African Waist Beads
Purchasing African waist beads from the Mahogany Boutique is an extraordinary experience. Each waist bead is carefully handmade with a specific purpose in mind. The beads we select on each strand is representative of the energy and manifestation that comes to the Artisan while creating. It is a spiritual experience. When you select a bead it speaks to you wholeheartedly. We can then customize the size or add charms to help the waist bead fit properly both physically and spiritually. We also instruct our clients on how to cleanse the beads spiritually as well.
In a traditional sense, the person making your waist beads is usually a highly spiritual person. The beads, shells, stones, and other things that may go on your waist are picked and placed with the intention of something or somethings very specific. The beads a woman wears for her husband will be vastly different from the ones a young girl wears into her transition into womanhood. The trend of waist beads has become very modernized and ornamental, but traditionally, the potency and power of a woman’s beads as it relates to spirituality and development were very specific and intentional
Maturity & Growth
Throughout several countries in Africa, belly beads have been used to adorn girls and women and indicate how they have matured and grown. Traditionally, mothers adorned their daughters with waist beads during their first menstruation as a rise of passage into womanhood. New belly beads were looked forward to, as they symbolized a healthy life, and the special things about a woman that set her apart from a man.
Waistbeads can also be worn for seduction. Not only do they symbolize a woman’s progress in life, but they honor her sexuality as well. For some, waistbeads possess intimate appeal and can provoke desire. Wives would often lure their husbands with the rattle of beads or use them as a means to communicate their fertility at certain times of the month.
Senegalese and Yoruban women, in particular, heightened their allure with the gently clicking of sweetly perfumed tiny bead strands worn around the waist underneath their clothing. As part of Ghanaian tradition, a successful suitor would commission a set of beads including bracelets, anklets, necklaces, cuffs and waist beads for his bride. This was part of her dowry and the foundation of her personal wealth. Women in Ghana would wear multiple strands of beads around their waist, with some cultures providing that the only person allowed to remove them was her husband on their wedding night.
Many women used waist beads as an instrument of body shaping. The beads were used to alert women of their weight gain or if they became pregnant. For women who do not normally weigh themselves, belly beads can serve as an indicator of weight loss or gain: beads roll lower on your waist if you lose weight, and become tighter or higher on your waist if you gain weight.
Whether you want a waist bead as an accessory of for spiritual purposes we have them in stock in our Beauty Supply Studio at Mahogany Natural Hair Salon and Spa in Lake Worth. We can also customize a waist bead based on your spiritual or esthetic preference. Our beads come in a variety of sizes. We can also do a cleansing or prayer ceremony for your waist beads.