What are Waist beads?

January 24, 2021

Pink background with phrase, what are waist beads?

Waist Beads are traditionally an African tradition of women or girls wearing small beads (seed beads) around their waist. They are commonly worn by people in certain parts of Africa, such as Ghana. Some women wear them from childhood to adulthood.

Waist beads are often used by adult women to manage their waist, the beads can be tied on permanently, therefore indicating when weight is being gained or lost. 

Waist beads also represent femininity, many women wear them for their beauty and their sensuality. 

The thinner waist beads can be worn at the hip line under your clothes. Larger waist beads can be worn at the waist and displayed when you wear crop tops or a bathing suit. 

Traditionally, the beads were strung on a thin waxed cotton string and tied permanently around the waist until they were cut off. 

Modern style waist beads are made with screw a clasp or a lobster clasp, allowing the wearer to take them on and off as often as they like. 


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Is Wearing Waist Beads Cultural Appropriation?
Is Wearing Waist Beads Cultural Appropriation?

February 18, 2021 0 Comments

Lastly, as long as your intention is to support the artisans, sellers, and African makers of waist beads, you are not doing anything wrong. No matter your size or race/color, if your intention is to use waist beads and appreciate them, Go Ahead! Have Fun!

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