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5 Things You Didn’t Know About African Waist Beads

by Tadalu . 01 Nov 2020 1 comment

Our fascination with jewels, jewelry, and other forms of adornments dates back to prehistoric times. Throughout  human history, jewelry has played an important role in all cultures all over the world. African jewelry and waist beads are no different.

In fact, they are some of the few accessories that have been passed down through generations of African women.

What are African Waist Beads?

As implied by the name, they are an African accessory that woman wear around the waist or hips. Waist beads are made of small glass beads, are available in different colors and shapes and can include stones, charms or crystals.

If you want to learn more about African waist beads, keep reading.

5 Astounding Things You Didn’t Know About African Waist Beads

If you are intrigued by the beauty, history, and significance of African waist beads, then scroll down to learn more about these significant pieces of waist jewelry. 

1.     A Symbol of African Pride and Heritage

While African waist beads are extremely popular in Africa, they are worn all around the world by women of African origins. African women who live away from their native countries often adorn their waist with these colorful and traditional beads as a means to connect with their heritage and celebrate the rich African culture.

A strand of beads around the waist acts as a physical reminder of the cultural roots and connection to the dark land of mystery and beauty. Therefore, regardless of the geographical area where they are born or live, African women continue to wear African waist beads as a part of daily attire.

The best thing about African waist beads is that they are extremely versatile. They are available in a wide range of styles and designs. This means that every woman can find the perfect strand of beads that reflects her individuality while also acting as a symbol of African pride and heritage.

Plus, African waist beads can be worn over or under clothing and go with all kinds of attire. So, whether you are at the beach, flaunting your favorite bathing suit, or at work, maintaining a professional aura, you can wear African waist beads to stay connected to your African roots at all times!

2.     African Waist Beads Are for Everyone! 

African waist beads are often worn as a symbol of African heritage and pride worldwide. However, that doesn’t mean that these extraordinary pieces of jewelry are reserved for only African women.

Many non-African women are often hesitant to adopt trends and accessories closely related to African cultures, such as waist beads. Their common concern is whether it is appropriate for people of non-African descendants to wear African waist beads.

The truth is that African waist beads are for everyone! Whether you are an African woman residing in Africa, living away from your native country, or a non-African person who appreciates the culture or simply has a thing for exotic and beautiful jewelry, you can wear African waist beads in any way you like. Many women wear them permanently, while others like to pair African waist beads with their favorite dresses on special occasions. 

It is important to understand that African culture is not only extremely rich and versatile but also hospitable and inviting. In other words, African people open up their hearts to everyone and invite everyone to explore their culture and heritage. This means you can opt for African jewelry and waist beads whenever you want.

African waist beads are extremely popular worldwide. Most non-African women wear waist beads for aesthetic purposes. Furthermore, African waist beads are for everyone because these mesmerizing adornments come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of the size you choose, waist beads look great on all body types. Waist beads that can be adjusted to match the changes in the body are also readily available in the market to cater to women prone to weight change.

Assorted beads accessories for sale   African waist beads in the market

3.     Waist Beads Help Create Weight Awareness

African waist beads are also worn to create weight awareness. Generally, weight gain manifests in the abdomen area. Similarly, the effects of weight loss  often appear around the belly. In other words, keeping an eye on your waist can help you keep track of any changes in the body.

Whether you gain or lose weight, wearing African waist beads will alert you of the changes in the body. It is an excellent way to create body awareness and manage weight. If you plan on wearing African waist beads for the purpose of weight management, it is recommended to purchase non-adjustable waist beads with clasps.

The strands of beads will feel tight and move up around the waist when you gain weight around the abdominal area. On the other hand, when you lose weight, you will notice the beads sliding down further on the waist.

Either way, you will stay conscious of your body at all times without having to step up on the scale every other day. An added benefit of African waist beads is that they help you become aware of your posture. Helping you keep your back straight and chin up, they will help you feel confident!

Another reason why women prefer wearing waist beads for body awareness is that they promote positive body image. Adorning your waist with captivating strands of beads will make you feel good about yourself and encourage you to work towards your fitness goals. In fact, it won’t be a stretch to say that wearing African waist beads paves the path to a healthier lifestyle.   

4.     Symbolic Meaning and Significance of African Waist Beads

Did you know that African waist beads can be highly symbolic and meaningful? This only adds to their beauty and mystery. Here are some common colors that are used to make waist beads and what they symbolize.

·         Black

Black is the color of mystery and the unknown. It also represents the manifestation of your unconscious power. Bold and beautiful – the color black in African waist beads also represents elegance and sophistication.

·         White

White denotes purity and innocence. It is also used to represent morality and goodness in African jewelry, especially African waist beads. Many women incorporate white in their waist beads to boost creative energy and spiritual thoughts.  

·         Pink

Pink is the color of love and care. When used in African waist beads, it also represents calmness, tenderness, and acceptance.

 Want to spice up your love life? Try pink waist beads to bring a bit of romance into your life! 

·         Red

Red represents blood, fire, danger, aggression, and sacrifice. However, it is a powerful color that also symbolizes passion, birth, heat, excitement. In some cultures, red is also used to symbolize energy. 

·         Green

Soothing and pacifying, green is the color of hope and growth. In African waist beads, it represents sympathy, nature, and fertility. However, the color also symbolizes envy and death. 

·         Orange

Just like the bright orange flames of fire, this color is all about warmth and energy. It is a vibrant color that also represents pride, ambition, and balance. 

·         Blue

Blue is a potent color. In African culture, it symbolizes truth, innocence, spirituality, and devotion. Many women incorporate this soothing color into their waist beads to enhance the feeling of physical relaxation and cooling. It also signifies the lowest depths of the ocean and the highest peaks of the mountains. 

·         Yellow/ Gold

Hues of gold and yellow bring joy and happiness. It is the color of optimism, idealism, hope, summer, and sunshine! It will brighten up your day but beware, yellow also represents jealousy, betrayal, and dishonesty. 

·         Silver/ Gray

Silver or gray color signifies a sense of security and reliability. It is a color that represents modesty, practical thinking, maturity, and intelligence.

·         Brown

 The color of earth, brown symbolizes home, comfort, and stability. In African culture, brown is an important color as it stands for Mother Nature. 

Wearing African waist beads can be an extremely personal, spiritual, and exquisite experience. Therefore, it is always a good idea to choose colors based on your current life situation or your life goals. This is especially true if you plan on wearing your African waist beads permanently. On the other hand, if you want to incorporate these trendy beads into your attire for aesthetic purposes, choose any color that goes with your overall look!

Colorful African waist beads

 Beautiful African waist beads on a boulder  

5.     A Modern Fashion Trend

From Instagram influencers to Hollywood stars, everyone is in love with African waist beads. Despite being a centuries-old tradition, African waist beads continue to trend in the fashion world. From low-cut jeans, skirts, and dresses to traditional African garments, such as Dashiki or Kitenge, you can wear African waist beads with all kinds of clothes. You can even wear them underneath your clothes, especially if you use waist beads for weight management.

You can also personalize your waist beads to match your taste and style. A beautiful strand of beads, charms, and crystals around the waist can help you showcase your unique individual style and make a bold fashion statement. Here are some tips for wearing African waist beads like a queen and rock those beads with confidence.

·        Sometimes Less Is More

If you are a fan of jewelry, you may be tempted to wear several pieces at once. While the look may work for you, sometimes, it is best to keep it simple, especially if you are wearing a bold piece with solid colors. Instead of cluttering the look, let your waist beads be the focus of attention of your attire.

·        Match It Up

When you do pair up African waist beads with other pieces of jewelry, do so diligently. For example, if you are wearing beautiful waist beads with stones, avoid pairing it up with plastic jewelry. Instead, look for pieces that will complement your waist beads. Wearing the right colors is also crucial. It is a good idea to match your waist beads with bracelets to create a complete look. 

·        Create a Backdrop

African waist beads are generally bold and colorful. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid pairing them up with very colorful clothes, especially if you plan on wearing your waist beads over the clothing. Instead, a better approach is to go for solid colors that create a backdrop for the waist beads and drag attention to the waist. 

The Bottom Line

Unique and beautiful – African waist beads are considered as one of the oldest and most popular accessories among African women. They go back thousands of years and have been passed down generations.

With their unmatched beauty, symbolism, and cultural significance, these waist adornments continue to fascinate people around the world. Now that you know all about African waist beads, it’s time you try them out. But make sure you get high-quality authentic African beads from a genuine store.


Get your waist beads today to make a strong fashion statement and showcase your individualized style. Visit the Tadalu Store today to check out our wide collection of unique and luxurious waist beads in exotic, colorful designs. Buy the ones that match your style!

About Tadalu Waist Beads

Our Accessories Are Just As Unique & Diverse As the African Culture! Experience the vastness and uniqueness of the African culture by adopting the centuries-old cultural practice of adorning the waist with impeccably-crafted waist beads. At Tadalu, we aim to inspire women with timeless African values that are uniquely stylish. We also strive to support the African jewelry industry and work with local artisans to provide our clients throughout the world with authentic African waist beads at affordable prices.
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1 comment

14 Nov 2020 Quanitra Powell

This was really helpful information. I have something to think about now

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