Historians believe the African tradition of waist beads may have originated among the Yoruba tribes, now mainly in Nigeria. But the practice is also seen in West Africa, notably Ghana, where the beads signify wealth and aristocracy, as well as femininity. Waist beads are also found in other cultures, and while African and Islamic women typically keep them under wraps, some display the beads over their clothes or on bare midriffs, such as belly dancers in Eastern cultures.
Beads, which are typically worn at all times — even while bathing or sleeping — can serve as symbols of sensuality, fertility and rites of passage, passed down from mother to daughter. There are superstitions about pregnancy and the energies of the Earth. Some see them as conveyors of positive energy and healing. Some wear them strictly for fashion. And still others choose them for the very practical use of weight control. They’re for the confident, vivacious woman, whatever size she is.
What they mean
While the colors in African waist beads are open to interpretation, some traditions equate certain qualities to various hues:
Blue: knowledge, healing, peace, truth, harmony — a cooling color symbolizing faith, devotion, deep insight.
Green: prosperity, hope, harmony, healing and ripening, encouraging the wearer to love nature and be generous, humble and self-controlled.
Red: self-confidence, vitality, sexual energy, passion, courage.
Yellow: wisdom, knowledge, clarity, increasing awareness and calming nerves.
Where can you find them? Ajanivisionllc.com
I create them on magic string that stretches so you can put them on and take them off with ease.
I also masssage my Prosperity blend of Empress Bey Oil into each bead and string.