. Toe rings can be an affordable piece of costume jewelry or high-end designer items, made with precious metals and high value gemstones. Since these jewelry items are as varied in style as the feet wearing them, there is a toe ring for everyone, both men and women alike. So put your best foot forward and feel free to join this fashion phenomenon.
- First Published: December-17-2014
- Last Updated: August-30-2017
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