Waist beads are long strands of beads that can be worn around the waist in Ghana. They have been used as traditional accessories by women in Ghana and other West African countries since at least the 1800s, primarily by members of the upper class and royal families.
Waist beads are known to have influenced fashion trends in Africa and beyond, particularly because they were considered to be an indicator of social status when they first gained popularity in the mid-19th century.
Ghana Waist Beads History
Waist beads are believed to have been introduced to Ghana by African traders from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. The Yoruba people traditionally made waist beads out of ivory, animal teeth, metal, or glass. Today they are most often made from clay and then painted with a variety of natural dyes.
Traditionally, Waist Beads were worn by men as a symbol of their wealth and status. Today Waist Beads are seen as part of Ghanaian identity and cultural heritage. It is not uncommon for families to hand down their Waist Bead collection through the generations.
In contemporary Ghanaian society, only women wear Waist Beads. Girls will typically wear them when they reach puberty or get married as a symbol of fertility and womanhood. The colorful beaded necklaces vary in size and shape but can be up to ten inches long and come in different materials such as string, cotton thread, metallic wire, elastic cord, and plastics.
Ghana Waist Beads Color Meaning
In Ghana, waist beads are a sign of status and wealth. They are often made from cowrie shells, gold, or silver. The colors of the waist beads signify different meanings. Many colors and combinations of colors have significance in Ghana.
The color red, for example, is often associated with love and passion; green signifies peace and tranquility; black implies power or dignity, and purple means royalty. Ghanaian culture has a strong tradition of the arts, which means there is also a lot of symbolism to be found in their jewelry.
What do Ghanaian Waist Beads Mean?
The Ghanaian waist bead is not just a fashion accessory, it also has deep meaning. The waist bead is a symbol of social status and is typically worn by women in their late teens and twenties.
There are three types of beads that represent the wearer’s social class: small, medium, and large. Women with big hips wear the largest size while smaller-hipped women wear the smallest size. In some tribes, even if a woman marries another tribe, she will still be considered part of her original tribe and must still wear the proper-sized waist bead to show her rank in society.
These beads signify a woman’s beauty; they’re made from shells, glass, or wood which are sometimes imported from Nigeria or Togo to celebrate weddings or other important occasions such as funerals and christenings.
Why do Ghanaian Girls Wear Waist Beads?
Ghanaian girls wear waist beads for a variety of reasons. Waist beads are worn as a sign of beauty, youth, and femininity. Ghanaian society is patriarchal and it’s considered shameful for women to show their skin so the waist bead represents their modesty.
Wearing the waist bead helps Ghanaian girls feel more confident in themselves and feel like they belong to a certain group. The popular belief that wearing the waist beads will make them less likely to get pregnant also influences why some Ghanaian girls wear the beads.
How To Wear Ghana Waist Beads
There are many different ways to wear Ghana Waist Beads. Here are some of the most popular ways to wear them. *Wear with a high-waisted skirt or dress, using the waist bead as a belt at your natural waistline.
- Wear with a corset top and jeans or dress slacks.
- Wear with a fitted tank top over fitted jeans.
- Slip on the waist bead just above your hipbone for an easy, effortless look that’s perfect for summer and dance parties.
- Create a deep V-neck shirt by slipping the waist bead between the shirt fabric and bra strap to create extra coverage.
- You can also drape one waist bead across your shoulders like a necklace.
How To Tie Ghana Waist Beads
The Ghana Waist Beads are a beautiful way to show off your cultural heritage. They’re also very easy to tie and can be worn by anyone. To tie a Ghana Waist Bead, start with a strand of about 10 beads.
Take one bead and place it so that the hole is in between your index finger and middle finger, with the bead on top of the fingers. Then, take another bead and put it on top of this bead, making sure that the holes are aligned.
Continue doing so, going up your fingers until you get to your thumb. Then put one bead on top of those, making sure that all holes are aligned. Continue with another set of beads until you have about five rows around your waist. Then take one bead and stick it through each hole to tie a knot on both sides, ensuring that they’re tight but not too tight. You can now proudly wear your Ghana waist beads.
Did Waist Beads Come from Ghana?
The origin of waist beads is not entirely clear, but many believe that they come from Ghana. Some people say that the name waist beads came from the fashion trend in Ghana where women wore them as belts to hold up their skirts.
Others claim that some slaves used these strings of colorful stones as a way to show African pride. Whichever story you believe, there’s no denying that waist beads are an important part of African culture.
List of Ghana Waist Beads with Name
When looking for Ghana Waist Beads, there are a few things to consider such as whether they are natural or man-made, the size of the waist beads, and the price. This list of Ghana Waist Beads will help you decide which Ghana Waist Beads you want. One of the most popular Ghana Waist Beads is a lightweight pendant with beautiful colors.
- A very similar design is called Aba made from human hair.
- Another popular Ghana Waist Bead is Atutu.
These types of beads come in many different shapes including stars, hearts, and more! – For example, if you have a preference for large round beads, check out Asika. They are around 1 1/4 inches wide on average and often have vibrant colors like purple and green on them.
Large red round bead-shaped beads can be found at Ada Gha-Ewe (the name of this type is unknown)
Where to Buy Ghana Waist Beads?
The first step in buying Ghana Waist Beads is to find a good supplier. Depending on the type of Ghana Waist Beads that you are looking for, there are several options for potential suppliers.
Many online stores carry necklaces and other Ghana Waist Beads items, but it is important to make sure you buy from a reliable store with good customer service. Some of these stores offer wholesale prices for large orders as well, so it’s worth checking them out.
If you know someone who has visited Africa recently, they may be able to give you some advice on where they purchased their Ghana Waist Beads. If all else fails, head over to an African-themed store near your home or business and ask if they have any authentic Ghana Waist Beads for sale. It’s always best to get your hands on something before making a final decision about which supplier you want to do business with!
ALSO SEE; Can Anyone Wear Waist Beads?
Where to Buy Ghana Thread for Waist Beads?
This is the first question that you may be looking for an answer to if you are interested in buying some Ghana waist beads. One of the easiest places to look is on eBay where you can find a variety of these threads, ranging from 5 meters to 50 meters. You will also be able to find other items like traditional African clothing and jewelry on this site.