Belly chain

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Belly chain (Kamarband) Belly chain (Kamarband).jpg
Belly chain (Kamarband)

A belly chain or waist chain is the popular English term for the South Asian jewellery [1] called Kamarband (Hindi) (कमरबंद) or (Udiyanam) (Tamil) (உடையன). The belly chain is a type of body jewelry worn around the waist. [2] 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. The belly chains can be delicate thin or heavy thick.

Contents

Belly chains are considered auspicious for women in Indian culture. [3]

History

Hindu god Krishna wearing belly chain Raja Ravi Varma, Yasoda Adorning Krishna.jpg
Hindu god Krishna wearing belly chain

The use of waist chains can be traced back to 4000 years or more originating in the Indian Subcontinent. Historically, waist chains have been used in India, by men and women, as ornaments and as part of religious ceremonies, as accessories and to show affluence. [4]

Many ancient sculptures and paintings from locations in India, dating back to the Indus Valley civilization, indicate that waist chains were a very popular jewelry. Many deities in the Hinduism, such as Lord Krishna, wore waist chains. [5] [6] [7] A waistband called cummerbund or patka was a part of the medieval upper class costume of Rajasthanis. [8]

A 14th-century poetry indicates that the waist chain has been a fashion for men in some parts of South India [9] [10]

Pomegranate Studio Belly Dance. Women can be seen wearing belly chains. Pomegranate Studio Belly Dance.jpg
Pomegranate Studio Belly Dance. Women can be seen wearing belly chains.

Belly chains are common among women in India. [11] In some regions waist chains are common among men as well. In the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, every newborn receives a waist chain as a cultural pact.

Namboothri men generally wear waist strings even as adults. In some aristocratic families, Namboothiri men wore a flattened triple gold string around the waist. [12] As a Hindu custom newborns get a waist chain (Aranjanam) on the 28th day after their birth. In Kerala and, a state in India, almost all newborns irrespective of the religious affiliation 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 to wear waist chains as adults.[ citation needed ] 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. [13] In Lakshdweep a silver thread is worn by both men and women. [14] Dhodia and Kathodis are Katkari men use ornaments around the waist. [15] [16] [17]

For cultural reasons, waist chains became a fashion accessory for women and men in many parts of the world. [18]

Medical application

A U.S. Patent was issued for using waist chain as a continuous monitoring device to facilitate weight loss, [19] some of which are available in the market. [20]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Cummerbund Broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with single-breasted dinner jackets or tuxedos

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Anklet

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Kasta sari A style of sari draping.

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Angarkha A traditional upper garment in India subcontinent.

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References

  1. Schaefer, Richard T. (2008-03-20). Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society. SAGE Publications. p. 713. ISBN   978-1-4522-6586-5. Indeed, in recent years, thanks to celebrities such as Madonna and Goldie Hawn, Indian fashions (saris and churidars), jewelry (belly chains), and body art (mendhi), have found a market with both U.S. and Indian American youths. Beyond this ...
  2. Gupta, Hari Ram (1991-01-01). History of the Sikhs: Sikh Lion of Lahore/Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 385. ISBN   978-81-215-0515-4. A shirt of white muslin, a belt or kamarband tied over the shirt round his waist, a kachchha, a pair of tight trousers, yellow or pea-green, of Daryai silk, a pair of slippers, completed his dress. In winter he wore woollen pa jama, single or double ...
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