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6 Interesting Benefits of African Waist Beads


 

My grandma used to adorn my waist with beads she fashioned herself when I was a child.
It helped develop a girl child’s hips and buttocks, according to her. I liked wearing it because it dangled from my waist and made sounds that made me want to keep walking. This captivated me at the time, and I somehow believed in the benefits of African waist beads.

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To demonstrate how much I trusted Grandma, I wore the one she gave me until my waist outgrew it.
If anyone ever asked me why I always wore it around my waist as a youngster, I’d say, “My grandmother claimed it will help me appear like a woman when I grow up.” So what did I know?

Even after I outgrew the one my grandmother gave me, I persuaded my mother to get me another since I knew as a child that this traditional African item was beneficial to women. In this essay, I will discuss the advantages of African waist beads. If you have a preconceived impression about this item, as some people do regarding anklets, prepare to be persuaded after reading this post.

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Waist beads, also known as beaded waist chains, belly beads, or waistline beads, are incredibly seductive ornaments for women. They are made up of little beads of various colors and shapes strung on a wire or thread and worn around the waist or hips. Some of them are embellished with crystals or other ornamental stones. They are intended to enhance a woman’s waist, hips, and belly.

This adornment is known by various tribal names. In Nigeria, for example, Yorubas name it Ibebe-Idi or Ileke-Idi, Igbos call it Mgbaji, and Hausas call it Jigida.

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Women of all body types can wear it for ornamental purposes. Some women simply wear this accessory because they want to look trendy and sexy. While these are part of the benefits of African waist beads, the ornament also offers more importance. They include:

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1. Maturity

One of the benefits of African waist beads is that it is used to indicate maturity. For example, In some African tradition, mothers attach beads around their daughters waist to show their evolution into womanhood upon their first menstruation.

 

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Also, some Ghanaians wear babies beads around their waist during naming ceremonies. And when the babies outgrow it, it shows they have transitioned into another phase of their life. This is similar to my illustration about the one my grandmother gave to me. When I outgrew them, it showed I was no longer a baby girl who got fascinated by the sounds of beads around her waist. Rather, I was becoming conscious of my femininity.

2. Means of Livelihood

To those who produce and distribute this accessory, it has served as a means of making money. African waist beads have provided jobs for bead artists, distributors, models, photographers and even writers. As the demand for it increases and the controversy surrounding it circulates, people tend to get interested in the ornament and want to know more about it. However, not everyone would want to admit this to themselves.

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3. Weight Consciousness

Rather than stepping on a scale every time, you can use these beads to monitor your weight and know if there’s a gain or a loss. Since it doesn’t stretch, you can easily know when you put on weight as it’ll sit tighter around your waist. On the other hand, if you lose weight, the beads will feel loose around it.

Furthermore, if you don’t want a change in the way your beads fit, you can go for adjustable ones so if you lost or put on weight, you’d adjust the ornament to fit you perfectly.

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And that’s not all. It also helps to be aware of your stomach and sitting posture. It can serve as a reminder to correct your sitting posture and exercise the muscles in your stomach.

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4. Boosts Sexual Attraction and Satisfaction

This is very common among the benefits of African waist beads. Back in the day, while women hid their beads underneath their garments, some men gaped in fascination whenever the beads infrequently snuck out.

This accessory while beautifying the waist increases a woman’s sensuality and makes her more appealing to the opposite sex. Although not every man likes waist beads, it is an undeniable fact that mere seeing the beads on a woman’s waist sends different thoughts running through the mind of the opposite gender. Knowing this, women harness their beads to seduce their sexual partners.

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Furthermore, it plays a role during lovemaking. Once an acquaintance told me that the sounds this accessory makes while he relishes his partner is enough to triple their libido. Some run their fingers on the beads during foreplay as a way of prolonging the moment. All these at the end not only assure sexual attraction but also give satisfaction too.

5. Beauty

Many women wear it for decorative purposes. Since they are always colourful and enticing, it serves as an accessory or even a piece of jewelry just like earrings, necklaces, wristwatches and bracelets. If a dancer dressed in a crop top and a bum short, for instance, adds waist beads to the equation, her body looks more appealing and lithe.

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6. Heritage

Black women in diaspora wear it as a way of connecting with their ancestral heritage. Since they lack adequate knowledge of their African lineage due to slave trade, this accessory affords them an opportunity to feel ‘at home’.

 

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