In the African traditional setting, the Symbolism of Waist Beads is much Deeper and more Involving than in western cultures. Waist Beads have Meaning and History behind it. They have value, function and guide our everyday life. The culture of Waist Beads represents our abstract and complex ideas such as Power, Strength, Wisdom, Purity, Beauty, Humility etc.
When a girl child is born, mothers adorn Baby Girls with Waist Beads for NAMING CEREMONIES during which special prayers are said for protection, fertility and prosperity. This is the singular piece of jewelry that differentiates girls from boys. Girls continue to wear beads as they get older.
In Ghana, when young girls reach PUBERTY,Special Ceremonies are performed to initiate them into Womanhood. A one-week period is set aside between March and May of every year for the Puberty Rites (Dipo) Celebration among the Krobos. In the Life of a Female, there is no celebration more important than the Puberty Rites Festival. Without Beads, the Dipo Ceremony would be incomplete and meaningless. The Dipo girl wears Large amounts of beads on her Wrist, Upper arm, Elbow, Neck, Waist, Calf and Ankle.
Prayers for Favor, Protection, Blessings and Fertility for her Future motherhood are said. This is when Family recipes are passed down to Dipo Girls. They are also taught personal hygiene and how to “take care” of their future husband and home.
There’s a Full Extravagant Glamorous Celebration where each family adorns their Daughter with Precious, Uncommon, Elegant and Heavy Beads which have been passed on from Generations. Red, Yellow, Blue and Brown Beads symbolize Maturity, Readiness for Adult life, Marriage and Procreation.
After the puberty rites African Women continue to wear Waist Beads. They were used to ANCHOR MENSTRUAL CLOTH known as Amonsin among the Akans.
Waist Beads have continuously PROJECTED A POSITIVE IMAGE OF THE AFRICAN WOMAN. It is one of the common items of Jewelry that culturally binds African Women of all shapes, sizes, color, ethnicity, tribe, age, status and beliefs under the sun together.
Waist Beads are worn around a woman’s waist and or hips to draw Attention to and to Enhance her Femininity and Sensuality. It is only meant for her partner’s eyes to see, for his hands to touch and an item of intimacy. It is believed that presenting yourself in Beautifully made Beads to a man you desire aids in winning his love. To keep his interest you should spice things up with different variety of beads to excite him. WAIST BEADS ARE A TURN ON FOR MEN and in recent times Waist beads can be customized to include your man’s name.
African Women have skillfully used Waist Beads for centuries even before scales were invented as a tool to GAUGE one’s weight. When your beads start sitting high or feels tight you know you have gained weight. When they start getting too lose you know you have lost weight. They are also believed to help accentuate a woman’s waist and make it more defined.
Waist Beads in Modern Times have also become an Important FASHION STATEMENT item and women have admitted wearing made them feel Beautiful, Sensuous and Complete.