History of Bangles

Bangles have been a prominent bracelet throughout history and across many different cultures. Traditionally made from shell, brass, gold, or copper, historians have been able to date thes bracelets all the way back to 2600 BC. The earliest bangles have been located in and associated with India. The actual word ‘bangle’ comes from the Hindi word ‘bungri’ which means glass. The material differs but with different materials come different significances and history. For example, sea shell bangles are exclusive to married Bengali and Hindu women. There are different bangles for different occasions, but you won’t often see bangles worn independently, they are noisy and in your face as they are worn in groups or pairs, jingling together as women dance or sing or move at celebrations.

bracelets-390090_960_720Historically there are only two types of bangles, which are categorized by the material used to make the bangle.

The actual bangle is styled to be rigid and not flexible like other bracelets. They are often worn in pairs or sets of several. Traditionally, gold and metal bangles were preferred by Indian women but less costly materials are becoming more readily available (such as plastic). These bracelets are worn traditionally at ceremonies and celebrations and come in an array of designs from the most simple gold bangle to bangles decorated with precious stones and handmade patterns.

The bangle in North America is often simply an accessory worn by many as a statement or addition to one’s outfit whereas in South Asia, India, etc. these bracelets have deep significance and are a huge part of the biggest days and celebrations.

Bangles have such a rich and interesting history and such deep cultural roots that so many are unaware of. It becomes so much more than a fashion statement when we learn the history of these vibrant, fun pieces

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