Bracelets And Bangles Are As Ancient As Humans
Did you know that anthropologists have discovered skeletons that go back to neanderthal times still wearing bracelets and necklaces? The fact the we human beings wear clothes and personal adornments seems to be one of our most distinguishing features.
Why do we do it? Maybe it’s because we don’t have fur or feathers and we feel self conscious. Seriously. We like to think of ourselves as more evolved than other species because we’re so inventive. However, maybe we’re lacking something in the evolutionary chain and we had to become inventive in order to survive.
That may or may not be true, but it is still a fact that we do adorn ourselves. Clearly, one of the reasons we do so is to bond with our tribal or group community. While this is obviously true in isolated indigenous cultures, it is not as clearly evident in our large Western cultures, with our mix of fashions and styles. Take a closer look, though.
As human beings, we need to feel like we’re part of a tribe. The whole is too overwhelming. So, we pick a subculture to belong to, according to our talents, our aspirations, our backgrounds and a host of other reasons, both conscious and unconscious. Some of us identify with goths and wear clothing and jewelry that reflects that tribal affiliation. Some of us wear gold watches, in order to display our affiliation with the more affluent classes.
We also choose our adornments according to occasions. That, too, has tribal origins. Indigenous peoples wear certain makeup and jewelry including a necklace for going to war, for religious ceremonies and for births and funerals, among other things. We choose our bangles according to whether we’re going out on the town, to work or to a Christmas party.
Of course, our adornments are also symbolic of our stature in our community. A utilitarian straw hat suggests that the wearer is a laborer. A top hat, though not in vogue today, symbolized a man of superior social stature. There is nothing whatsoever utilitarian about a top hat. It just makes a man stand out in a crowd.
Finally, it comes down to personal choice. We may all be part of humanity as a whole and our cultures specifically, but we are also all individuals. We express our individuality in the jewelry we wear. No all gold watches, for example, look alike.
So you see, the bracelets and other jewelry you wear tell a story. What is your story?