Waist beads come in different colors and shapes and can include decorative stones, crystals, or charms. They are a traditional African accessory that consist of small glass beads on a string or wire worn around the waist or hips. Commonly used to gauge changes in weight, enhance sensuality, closely associated with fertility, the beads are often associated with womanhood, maturity, growth and can help a person become more aware of their stomach and posture. Waist beads are a popular way for Black women in the diaspora to connect to their ancestors and celebrate their heritage and cultural practices.
Your waist beads can be rich with symbolism. Each color and stone is associated with a specific meaning:
- Red: vitality, passion, bravery, confidence
- White: light, truth, purity
- Black: power, protection
- Pink: care, beauty, love, kindness