Waist beads are highly popular in African cultures, and they’re also becoming increasingly popular among Western audiences. You can find them online or in certain clothing stores, but if you want to know more about what they are and how to use them, this article will help you out with everything you need to know about waist beads and their benefits!
What are Waist Beads
Waist beads, also known as, waist chains, waist bracelets, or belly beads, are one of many different types of traditional African jewelry. This particular form of jewelry is worn by women in West Africa (typically Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal) and have been used since the 15th century. These colorful decorations are not only used as a body adornment but they serve a spiritual purpose as well.
People who wear waist beads claim that they have a calming and protective effect on people wearing them. Waist beads can be made from several different types of materials including glass, crystal, wood, and a variety of metals. The beads a designed to sit around the stomach or hips of a woman and promote body positivity.
Waist Beads are similar to necklaces or bracelets, except they’re worn around the waist or just above the hips. In many ancient African cultures and to this day, they are a symbol of a woman’s confidence in her body and her sexuality.
History of Waist Beads
Waist beads have been around for thousands of years, dating back to the 15th century. Yet, despite their long history, waist beads remain a popular accessory in various cultures. Many people wear them for both fashion and spiritual purposes. In fact, many believe that these beads can provide women with luck and protection from evil spirits when worn properly.
They have been worn for many reasons like an expression of femininity, protection, healing, rights of passage during puberty, baby naming ceremony, maintaining of the figure, and intimacy with a husband or lover.
How to Wear Them
How do you wear African waist beads correctly? We all want to look great in our African waist beads, but we can make mistakes when we wear them. This is especially true for people who are not familiar with them and find it difficult to get used to wearing something around their waist. But you can quickly learn how to wear your beautiful new waist beads and avoid making common mistakes. By following these tips, you will be looking and feeling great in no time!
How To Measure Waist For Waist Beads
- Use a tape measure to measure the area you would like the beads to sit (typically around the top of your hip bone).
- You do not want them to be too tight so leave a little space.
How To Tie Waist Beads?
- Wrap the beads around your body just above the top of your hips.
- Remove any excess beads.
- Tie the cotton string in a double knot.
- Trim the excess string
How Should Waist Beads Fit?
When you buy waist beads they will typically be made to fit a certain size range or will be made to measure depending on the store you buy them from.
What Are Waist Beads Used For?
People wear them for a variety of reasons, but most often it’s because they’re fashionable or because they wish to fit into a certain style. In many African cultures, waist beads are an indicator of wealth and status, so their primary use is aesthetic.
Some people also use African waist bands as a weight awareness tool. With the bands being a set size and not elasticated, they can act as a physical guide to tell you when you are full or if you are gaining weight over a period of time. Wearing beads to track weight gain will usually require the beads to be positioned slightly higher, around the waist rather than the upper hips. It is also recommended for the waist bead to be slightly tighter than those that aren’t used for body shaping purposes.
Waist beads are worn for varying reasons, some of which include:
- Weight Awareness
- Body Positivity
- Intimacy & Fertility
What Are The Meanings Of The Colors And Stones?
African waist beads can come in a wide range of colors and materials. Here are a few of their meanings:
- Red: vitality, passion, bravery, confidence
- Brown: earth, stability
- Green: prosperity, fertility, abundance, hope, healing
- Blue: healing, harmony, insight, truth
- Yellow: wisdom, clarity, awareness, energy, joy
- Purple: spirituality, wisdom, royalty
- Red: vitality, passion, bravery, confidence
- White: light, truth, purity
How To Make Waist Beads?
Waist beads can be made at home using specially designed kits that some manufacturers offer. They will provide you with everything needed to produce your first set of belly beads.
The kit will usually include:
- Small seed beads
- Symbolic charms
- Crystal glass embellishments
- The thread string
- A beading needle
Alternatively, you could purchase these items for yourself at a craft shop and follow along with aan instructional video at home.