Many people may not know the specific reasons why some people wear beads, especially around the waist.
Besides being trendy, waist beads are actually an age-old tradition in parts of Africa with distinct meanings, symbols and history attached to them.
Here are some of the reasons women wear beads around their waist:
1. It is a symbol of femininity and sensuality
Some women wear waist beads under their clothes and allow only their lover to see them as a meaning of sanctity and purity between the two.
For some, the beads are a means of seduction to provoke desire.
Sometimes, wives would use the rattling of the beads to communicate their fertility.
2. It is a rite of passage and it symbolizes growth
Waist beads were a rite of passage for some cultures.
Mothers would ornament their daughters with beads during their first menstruation as a ceremonial rite of passage into womanhood.
Each time new waist beads were inherited, it symbolized a healthy life, growth and maturity.
3. Measurements and body shaping
Both traditionally and in modern times, women will wear waist beads to get or keep their bodies intact.
It is said that the beads shape your body and keep the waist small and hips accentuated.
It is usually used as a measurement tool because the beads do not stretch.
So if/when the waist beads start to feel a little tight, it’s a sign that there has been some weight gain and vice versa.
4. Colours and Meaning
The colours of the beads also have very specific significations.
These meanings may vary from tribe to tribe, culture to culture.
However, here are the traditional meanings of some of the colours on a waist bead.
Blue stands for knowledge, healing, peace, truth, harmony, faith, devotion, deep insight.
Green stands for prosperity, hope, harmony, healing and ripening, generous and humility.
Red means self-confidence, vitality, sexual energy, passion and courage.
Yellow also signifies wisdom, knowledge, clarity, increasing awareness and calming nerves.
5. The Formation of the Beads
In a traditional sense, the person making it is usually a highly spiritual person.
The beads, shells, stones and other things that may go on your waist are picked and placed with the intention of something very specific.
Ladies, why do you wear waist beads?