Are you considering accessorizing with a head chain piece to accessorize your outfit?
If yes, it is vital to consider if it is culture appropriative. The head chain is not just a cute accessory to wear for everyone, especially if it has meaning behind it to other people of a certain culture.
Since head chains have an origin and meaning behind them, you do not want your choice of head jewelry offending someone else unless you are honoring the culture and not making fun of it.
However, if it is a modern piece with no symbolism or cultural origin to a group of people, adorning it will not be a form of cultural appropriation.
In this article, you will learn more about head chains’ origin and history and whether they are culturally appropriate.
Head chain jewelry origin
Head chain jewelry dates back to 5000 years ago when head chain jewelry and other pieces arouse women in India into adorning them.
Other cultures had different types of head jewelry made of other materials until the head chain started gaining popularity in Indian society.
The head chain is a piece every woman used to decorate herself with for various occasions and to mean various things in their culture.
This piece of jewelry has both aesthetic and traditional value in many cultures.
Plus, in times of financial crisis, the head chain jewelry is a source of social security. The more the head chains and other jewelry the woman has adds riches to her name and signifies her status in society.
More importantly, the head chain jewelry’s rich beauty lies in the efforts of the workmanship in creating the intricate designs and the uniqueness of its final design.
In these modern days, adorning yourself with a head chain piece is gaining more vigor as much as the art of creating intricate ornaments with patience and delicacy has been a part of the history of India.
Today, the modern head chains are a proactive focus of fashion and beauty and are evolving to simpler pieces and necessarily have no meaning just for adorning purposes.
Head chain jewelry history
Head chain jewelry has been found in various cultures in the world. It is similar to hair jewelry which forms part of the jewelry repertoire of Indian women.
Its first appearance was in sculptures and paintings dated over 5000 years ago.
It boasts a diverse heritage and history like no other accessory and has customary and religious value. Most materials used to make the head chain jewelry hold symbolic power and meanings for the occasion.
This piece of jewelry is intertwined with its culture, as is evident from the many stories, texts, epics, and literature sharing its significance to the culture. It has symbolic and intrinsic value and is rarely purely aesthetic.
Its popular symbolism is related to popular theology that deals with general concerns, notions, fears, and aspirations shared by the culture it belongs.
Are head chains cultural appropriation? Why?
Yes. Head chains are cultural appropriation since the head chain jewelry idea was borrowed from a certain culture and has meaning to why and where you wear it.
Therefore, adorning it as a trendy piece without honoring the occasion makes it cultural appropriative.
The head chain pieces sold today may seem like simple head chain piece, but it resembles the head chain pieces worn by Indian women.
Thus, wearing them is disrespecting their culture and not embracing the real meaning of wearing them to your occasion or an event.
It is better to adorn one when you are sure of its source and meaning, and in support of the culture, the head chain style gets its inspiration.
How to wear head chain jewelry without cultural appropriation?
To wear a head chain without cultural appropriation can be a challenge for some, but it is not hard. First, if you are adorning the head chain jewelry piece, do not see it as something beautiful but as a disposable accessory to wear.
Wear it as a way to participate in their culture. Also, as a way to show appreciation and inspiration from it. Therefore, wear it and make it your own to blend with other pieces or garments you have on considering it is part of a culture and not a costume.
You should be able to wear the piece and communicate respect and not condescension.
Most people cross the line between cultural appropriation and celebration due to inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of the practices, customs, or ideas of one group by another.
So, wear it to make it your own, for most cultures universally have a head chain piece that may look similar to another, and multiple cultures have a version of their own you can adorn in a respectful and unique style.
Plus, if you find it a challenge to accessorize with it without cultural appropriation, wear it to the right occasion in honor of the cultural beliefs.
Head chain pieces are not in many cultures universally. However, there are many other types of head accessories in various cultures worldwide. Today, there are modern types available designed for fashion and beauty purposes.
Therefore, you can opt to try the various headpieces available, as long as you are not culturally appropriate depending on the type or design you want to wear.
So, if you are not part of the culture of the head chain you choose to wear or know the importance, you may not wear it appropriately.
It is vital to avoid cultural appropriation by stepping away from specific head chains instead of wearing them as a trend piece.
Thus, research the history and meaning, learn how to give credit to the culture, and stay respectful by learning more about the head chain you want to use before you opt for it as part of your accessory piece in your event.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.