Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Joshua Isibor
African waist Beads- The origin of Waist beads
In the 21st century, women wear waist beads for several reasons. The origin of waist beads dates back to the early 15th century in Africa. In those days, women wore waist beads as an accessory to beautify themselves.
In countries like Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana, women wear these beads in different patterns, shapes, sizes, and colors as part of their culture and traditions.
However, in recent times, waist beads are no longer used only in Africa. Women in different parts of the world—Americans, Caribbeans, Asians, and Caucasians—now wear waist beads as a fashion accessory or a piece of jewelry to adorn themselves.
What are Waist Beads?
Waist beads meaning- Waist beads are pieces of beads, strings, wood, glass, animal skin, or wire sewn together and worn by women on their waists for different purposes. In Nigeria, Waist beads are called Bebedi in Yoruba and Jigida in Hausa.
Waist beads come in different sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns. Each of them has a different significance or purpose, which varies according to the color and other specific features.
Regardless of the growing rate of women wearing waist beads in the world, some people still believe that women who wear waist beads are prostitutes or have low lives. Are you one of them? If you are, then you should see the various reasons why women wear waist beads.
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Why Do Women Wear Waist Beads?
1. Cultural Heritage:
In some countries and communities, women wear waist beads as a part of their cultural tradition. Recently, women of different races, ethnicities, and origins, including those in the diaspora and whites, have worn waist beads as an accessory. Women in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Sudan wear waist beads. This traces back the origin of waist beads to Africa.
In the olden days, especially in these African countries, waist beads were worn for festivals such as the new yam festival, crowning of the king, naming ceremony, traditional marriage, and other festivals. They were naturally an essential part of the female dress. Black women in the diaspora buy and wear waist beads to connect with other blacks of the same origin and cultural history, thus showing off their African heritage.
These days, a lot of girls wear waist beads as an accessory. Some wear it not for any specific reason but just for the beauty and love of it. These beads beautify whoever puts them on and make them feel better. Waist beads are no longer worn by only Africans.
In this century, they are worn by people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnic groups. The whites also wear waist beads. Due to the beautiful nature of waist beads, they are worn by models on fashion runways to complement their dresses.
It is a common belief that women who wear waist beads have been charmed to attract and win some men, protect themselves against evil spirits and bad omens, or get jobs and recognition.
This is also a major reason why women wear waist beads. Some men are sexually aroused by these beads, thus women wear them when they want to have sexual intercourse.
Beads meant for this are usually colorful and most times have small bells or rings attached to them. When they walk past men, these bells rattle and make sounds that let these men know their intentions.
It is because of this that most people have the wrong impression that women who wear waist beads are prostitutes. However, this is completely untrue.
5. Spiritual Healing:
Women who believe in supernatural powers and spirituality wear beads for this reason. They believe waist beads have spiritual and healing properties. This healing property is believed to bring good luck to them, prevent them from getting hurt, and also heal them from diseases.
6. Confidence Booster:
A lot of women have made it known that wearing waist beads boosts their confidence. This has to do with comfort, choice, and convenience. Just like some people love to wear anklets and bracelets, that’s the same way women feel comfortable and confident wearing waist beads.
7. Maturity and Growth:
In countries where traditions still hold, women wear waist beads to show their age. Different age-grades wear different colors of beads. These beads often signify growth, womanhood, and maturity.
At different stages of growth of a woman, different sizes and colors of beads are worn. In infancy, a child wears a small bead and as they grow, the beads are changed. Mothers often wear their female children colorful beads that correspond to a certain stage of growth.
Beads worn during puberty vary from those worn during menstruation. When a female outgrows a waist bead, it signifies the transition into a new phase of life.
In some countries, these beads help men choose who to marry. This is because the color of their beads shows their age and the different developmental stages they have passed through.
8. Weight Loss
This is one of the major reasons why women wear waist beads. These beads are used as weight trackers. They help women keep their weight in check. Waist beads hang loosely on the waist and have been used by African women in the olden days to keep their weight in check.
These beads are used by pregnant mothers and single ladies alike. When you gain weight, the beads tend to move up and become tighter on the body. In the same vein, when you lose weight, the beads become loose and roll down.
Due to its convenience, some people prefer to wear waist beads than regularly climbing on a scale to check their weight. Women also prefer using waist beads to check their weight because some waist beads can be adjusted to give perfect comfort.
9.Intimacy and Fertility:
In some cultures, women wear waist beads to enhance their sensuality. A certain color of waist beads may be worn during sex. There are also specific beads for pregnant women. It is believed to protect the mother and child till the baby is delivered.
Even upon delivery, the mother and child wear their separate waist beads. If the baby is a boy, it gets to a certain age where the beads are removed. But for a girl-child, she continues to wear the beads and only changes them at various developmental stages like puberty, menstruation, and childbirth.
There are also beads worn to signify that a lady is ready for marriage. The bead is colorful and sometimes makes noise when she moves. This attracts potential suitors.
Women also wear waist beads to keep their body posture in check. In addition to helping them check their stomach size, waist beads help women watch the way they sit, stand, or breathe.
The fitting of the waist beads varies according to these postures. If one doesn’t sit properly, the waist beads may cut. In the same way, the breathing rate tends to affect the position of the waist beads.
When these happen, the woman is forced to readjust properly to suit the normal body state. They can adjust the stomach muscles, stand, or sit properly.
Waist beads are valuable accessories that not only beautify female folks but also help them lose or gain weight. We must do away with the misconception that women who wear waist beads are prostitutes. They are not. They are well-mannered and sane women who have chosen to wear these beads for various purposes.
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Some F.A.Q about waist Beads
1.What are the meanings of the colors and stones?
In choosing waist beads, there are different colors, and stones that have different meanings. So, you can wear a color that has a great meaning.
2.Waist Beads Color meanings
- Yellow: clarity, wisdom, awareness, joy, energy
- White: light, purity, truth
- Blue: Healing, insight, truth, harmony
- Red: vitality, bravery, passion, confidence
- Brown: earth, stability
- Purple: wisdom, spirituality, royalty
- Green: Fertility, prosperity, abundance, healing, hope
Stone and charm meanings
- Evil eye: protection against negativity
- Quartz: clarity, amplifies other crystals
- Green aventurine: luck, wealth and prosperity
- Hamsa: protection against bad luck or evil
- Rose quartz: love, healing, compassion
- Lapis lazuli: peace, truth, insight. Wisdom.
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