What Is the Meaning of African Waist Beads

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Author: Diane Declet

Beads have been around for centuries and are steeped in tradition. They have long been used in crafting and the making of jewelry. There is an almost infinite number of shapes, sizes, materials and designs to choose from in beads, which make them unique and delightful items to use in crafts and jewelry.

There is no question that you can find a lot of stories about the traditions and customs associated with African waist beads. These traditions span the centuries. Of course beads themselves have had a huge part in thehistory of Africa for hundreds of years. They may have firs texisted in materials like bone, teeth and stone, which mayseem primitive to use. They expanded to include glass, ceramic, and even gemstones.

They were also used to trade and even to pay for slaves,gold, property and other valuable items throught North and Western African for many years.The African variety appear to have their origin with theYoruba tribe in Africa. This tribe has migrated to Nigeria. Ghana, however is pretty much attributed to be the bead production capital of the world. Yoruban women consider theirs to be "of the earth", even the source of life. Some believe that they will help protect pregnant women or even provide birth control as did their ancestors many years ago.

There are names associated with different types of beaded chains for the waist. Some of the names are: Giri-Giri, Yomba, Jigida, Jel-Jelli, Bin Bin, Ileke idi and Djalay Djalay.

African women still wear them today to protect themselves from negative energy. They are steeped in the old traditions that attribute the beads to having healing properties. The colors of the rainbows are considered to have balancing properties when used in the crafting. Special powers have even beenattributed to those who wear them by the Orb of Djenra. If you know what you are doing, adding certain semi-precious stones can help you heal particular ailments.

Waist beads are created to be worn below the belly. You can find them made with just about any kind of shell, gemstone, glass, plastic, pearl or even clay or wood. Women of all shapes and sizes wear them.

Some women even use them as an instrument in losingweight. When the strands start getting tight it's time to do something about your weight. This practical idea has also filtered down from the early African tribal women - and it is one that still works today.

While you will find many tales that are steeped in tradition, certainly modernculture has adopted the wearing of them. Some prefer to wear them under their clothing only to be see by themselves ortheir spouses. Others flaunt them on bare bellies or even over their clothing.

Visit our site to find out more about all kinds of beads as well as to see what kinds you can purchase online here: http://buybeadsandmoreonline.com

Find out all about african waist beads here.

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