Indian Jewelry: Metti toe rings

Toe-ring (Metti in Tamil) is an important jewellery for the women of
TamilNadu. It signifies that the woman is married. Toe-rings mostly
are made of silver and older ladies wear simple rings, while younger
ladies and brides wear ornate ones studded with stones. It is worn
on both the toes.

The bride-groom puts the toe-ring on the bride’s toes on the day of
the wedding.

There is a story that in olden times in TamilNadu, men used to wear
toe-rings to signify that they were married. Because women those
days were supposed to walk with their head bent, and when they see
the feet of men that has toe-rings then they have to understand that
they are married.

In India, wearing jewellery was always related to a scientific
reason. Earlier days not many questioned it. When asked to be worn,
women just wore it. Now we ask a lot of questions but unfortunately
most of our questions are not answered.

Since many dont know the history or the science behind them many
women do not wear them. The scientific reason they say is wearing a
toe-ring regulates the menstrual cycle.

In TamilNadu, even now people(especially boys) look at a woman’s toe
to see if they are married.


Kavitha Balakrishnan.