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Ear for Fashion

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The origin of earrings is often attributed to early animism. Animists believe that plants, metals, and other inanimate natural objects have souls and/or spiritual powers. Earrings like medallions and other such jewelry is said to aid humans when worn in strategic locations and in specific combinations. Apparently wearing one gold and one silver earring can cure a headache [source]. With the ear as an entrance to the body, early earrings could have been used to ward off intrusive evil spirits. Alternative superstition tells us that pierced ears should help the eyesight, maybe with the rationale sometimes used when those who are deaf show exceptional visual and olfactory sensation.
Ear piercing and ornamentation may have originated out of fetish in India [source]. Pirates both around the Indian Ocean as well as the Atlantic originally wore earrings in tandem with the fashion of the times. Eventually this became a practice to insure proper burial (gold earrings would foot the funeral bill). Unfortunately, this was short lived because history (Renaissance/Victorian eras) made earrings unladylike or simply unfashionable (in respect to male pirates), even looked down upon (during the boom in pirate history) . As much as they may seem like rebels, society still was able to dictate style all the way to the middle of the ocean. It is also said that after a shipwreck, surviving pirates would add a gold hoop to their getup in remembrance and also to symbolize perseverance.
Europe's feudal upbringings left social classes monetarily split, thus making earrings a perk of the wealthy before the Renaissance. In total, earrings have been around for about 4000 years.

 

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