The thumb is the king of the palmar kingdom. According to anthropologists, the development of the thumb marked an important step forward in the anatomical and cultural evolution of the human race. In Chinese palmistry the thumb is considered so important, that often the whole character, state of health and future are read from the thumb alone. In Western Classical world the thumb was regarded as sacred to Venus and in hand-gestures it still has a phallic significance.
This special ring with a round format has set in its center a small, usually round heart-shaped mirror. The ring part, meant to fit snugly round a thumb, is broad so as to bear the weight of the rest of the piece.
Among all the rings worn on the hand, the arsi occupies a special place in a woman's heart, not only because of its impressive size, but because of the function it performs. With the mirror set into it, the young maiden wearing it (most often a bride), can look and check, by just turning the thumb, if all that was adorning her head, or her hair, was in place. Thus this unique piece of jewelry acts as a sentinel over the other ornaments contributing their efforts towards the embellishment of both a woman's physique and psyche. Much delight is associated with this ornament. Understandably, therefore, it features in songs and proverbs; and one comes across it in paintings too.
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