Women of all ages in the rural and urban ‘Sha’bi’ areas traditionally wanted to wear Jewelry around their ankles, It is usually made of one thick, solid piece of 80-carats silver without seams and the silver is shaped into an open circle and at both ends of the open circle the metal is shaped by hammering then cooled off to take on a hexagonal shape. The anklets are usually sold in pairs, one in each leg, and their weight depends on the women’s budget- the richer she is the heavier the anklet. A pair of anklets may sometimes weigh up to two kilograms of silver. Women of some peasant areas and Alexandria were famous for their anklets which they wear it more often and sometimes add to it hollow balls of silver all around the anklet known as “galagil”, sounds when the girl walks, they claim that every girl can be recognized by the particular sound of her anklet, sometimes galagil ends with red beads. Additionally, anklets have cultural meanings in some communities other than it is an accessory or completing the women’s beauty, for example, in Nubia it is believed that wearing the anklet lasts the pregnancy.Nowadays, anklets are rarely worn among the sha’bi class, the fashion for them came back, however, the upper-class girls began to wear anklets of fine silver chains, and girls from sha’bi class soon followed suit and wore silver or bead anklets. The fashion of wearing anklets comes back to a limited degree without its cultural meanings still, which indicates its revitalization. Traditionally, in some communities, especially in the desert and sometimes rural areas, families and tradesmen would make it a condition for marriage that the bridegroom includes one gold anklet in the Shabka, which is the engagement offering, to the future bride, along with the necklace, earrings, bracelets, and ring.

Traditional anklets are about to disappear and become extinct from traditional jewelry and turned to an upper-class fashion, however, it is an item in all the ethnographic museums in Egypt indicating that it was always part of Egyptian woman jewelry.


Azza Fahmy, Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt- the traditional art and craft, AUC 0press, Cairo, 2006.