Frequently Asked Questions

Waist Beads

Beads have long been an integral part of African history, tradition, and culture. Beads of all shapes and various materials have been used to adorn the body, to enhance artwork, for cultural practices, and as a form of currency. Special, unique, or rare beads would hold high value, thus the owner or wearer would be considered wealthy and/or of royal or respected lineage. Beads worn on the body would often be a determinant of who you were, what family or tribe you were a part of, where you lived, your age, your personal status and/or abilities, your accomplishments, rite of passage, or milestones, or weight tracking. Ultimately, people wear waist for personal reasons that is special to the individual. No one can tell you why or how to wear the beads.

Waist beads can be worn at all times however, things such as hard water, chemicals and some bath products may cause beads to change or lose color. This is not due to the quality of the beads, but due to the varying quality of the soap and cleansers some people use, as they may be too harsh with detergents and fragrances for the finish of beads. Our beads are made out of glass and we test them before selling them.

When waist beads are worn continuously, they will fall lower on the waist when weight is lost. When weight is gained, your waist beads will fit higher on your waist and tighter.

Yes. Each strand is made up to  50" long and can be adjusted by tying and removing the excess string and beads and cutting off to your desired measurement.

In the West African culture, when a child is born a string or two of beads are worn for him or her, irrespective of the gender. As a male baby becomes a toddler, his beads are removed, but for a female child on the other hand, she is to keep wearing beads forever. In parts of the world where waist beads are a cultural tradition, the beads are often associated with womanhood, maturity, and growth. In Ghana, babies are traditionally adorned with waist beads during their naming ceremonies. Only girls, however, continue to wear the beads as they grow older. In many West African traditions, mothers tie a pair of waist beads onto daughters during their first menstruation to symbolize their passage into womanhood. Outgrowing a pair of waist beads may also mark the transition into a new stage of life.

All of our waist beads are pre made  up to 50" long unless otherwise specified. For sizes larger than 50”. For custom orders, please click here.

1. Wrap the bead around the area you would like them to fall (usually between the waist and high hip area). 

2. Make sure all the beads are pushed together then cross the strands at the tying point.

3. Slide excess beads down the string and tie it once.

4. Use a mirror to double check where the beads will fall (adjust beads if needed). 

5. Leaving enough string to tie, cut the excess beads off allowing them to  fall into a bowl (You can save the excess beads to create a bracelet or anklet).

6. Tie at least two more knots to insure the beads are secure. 

7. Cut the excess string leaving at least a quarter of an inch. 

8. Twist the waist bead so that the knot lies mid back