Several women like wearing belly bracelets, Waist Beads for many reasons, which includes charming.

Check out the following reasons

Erotic Appeal

The most popular perception of waist beads is its sex appeal. It is said that wives often lured their husbands with the rattle of beads or use them to communicate their fertility at certain times of the month.

Senegalese and Yoruba women, in particular, stepped up the game with the sweetly perfumed tiny bead strands worn around the waist underneath their clothing.

Sexy is sexier when there’s a lot for the mind to imagine.

Sadly, I wasn’t old enough then to have perceived it that way and unfortunately  few wives weer it now.

This practice though now less popular, is perceived to be a major reason some women wear them.

Body Weighing / Waist Trainer

African women, prior to the advent of scales, used waist beads as a means to measure their body weight. It was also crudely instructive on body weight as a result of pregnancy.

Since beads don’t stretch like clothes do, they roll down the waist when weight is lost and becomes tighter or higher on the waist in weight gain.

It was also believed that beads help to cultivate a well rounded hips and buttocks. It is why mothers wear them for their little baby girls.

Charms

Growing up, we were told tales of women who laced beads with charms and fragrances that made them irresistible to the opposite sex.

Certain women were famous for their charmed waist beads. These charms are believed to possess the powers to entice and entrap the opposite sex and even improve their sexual prowess.

This attribute no doubt contributes primarily to the negativity associated with waist beads.

Culture and Beauty

Ghana is regarded as the Bead Production Capital of the World perhaps because of the cultural relevance of beads to her people.

Like other west african countries, women have held a long fascination with beads, as symbolic and cultural ornaments of womanhood, sexuality, fertility, spirituality and wealth.

Traditionally, a set of beads for the wrists, neck, ankles, arms and waist formed part of culturally accepted feminine beauty and adornment for the african society.

Waist beads used to be an important part of the dowry a man pays for an impending wife.

The Yoruba proverb, “One does not, because one’s child’s waist is too fat, put waist beads around the waist of another person’s child” attests to the purely aesthetic function of the waist beads in early times.

Chastity

In West Africa, the tradition became such that a lady wears multiple strings of beads around her waist; and the only person allowed to remove them was her husband on her wedding night.

Then wedding ceremonies used to be more symbolic than it is now. The Yorubas particularly, would ask the couple to consumate their marriage on a bed laid with white clothing and show a blood stained fabric as proof that the lady was a virgin.

A stainless white cloth comes with a deluge of shame not only for the lady but her entire family.

In other culture, the beads were adorned with bells, which was a signal to let a partner know that the woman was clean- meaning she is at the proper stage where sexual intercourse is allowed.

It’s only now that waist beads are becoming visible. They used to be considered as underwears exclusively worn under garments in Africa.

There is an amazing beauty and history behind waist beads. They are more than mere fetish objects of old fables. Each string of beads holds with it the values, beauty and amusing story of the African people.

So do you consider the waist beads charming?  Love to hear from you. Kindly drop a comment.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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