So, everyone knows I love to be bejeweled, I mean, I wear a crown on my head. However, there are jewels worn on bodies that people may not see; well, depending on where you live. When I lived with the Himba people of Namibia, they wore their waist beads, for people to see. My students made me some, it was beautiful, as they told me the meaning behind them in Himba culture. For them, waist beads were given to women after crossing over into womanhood, even passed down from their grandmothers, and could vary throughout parts of Namibia. In other regions; waist beads were given to women about to marry, as a sign of womanhood & femininity; and even used as as a way to hold up the “skirt”, worn by women. Waist beads have different meanings across different African cultures. In west Africa, it can be seen as something for the husband to turn the husband on as a decorative body jewelry that only the husband can see. They can also represent class and status in West African society.
Each society uses various colors, objects, and purposes for their waist beads. Beads made out of certain stones, crystals with healing properties, and other objects can be used. Each thing has meaning; and not just added for visual purposes.
In East Africa, women can add essential oils to their waist beads for healing qualities that come with the oil; and in South Africa, women can use waist beads to seduce their husbands.
Great news! I will be adding waist bead mercy to my website! I create custom waist beads for all sizes and will be adding unique ornaments to make them special for each customer! I enjoy making waist beads, and since DiasporAfri is a brand that celebrates empowered change maker women, I want to make something that makes Black women feel empowered, and connected to their history!
Click here to make your order now!