About Waist Beads

aka “African Lingerie”, “Lingerie”, “Waist Adornments” ...

Many believe that the history began in ancient Egypt where they were called “girdles” and were worn by women as a status symbol. Later popularized by the Yoruban tribe of Nigeria, waist beads became a traditional African accessory dated back to the 15th Century. 

tomb paintings of Egyptians dancing while wearing waist beads

tomb paintings of Egyptians dancing while wearing waist beads

Waist beads consist of small glass beads on a string/wire worn around the waist or hips. Waist beads have many different uses and meanings. The beads are worn to commemorate different phases of life including birth, puberty, pregnancy, marriage and death.

They are a symbol of femininity, healing, power, spirituality, nobility and Culture. 

Waist beads serve many different purposes in some cultures. Here are the most common:

Femininity- Body adornments worn to make women feel beautiful and confident while embracing their sexuality. They also symbolize sensuality or virginity.

Intimacy- Waist beads are said to be an Aphrodisiac that invokes desire and seduction in both men and women. Worn to attract male suitors.  

Protection- Worn as protection against unwanted Spiritual attacks. They can be an indication that the person wearing them is a spiritual being. In some Cultures they are known as medicine and are worn to fight off cramps and heal any issues with the womb.

Weight Management- “Girdles”. Waist beads assist in deepening a woman’s curves. They promote better posture by tightening when slouching. If gaining weight they tighten and roll up, when losing they will feel loose and fall around the hips.

Waist beads are now widely worn in many cultures by women of all shapes and sizes for their beauty and essence.

African tribe wearing waist beads and carrying water bowls on top of their heads

woman standing while wearing waist beads

woman adorned in waist beads and bracelets

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