The traditional and modern significance of Waist Beads

The traditional and modern significance of Waist Beads

What is the meaning of waist beads?

black girl wearing white waist beads in front of her mirror

Waist Beads are very important in the African culture. They have been worn by women of all ages and sizes. African Waist beads, which are traditionally worn under clothes by African women, have a variety of meanings.

Pride, beauty, culture, power, self-love, self-preservation,  expression of identity, rites of passage, seduction of a partner, healing and rejuvenation. Essentially, this art of self-adornment is one that can has been with us for centuries and should never be forgotten.

The Main Purpose of Waist Beads:

Women will wear waist beads to keep their bodies intact, both traditionally and in modern times. Waist beads are said to shape your body, keeping your waist small and your hips accentuated. It was (and still is) used as a measuring device. Traditional waist beads do not stretch, so when the waist beads begin to feel tight, it is a sign of weight gain, and vice versa.

curvy girl wearing african waist beads for weight control

The traditional insights of waist beads.

Traditionally, the person who makes your waist beads is an artisan. Traditionally waist beads have never been made with a machine as you can see around on the net nowadays. The whole purpose of crafting waist beads is to develop patience and appreciate the little things whilst being in tune with your body.

The beads, shells, stones, and other items that may be worn around your waist are chosen and placed with a specific purpose in mind.

The beads that a woman wears for her husband will be vastly different from those that a young girl wears as she enters womanhood as they will be different from those that a bride might wear on her wedding day.

The main insight is that, traditionally, waist beads are not supposed to be shown to the public. However today, due to modernisation, this strict rule is fading slowly.

The modernisation of waist beads.

The waist bead has become a very modernized trend, today many wear waist beads as a fashion piece. They wear them as part of their outfits and show them.

Many are debating if this is a good thing, however as a brand we don't judge individual choices. If someone want's to show them that's their own.

All we advise is to make sure that this is not done in the West African countries.


black girl wearing african waist beads in her outfit

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