When little baby girls are a week old, they get a beautiful beaded necklace from their mother. Not to decorate their necks, but they are tied around their waist ... Boys don't get it, it's only for girls!
They believe in Ghana that if you start wearing those hip chains as a little girl, you will get a very beautiful figure later!
Lizzy wants to secretly show her hip beads ....
Wearing such a hip strand has many more advantages:
For example, mothers can keep a close eye on whether their daughter is growing or losing weight! There are few people with scales, so this is an excellent way to keep an eye on how your daughter is doing! If the beads get tight around the hips, then you know for sure that a few kilos have been added, but if they fall back and forth over the buttocks, then you know that the girl loses weight.
It is also very practical! Now you can buy underpants here, but not in the past! Girls then folded a piece of fabric around the hip at the front, pushed it between the legs and attached it to the hip at the back. So you had a kind of underpants anyway! There were no beads then either. A hip chain was made from a long strip of fabric that you rolled up tightly or from self-spun cotton.
Nowadays you can even buy "Pampers" in Ghana ... Very expensive, so it is also convenient and cheap to use little cotton cloths for little girls that are simply folded between those hip beads like a diaper!
Some mothers also believe that hip chains protect their child against people who want to harm them ...
Until the girls are around seven years old, it is no problem that everyone sees their hip chains, because often they are nice and naked and people are not worried about that. But from the age of seven you have to keep them tucked away under your clothes. Girls can admire and view each other's hip chains, but boys have nothing to do with that!
The funny thing is that it is often men who sell the colorful hip chains on the street. They are often completely covered with it!