What is the meaning of Waist Beads?

Wow! Did You Know? Beads play a huge part in some African cultures. Meanings behind African beads include pride, beauty, culture, power, and identity. During the slave trade, Africans were sold in exchange for beads  #SMFH 

Purpose;  Women of all ages and sizes wear waist beads! ... Traditionally worn under clothes by African women, waist beads have several different meanings. Ranging from rites of passage to seducing your husband to healing, rejuvenation and The art of adorning one's self has been practiced since the beginning of time.

  • In West Africa, the tradition was made popular by the Yoruban tribe of Nigeria. They are worn as a celebration of womanhood, sexuality, femininity, fertility, healing, spirituality, body shaping, protection and wealth. ... Waist beads can be considered as “African Lingerie.”

  • Because of the rainbow of colors embedded in them, Mali wedding beads signify beauty to tribes in South Africa. They are given to brides on their wedding day. Stone and metal beads are the most durable. African people also make beads out of natural materials like stone,  bone, hell, wood, amber, and glass. For smooth-textured beads, ceramic or bamboo materials are used.


African beads have been exchanged for food and livestock. Some Africans even believe the beads have magical powers. Some African women wear beads around their waists-- to watch their weight.  Measurements and Body Shaping;

Both traditionally and in modern times, women will wear waist beads to get/keep their bodies intact. It is said that the beads shape your body and keep the waist small and hips accentuated. It was (and still is) used as a measurement tool. Some waist beads do not stretch, so if/when the waist beads start to feel a little tight, it’s a sign that there were some weight gain and vice versa.

In the 21st century, African people continue to use and wear beads for cultural recognition, status, and adornments.

The Formation of The Beads

In a traditional sense, the person making your waist beads is usually a 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 something 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 but traditionally, the potency and power of a woman’s beads as it relates to spirituality and development were very specific and intentional. Like the Colors and Meaning. The colors of the beads also have very specific significations. These meanings may vary from tribe to tribe, culture to culture, and they’re open to interpretation, but traditionally: 


  • Blue: knowledge, healing, peace, truth, harmony, tranquillity, confident — a cooling color symbolizing faith, devotion, deep insight.

  • Green: prosperity, hope, harmony, healing and ripening, generous, humble, renewal, balance, confidence.

  • Red: self-confidence, vitality, sexual energy, passion, courage, strength.

  • Yellow: wisdom, knowledge, clarity, increasing awareness, and calming nerves.

Fason De Viv Waist beads

So now that you have all of this information, you’re probably wondering where you can get some waist beads. Well, I got you! 

Shop  Our Waist Beads Collection, 


  • Kim Rutherford

    Where can I get a copy of this article?

  • Blessing

    I avnt used bead befr……am aving flat ass in which am now shy pls elp

  • Keisha

    I want to know what kind of beads do I need to get

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