Women wear waist beads as cultural fulfilment, sign of maturity, for body awareness, intimacy, fertility, heritage and pride. As the world evolve and culture integration spans across; other women appreciate waist beads for adorning their bodies.
1. Beads are for Cultural Fulfilment
Many women who wear waist beads did not make this choice, rather it’s a cultural impartation from childhood. Before a girl in Africa especially, could speak, there are beads hanging around her waist. The decision to maintain this accessory, as the child develops into womanhood, is then left to her or the husband.
2. Beads Serve as Gender Awareness
Waist beads are worn around the waist of newly born girls to show their gender. Only in rare cases are boys dressed with waist beads. Except been ordered by a priest or spiritual mentor, males are not worn this waist accessory.
Waist beads then, sets clear gender difference between newly born babies.
3. Sign of Maturity [Rites of Passage]
Even though waist beads are worn from childhood; they still place a strong emphasis on growth in women. As the child matures, her request for type of beads, color, size and number of beads may change.
Though not everyone continues to embrace the tradition as they age, yet putting it on is often regarded as maturity stage and symbol of growth in a girl’s life cycle.
4. Used to Entice Men and Maintain Shape
A 45-year-old speaking about beads “I feel naked without my beads. They give me shape. It looks beautiful and fantastic on me.”
Tracy, 23 “Really, I don’t think of it, am not into beads. Formerly, I don’t wear it but my boyfriend likes it. He plays with them whenever we get intimate.”
Both men and women are aroused by beads. The sound of it turns men on. When a man touches it, it tickles his wife. Beads play effective role in intimacy. Many men and women confessed how it improves their intimate lives.
5. Used as a Sign of Fertility
Waists beads also indicate a girl has reached the stage of maturity where she can marry, carry a baby and become a mother.
6. Beads are Used to Connect to Lineage
Waist beads are a sign of celebrating custom. It reminds a woman of her ancestry. Patrice, an African American who lives in Ghana said “I adorn waist beads because I feel connected to my lineage I never had the chance to know”.
7. Serves as Pride of a Woman
It helps demonstrate the sensual intricate inner feelings of a woman which is inexpressible. Suzy, 29 expressing her view on why women wear beads “Wearing waist beads makes me feel like a woman and real African”.
Rosemary, 15 “My friend doesn’t wear beads, and she looks naked. She’s too straight without curve. Beads give you shape.”
8. Women Wear Waist Beads for Body Awareness
As waist beads are not elastic, one must change them when they don’t fit any longer. This process determines your body size. When a woman gains weight, she needs to adjust the string to fit.
She must either add more beads if there’s gap or buy different one which will fit her current body size. If she then loses weight, she has to readjust the string to fit the waist or hip.
This can help a woman keep her weight in check.
9. Waist Beads Turn Men on for Love Making
Innocentia, 27 a married woman reveals how her husband feels about waist beads. “I don’t know why but my husband is crazy about beads. He won’t touch me unless I put on one. I keep beads for different occasions.”
Happy, a married woman in her early 30 “My husband always plays with these objects even when I’m in my cloth. Initially, I’m not a huge fun, but my man will want to see it on my waist whenever we engage in sex.”
Lois, 22 bead maker and nail technician “If I didn’t wear it, trouble. He likes it when I wear it.” “I don’t play with it, but my boyfriend does.”
Bead seller and maker “It has different purposes, I wear it for my husband. As a woman, you can’t help but to wear it.”
10. It Makes Women Look Amazing in Bed
A group of men were asked ”what makes a woman look amazing in bed,” some mentioned that beads on their partner’s waist is an essential part of noticing a woman is amazing in bed.
Although some men don’t care what a lady wears on her hip, others are so much into the bead custom. While others say they hardly notice it, and don’t mind if there’s any at all, many men prefer and insist their women adorn themselves with beads.
Henry, 37 “When I find beads on my wife’s waist, it turns me on. I do love to play with them.”
Courage, “Its hard to get my girlfriend in the mood, but if you can touch her beads, you good to go.”
Togbe, “A woman without beads looks naked. I don’t get any feelings for such a woman. When a lady dress down without bead on her waist, I lose interest in her. She doesn’t look attractive.”
Divine, “They are hot and charming. They keep their curves.”
7 Facts About Waist Beads
Many girls didn’t make the choice to wear beads. It is how they were raised.
Some girls don’t have any clue why they wear beads. They wear it because they saw their mothers wearing it for them.
- Beads have spiritual understanding
- Waist beads originated from Africa
- Waist beads reminds women of their sensual power
- Waist beads turn some men on
- In Africa, waist beads are worn from childhood
- About 85% African women wear waist beads
- Some Western women wear beads
Other Names of Waist Beads
- Belly beads
- Waistline beads
- Beaded waist chains
What are Waist Beads?
Waist beads are typically African traditional accessory made up of round-like glass beads arranged on a string and worn around the waist of a girl or woman. They are crafted in different sizes, shapes, colors and length.
History of Beads
Beads exist among Africans since centuries. Africa is full of many rich cultures, though not all traditions run through the entire continent, many nations place value on beads.
They are not only for female waist, they are worn on different parts of the body for different reason.
In some tribes, they decorate their kings and queens with neck and wrist beads. The king and queen escorts during festive as well decorate alike.
Beads furnish kings and queens with power and authority. They dress in unique types and colors. It shows royalty.
Each bead has a meaning, the way they are worn, and how the coloring is brought together gives a distinctive meaning.
4 Types of Beads
Waist bead: This is worn mostly by females on their waist from childhood. At times, worn by new born male child but for a short period. It is believed to offer spiritual protection for children, this is why some parents wear it for their baby boy.
Wrist bead: Wrist beads which are not commonly worn on ordinary days but festive and by traditional priests are worn on the wrist to display African culture or identify oneself as a traditional priest.
During the graduation of an apprentice in some parts of West Africa, wrist beads are worn for the graduate.
Neck bead: As wrist bead, the neck one is also used to garnish the body occasionally by both male and female and priests or priestess.
Ankle bead: In some parts of Ghana, ankle beads are used by some music groups to celebrate their tradition. Others regard individual girls who put on ankle beads as prostitute, while others look at it as a way of garnishing one’s body.
Despite bead is widely used, there’s less discussion on it. Especially, waist beads are not subject you often come across because they are always hidden.
To see a woman’s waist bead, it means she is naked.
Some African countries That Wear beads
Why Do Men Wear Neck Beads?
Men wear neck beads to decorate themselves and dress in traditional costume.
Beside looking gorgeous in neck beads, men feel powerful in them. It adorns them like kings. Women admires male neck beads. It also shows riches as male neck beads are expensive.
Some men wear neck beads because they are priests. And it bears spiritual understanding to them. It is easy to identify spiritualist with neck beads.
It is also used to embellish African kings. Therefore, kings do wear it to show their pride in their culture and look distinct.
Since wearing beads openly is not common except on occasions, those that wear them stand out.
Neck beads are also worn by females.
Advantages of Waist Beads
Divine, teacher, prophet and herbalist “Beads play spiritual and physical role. They add beauty to a woman in various dimensions. Beads add sensation to a woman, if a man places the hand on the waist of a woman wearing beads, it generates sensual feelings.
The sound produced by the beads tickles a man’s heart. You notice in your inner man you are with a woman.
Bead is a serious protection to the woman. It was produced for that perspective. It was the main perspective and dimension of beads.
When a man forces himself on a woman and the woman consciously removes her beads, the man loses his erection. She doesn’t have to be a spiritualist for it to take effect.
It adds beauty to whoever wears it.
Beads have spiritual understanding.
Take a look at the Roman Catholic rosary? It is in a form of beads, the Muslim Misbahahs. Some priests also use beads for prayers.”
Benefits of Wearing Waist Beads
- Promoting culture
- Beautifying the body
- Attracting your partner
- Connecting to lineage
- Weight awareness
- Spiritual protection
How To You Choose the Right Waist Beads for Your Body?
To buy a bead, consider the following:
Color: Colors have meaning, to own a bead; try to understand the meaning of the bead color. Well, if you are not into choosing bead based on color, pick the one which best looks good on you.
Size: There are different bead sizes, consider the size you prefer before ordering it.
Occasion: Some women wear beads depending on occasions. At times when they have a partner, they buy a particular size or color of bead for their anniversary, or birthday celebration or they identify which type of bead attracts their partner easily.
Price: There are beads which very expensive than others. Before you order, verify the price and check your budget.
Partner: Your partner plays a role in the kind of bead you put on. When you decide to buy it, you can cross check from your husband his favorite.
Length: Beads are likely to last as long as you choose to keep them. They do not fade nor easily break. Therefore, when you consider get a new one, you should wear it before taking it home.
Tell the bead maker or seller to select for you.
Also, remember beads are not returnable commodities.
Like dress, women can shop beads in bead shops and try them to see which fits well enough.
Women can buy beads from hawkers who sell beads along streets by picking their favorite color and length which fits them.
Placing an order for a bead maker to craft it according to your specifications.
Beads come in different colors and sizes, a woman can buy depending on her preferences.
Waist Bead Prices
Bead prices ranges from very low affordable prices to high prices. The prices below are prices from bead makers and sellers in some parts of Ghana.
Neck Bead Prices for Men and Women
Beads are lasting ornaments. They do not fade nor break easily. By that I mean, if you have not increase or decrease in weight, you can use same beads for very long.
Unlike dresses that fades or worn-out, beads are discarded by wearer when she or the partner lose admiration for them. Beads signify part of African rich culture and shows how people still hold true to the value of their tradition.