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The Waist Bead Meaning

by Tadalu LLC 04 Aug 2019 0 Comments


Waist beads have been worn by African women from distant times in the past. It is saved to say that it originated in Africa. As the name goes it is an accessory worn on the waist/hip and stomach region of the body. Waist bead is predominantly worn by women and the purpose it is meant to serve are diverse. As earlier stated, it is believed to have originated in West Africa and North Africa. However, it has spread to the rest of the world today.

Waist beads consist of small beads fixed on a string or a rope and worn around the waist. The beads are made from various materials like wood, glass, metal, bone crystal and even charms. You have them in various colors, shapes, and sizes.

Waist beads can be a lot of things to different people as different people and cultures wear it for a different reason. We would be looking at what it means to people now.

The most popular reason why people wear waist bead is for fashion and aesthetics. Women wear the beads as a way of enhancing their beauty and look. It is very common to see women wearing beads that complement their dress in color and shape.

Some other women

wear beads for traditional and spiritual reasons. Some waist beads are meant to protect the person wearing them. There are some African cultures where women are given waist beads to wear as a sign of sexual purity. It is believed that if the woman engages in premarital or extramarital sex she will be punished by spiritual beings or deities.


waist beads are worn in some cultures to signal the passage of girls into womanhood. After their first menstruation, the beads are worn by the girl to symbolize maturity. In some cultures as women move from one stage of development to the other, they wear different beads to mark each stage.

People use waist beads to monitor weight loss or gain. Instead of stepping on scales, some people depend on the inelasticity of the waist bead to gauge their size. When one gains weight the beads feel tight but when one loses weight the beads fall down the hips. It is easy to know one's size using that way. No matter your size there is a waist bead for you.

Another use

of waist bead is to increase sex appeal and fertility. A lot of women put on waist beads in order to intensify their partner's desires or to woo new suitors and partners. Not a few persons have confessed to finding waist beads highly sensual. Some women also wear it to boost their fertility. They wear these beads during sex with the aim of aiding conception. In many other cultures around the world, women wear their waist beads as part of their underwear. The beads are exclusively meant to be for viewing pleasure of their spouse or lovers. There are also waist beads for pregnant women. They believed to aid safe delivery and protection for the mother and child.

For many Africans in diaspora either as a result of slave trade or immigration, waist beads are a very special way of connecting with their ancestry. Even though waist bead has become a global fashion trend, its root in Africa. Therefore Africans in the diaspora who want to have a feel of what their ancestors looked like; who want to bask in the pride of their rich cultural heritage will always find the waist bead as an indispensable option.

The meaning of waist beads cannot be over-emphasized as it means a lot of things to different people. Traditionally it could be to keep you in shape, an accessory for beautification or even for sex appeal, it solely depends on what the wearer wants to use it for.

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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