Our African Waist Beads are created with cotton cord to allow them to expand and retract with your body. Most women rarely, if ever, take the strands off once putting them on. These traditional waist beads are threaded on a cotton cord for durability and longevity. Typically you would wear the beads along your pantie line to accommodate slight weight fluctuations, but others may wish to wear them along their natural waist. Instructions for wearing and protecting your beads will come with your order.
The history of waist beads dates back to antiquity. Many believe that the history begins in ancient Egypt where they were called “girdles” and were worn by women as a status symbol. In West Africa, the tradition was made popular by the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. They are worn as a celebration of womanhood, sexuality, femininity, fertility, healing, spirituality, body shaping, protection and wealth.
Most of the beads we use are from Ghana, which also has a rich tradition of wearing waist beads. It is common for women in Ghana to wear waist beads as ornaments, as well as for symbolic adornment, which serves as a sign of wealth, femininity or aristocracy, as well as spiritual well-being. During Ghanaian naming ceremonies, babies are typically adorned with waist beads, while young adults also wear beads around their waists and on their hips during puberty rites as a portrayal of femininity. These beads are believed to possess the power to attract as well as evoke deep emotional responses.
Don’t be fooled by photos of only slender women wearing waist beads. Women of all shapes and sizes can confidently adorn themselves with waist beads as well. Because traditionally beads are worn along your panty or bikini line and not your actual waist (which is typically across the belly button), it allows for all women to comfortably wear waist beads no matter their size. Wearing them is really a personal reflection and appreciation for your God-given beauty.