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What is the origin of hoop earrings?

Circle earrings originated in Nubia (Sudan), Africa, before being introduced to other ancient civilizations, such as Egyptian, Asian, Roman and Greek civilizations, and becoming popular in many other parts of the world.

hoop earrings

Creole earrings by 9Avril



All these events took place between 2500 BC. and 1500 BC The hoop earring trend declined in the 1600s, but returned in the 1700s and was even more popular in the 1820s.

But it wasn't until the 20th century that hoop earrings became popular, especially in the United States. It was not welcome in all circles, however, and by the early 1900s, hoop earrings sparked mixed feelings.

hoop earrings

Creole earrings by 9Avril


A large portion of the American population viewed these earrings as accessories symbolizing Native American and Latino cultures.

Thus, many American women stopped wearing not only rings but also earrings , because they did not want to be seen as immigrants. Ear piercings were also very stigmatized, but that didn't last long.

hoop earrings

Creole earrings by 9Avril

So, in 1910, women adopted simpler hairstyles, lower outfits and high hairstyles, which allowed them to show off their ears. The result was the rebirth of earring culture.

Then, in the early 1920s, exotic styles were introduced, and hoop earrings returned to prominence. This is believed to have been made possible by the influences of the Egyptians and the Spanish population.

hoop earrings

Creole earrings by 9Avril



The discovery in 1922 of the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamun revived the notion of gold hoops as symbols of power and high social status.

So, with the short hairstyles and updos of the 1920s and 1930s, earrings became an essential accessory to complete outfits.

Note that at this time, women's clothing featured low-cut bodices that exposed the shoulders, and so the rings fit perfectly. It was around this time that famous American artist Josephine Baker made her breakthrough - she loved her gold rings on and off stage.

hoop earrings

Creole earrings by 9Avril

Hoop earrings remained an essential fashion accessory, becoming a signature look in the 1960s when they matched the straight, clean hair look of that decade.

Silver hoops and rings made with kinetic, chrome and tribal designs first appeared in the 1970s, with Diana Ross and Cher known for sporting large, intricately designed circles.

Earring designs evolved over time, and by the 1980s new earrings featured irregular shapes and drops. These new models have relegated circles to the background, albeit temporarily.

But hoop earrings never really went out of fashion. Rings remained fashionable through the 1990s and early 2000s, thanks to the influence of Latino culture and hip-hop culture.

hoop earrings Creole earrings by 9Avril

History of hoop earrings

Creoles have been around for a very long time, as we mentioned above, and have been around since the earliest human civilizations.

Specifically, rings were worn by ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks, Asians, and Romans.

hoop earrings Creole earrings by 9Avril



For these ancient communities, hoop earrings were worn to identify tribal members, but they quickly became symbols of power and religion within these societies.

The first circle-shaped earrings date back to 2500 BCE in Nubia, an African civilization located in what is now Sudan. The circles were made of silver, gold and bronze; then, in 1000 BCE, the circles evolved into tapered circle earrings, a style of earrings that would spread to many other cultures around the world.

Historical accounts place the Creoles in the oldest human civilizations around Mesopotamia. Sumerian women are believed to be the first group to wear gold hoops, in 2500 BC. This happened at the same time that Nubians were wearing hoops.

hoop earrings

Creole earrings by 9Avril



Egyptian men and women are also known for sporting some of the most beautiful hoops, and it is believed that this began in 1500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians believed that earrings improved the beauty of the person who wore them.

These rings were made of beads and twisted gold wire, followed by the thick, heavy gold rings of the royal Egyptians which symbolized power and wealth. The ancient Greeks and Romans also adopted rings.

Hoop earrings were deeply ingrained as an essential accessory worn by different communities and cultures throughout these ancient cultures and traditions. They were very important to the Egyptians, where hoops were introduced in 1500 BC.

So what has made hoop earrings so important, in all these civilizations, for all these years? To begin with, rings, especially gold ones, were worn to symbolize wealth, although many other people wore the rings because these earrings highlighted and emphasized beauty.

So, with the support of this rich symbolism, round earrings quickly made their way to other parts of the world. Greek goldsmiths began creating circle-shaped earrings during the first millennium BCE, followed by Etruscan goldsmiths.

These goldsmiths made different kinds of earrings, but they were all considered a symbol of prosperity and wealth. In both cultures, it was evident that they took great pride in combining these accessories with their unique art, including coming up with the new design of this jewelry.

So each of the ornaments they made featured rather intricate designs and embellishments, ranging from gems and pearls to flowers.

With the adoption and progression of the trend and acceptance of hoop earrings worldwide, the infiltration of hoop earrings into the Roman Empire expanded and dominated the empire.

Of course, like most novelties, they were not initially welcome in Roman culture, but as the empire grew, they became increasingly popular among both men and women. Even Julius Caesar, arguably Rome's most famous ruler, wore circle earrings when he ruled.

With the decline of Rome's influence in the ancient world, many other types of rings came into existence, leading to the popularity of Byzantine rings - these rings were made of ordinary gold and had pendants made of beads hung on chains – they quickly became a massive trend at the time.

During the Middle Ages or Renaissance, the popularity of rings declined, especially in Europe. Some believe that the fashion for high collars and hairstyles of the time played a role in the decline in popularity of hoop earrings.

Despite this decline of rings on land, they became increasingly popular at sea, where sea pirates wore them. And as mentioned above, it wasn't until the 1820s that rings became popular again.

When did hoop earrings become fashionable?

In modern civilizations, hoop earrings became fashionable from the 1920s when hairstyles and fashion trends changed. The rings achieved great success with the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.

Around this time, Western societies began to show interest in ancient fashion styles and rituals, and soon, women began wearing rings everywhere, usually with the "bob" haircut.

In the 1960s, hoop earrings became symbols of female emancipation, particularly among Latin and African-American women.

Were hoop earrings popular in the 70s?

Yes, at that time, rings represented women's emancipation. Hoop earrings were not only made of gold, but also of silver, chrome, and other tribal designs and styles.


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