As impossible as it seems that you are reading this article and have never heard of waist beads, we’d simplify things by clearly stating what these waist beads really symbolize and also the important benefits of waist beads.
What are Waist Beads and What are They Used For?
Waist beads are strands of beads which could be single, double or multiple made out of a whole lot of different materials such as beads, stones, wood, plastics, glass and a whole lots more. They are normally worn around the waist. The Yoruba tribe in Nigeria caused the increase in the popularity of African waist beads.
They are known to have been worn centuries ago for a lot of purposes with rituals inclusive. Pieces of jewellery in Africa would rarely be for just decorations, they usually come with a lot of meaning and reasons for using them; ceremonial, religious and rituals play a huge part in this.
They were also seen and known to be worn for purposes such as the celebration of womanhood, sexuality, spirituality, protection wealth and lots more. There was a time when Yoruba women were known to have laced waist beads with various charms to make them irresistible and very attractive to men. The practise isn’t very common or well known again due to civilization and development.
History of Waist Beads
Looking back into the books of history, the history of waist beads can be traced back to the days of the ancient Egyptians. Hieroglyphs depict and show pictures of ancient Egyptian dancers who adorned and decorated themselves with waist beads.
According to the well-known arts and culture, glass beads were introduced by the Arab and Portuguese traders on the coast of East Africa from the 16th to the 18th century. East African countries are also well known for the use of the popular waist bead. They also sometimes add oil to their bead strings to further promote the healing ability, to also promote fertility and puberty.
The common waist bead as known by all in this present day is used to being known as the “Girdle”.
People Mostly Using Waist Beads
Ghanian women are quite well known for using the popular and trending waist beads. Waist beads are used by Ghanaians as a symbolic adornment that may symbolize a sign of wealth, symbolize feminism, to indicate spiritual wellbeing. They are well known for psychological development due to the fact that they improve women’s confidence, self-adoration and also beauty.
An accepted suitor for a Ghanian lady would commission a set of waist beads for his bride. Not just waist beads but also bracelets, cuffs, necklaces and anklets. Ghanian ladies are known to use a series of beads on their waist with the belief that the only person who has the right and permission to remove the waist beads are their well-accepted husbands and only after they must have been wedded.
These waist beads are worn beautifully and fashionably by most African women of various shapes, sizes, colours, ethnicities and even ages. It was recorded that during Ghanaians naming ceremonies, the newborn child is usually adorned with waist beads.
Southern African countries were also getting astonished at the beauty of the waist beads. The women of South Africa in a lot of southern African countries are also well known to use this object of beauty. The influence of the waist bead spreads across a lot of countries and even spreads to the Caribbean also. It has been put to notice that women in Malawi use the waist beads when they are pregnant or they use this object when they want to seduce their husbands. This is also similar to women in Zambia.
The young adults also put on these waist beads when approaching puberty due to the puberty rites to be performed to portray one as a female.
Of What Significance is a Waist Bead?
It is well believed that the use of multiple waist beads could result in Weight Loss and can also be used to control the weight of a person. Waist beads could be used to control the weight of a person in the sense that when a person grows bigger, the waist beads become tighter on the person. This is a sign that you’re probably taking too much, maybe food or junk and cautions you to reduce the intake of these things there y making weight control one of the benefits of waist beads.
They are very good objects to monitor weight gain and loss. The waist bead is also known or believed to act as a catalyst that shapes the waist. It is believed that the habit of using multiple waist beads would help the waist to remain small and well curved. Women shouldn’t because of the sight of slim women using waist beads restrain themselves from it, women of all different sizes, shapes ages and all adore themselves with these beads.
How are Waist Beads Made?
Waist beads are made by putting certain desired objects into a cotton cord. It could be beads, well-shaped wood, stones, pebbles, glasses and a lot more with no hook at the extremes or clasp.
Traditional beads are meant to be worn till they break or fall off and that would definitely mean the lady in question has gained more weight and therefore increased in body size.
Benefits of Waist Beads
Putting to note the ten benefits of waist beads;
- It helps a lady monitor her weight and size. This is perharps the most important benefits of waist beads for most ladies. The waist beads become tighter when a lady gains weight and becomes looser when a lady loses weight.
- Healing property: Healthy oils are added to the strings of the waist bead in other to increase its use and healing ability as in the eastern African countries.
- Waist beads are said to keep the shape of a lady. It is assumed that by using multiple waist beads, the shape of your hip becomes well curved.
- Attraction purposes: Women such as the ladies of Zambia use waist beads to attract their husbands and it is also used to attract suitors. It’s used a lot to attract the opposite gender.
- Psychological Effects: waist beads have psychological effects on a lady in that a lady would feel good and happy about herself when using the waist beads.
- Ritual Purposes: waist beads are also known to be used for ritual purposes to attract men or to keep a man to oneself.
- For Ceremonial purposes: Waist beads are used in certain ceremonial spaces in some parts of Africa. An example is when a child is born in Ghana, the child would be decorated with beads.
- Maturity: Mothers in some African countries tie waist beads around a female child at puberty to symbolize her transformation into adulthood
- Inheritance: A lot of Africans especially those in underdeveloped areas use waist beads because those who came before them used waist beads. These ones have no special objective for the use of waist beads
- Source of income: People that make these beads also appear to make money merely by selling them as not everyone is interested in the sale of waist beads.
In addition to all the benefits of waist beads above, Waist beads are now genereally seen as a Fashion Accessories merely for attraction and self-confidence. Although certain parts of our ancient world had made the use of waist beads compulsory, today, only people who want to use waist beads use them. Waist beads do not portray any negative meaning and as such, the use of waist beads should not be condemned for any reason.
Do you Know any other benefits of waist beads not mentioned above? Kindly share with us using the comment section below.