Waist beads are an ongoing ancient African tradition thought to originate in Nigeria among the Yoruba tribes, before becoming well known in West Africa, specifically Ghana. These strands that adorned women's waists were made with beautiful beads of different colors, sizes, and textures like seeds, bone, and glass.
Worn to celebrate different milestones in a woman's life: from coming of age to marriage celebrations, these bold and creative strands of beads were often given and exchanged as gifts. Traditionally beads themselves were traded and used as communicators in West African culture, likewise, waist beads were also used to signify tribes, social and religious status.
Used by women at different life stages, ages, weight, and body types, African waist beads have many functions such as boosting self-esteem, body awareness, inherent femininity, and sensuality.
Modernly waist beads are most known as an alternative to waist trainers and corsets, regularly used as an aid in weight loss and maintenance - when weight is lost, the strands become loose, and when weight is gained the strands become tight.
Here's a sexy and fun fact; waist beads, also known as belly beads were used as an enticement to seduce one's mate as traditionally they were worn as a form of lingerie - only known and seen by intimate partners. Known to aid in fertility waist beads can carry healing properties when made with intention, chromotherapy, healing stones, and crystals.
African waist beads are a fascinating and self affirming way to hold and carry the past traditions, functionality, and grace of our ancestors into a present awareness of body and mind.
New waist beads, heightened awareness, more confidence...who dis?!