History of Waist Beads

Belly beads history

What is the history of waist beads? Beads were used in Africa as a form of currency for trading. Many tribes in Africa have been known to have embraced the use of beads in jewelry making especially the Maasai tribe in Kenya and Yoruba in Nigeria. This art later was adopted by other neighboring countries like Ghana. To date, Ghana has arguably upheld the tradition of beaded jewelry making, mostly waist beads which are worn around the lower part of the body. Referred to as ‘Jigida’ by the Hausa tribe of Ghana, the name has been adopted by other tribes to refer to waist beads.

history of waist beads

Rite of passage

In African tradition, the maturity of girls to women was symbolized in many ways including by wearing waist beads. Traditionally, mothers adorned their daughters during their first menstruation as a rite of passage to womanhood.


Belly beads use for sexual appeal

Waist beads have also been worn by most African women for intimate appeal and male seduction. Women would lure suitable mates by rattling the beads, provoking intimacy. Wives in particular would spice their sexual intimacy by wearing them when making love to their husbands and also at certain times of the month to symbolize ovulation or menstruation.


Body shaping

Waist beads were used by African women as instruments of body shaping. Most women of African descent are known to be curvy and these has been attributed by the practice of adorning their waists and hip area with strands of beads. Waist beads served as an indicated of weight gain or weight loss depending on how tight or loose the beads became. The beads would roll lower if you lost weight and would be tight if you gained a few pounds. Pregnancy was sometimes detected by how tight the beads became around the waist. Wearing several strand of waist beads, also known as ‘layering‘ would achieve great results in body shaping around the mid section.


Modern waist beads fashion

The modern woman has embraced wearing waist beads made from different materials like beads, metallic chains, crotchet laces and leather belts. Exotic Body Beads is an online store which focuses on maintaining the tradition of African waist beads adornment by providing durable handmade and affordable waist beads for women of all sizes. Be it for intimate purposes, as a fashion statement at the beach or just for tracking weight loss, you can get a variety of designs as well have customized beads just for you!


African waist beads for sale

Shop for single string, double or triple string waist beads form our online store. Also check out our blog section to learn more about waist beads and feel free to leave a comment with your views as well as review on our beaded jewelry.

1 thoughts on “History of Waist Beads

  1. Mykale Garrett says:

    I loved my waist beads the first time I put them on. My husband accidentally broke one set the first time he saw them on! I didn’t have them on for more than 8 hours!
    I had to order 2 more.

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