By Princely Onyenwe, Imo
Confusion has trailed the waisted bid fashion by Nigerian Parents and this has continued to become a societal norm in the recent day
Waist beads fashion even beyond the African continent.
Meanwhile, the Waist bead is an ancient accessory and symbol of feminism throughout Africa. They have been used in the continent since the times of ancient Egyptian empires. The beautiful adornment combines lewks, spirituality, healing, femininity and culture, all in one sacred package.
Waist beads have varying uses in different African cultures. Many of them claim waist beads act as an aphrodisiac. They are said by the Yoruba culture to attract males and bring on all the sexy feels! The Yoruba priestesses or Orisha devotees use them to protect themselves against ill-willed marine spirits attacks and alternatively, some women also use them with charms to ward mermaid spirits away from them.
For some cultures, they are medicine, being worn to fight cramps and heal womb ailments. In Benin, waist beads are used for protection against spiritual and physical attacks. Some also wear them to ensure their husband will not cheat on them. They can be indicators that the wearer is a spiritual being, as well as symbols of sensuality or virginity. People in traditional Ghana also used waist beads to hoist tree bark, which, when beaten, would become soft, like tissue, and be used as underwear. Women used them to keep their menstrual cloth in place.
Today we are bringing to you facts that you need to know about the waist beads worn by our ladies. The wearing of waist beads is as old as civilization itself, but then it went out of vogue, only to resurface in recent years, and our young girls and even the women are seen today adorning different colourful waist beads around their hips.
The waist beads now come with different connotations and interpretations. While some people see it simply as an ornament worn by ladies, some see it as a code language to identify runs girls, while others see it as a spiritual ornament to attract favours and wade away evil forces of bad luck.
Whichever the opinion people have about waist beads, let’s reveal to you some important history and facts about waist beads, so as to demystify some mystery surrounding this beautiful ornament. Waist bead is not just a Nigerian thing, it is also an African thing, as well as other Asian Countries with India being prominent in this category.
The waist beads were more commonplace a couple of generations earlier, certainly, a lot more so than they were some 10 years back before its sudden resurfacing right now. There was, in fact, a rather innate fascination with waist beads that existed, especially for some younger women who longed to reach the age where they could adorn some.
Hidden from view underneath the modest female clothes that were favoured in those times, the beads peeked out at random intervals, surprising and enticing an onlooker. Although some people remained unaware of their significance, the allure of a beaded woman was practically undeniable.
But do you know the mysterious role they play in the lives of females? There are many varied reasons we have come across as to why waist beads were/are worn.
THE UNUSUAL MYSTERIES BEHIND WAIST BEADS:
- Traditional African culture though, had a more practical usage, where the many strings of beads around the bikini line were employed as an anchor to strap the menstrual cloths.
Well, West African women in particular are given waist beads as children to wear throughout life to help shape their figures. It remains a mystery how the beads shape them, but somehow, curvy African women attribute their voluptuous shape to the waist beads.
- They use beads to commemorate different phases of life including birth, puberty, pregnancy, marriage and death. They are also used when enstooling a Queen Mother/ King and installing a priest/ priestess. It is also used to measure the growth rate of children (girls). When the beads become too small around the waist, then the child is seen as growing.
According to African culture, some waist beads (especially red) are put on the waist and the legs of children who are bow-legged to straighten their legs.
- When they are on your waist, they shape your body by keeping the waist small, so the hips are more accentuated, the waist beads were traditionally used to show the difference between a male and a female.
- In modern times, however, gay men also put on waist beads to differentiate between the male and the female roles played in a homosexual relationship.
- Waist beads were/are more than fashion. Many women put them on to satisfy their boyfriends who loves to see them on her. During sexual intercourse, the rattling sound of the beads during sex urges many guys on. It has been said that in traditional times in Ghana women would use them to attract men; when the beads rattled it would evoke certain chemical reactions in men’s brain that would excite them sexually.
Beads on the waists of women are said to possess the power to attract and evoke deep sensual feelings for men. Most of men agree that waist beads make the waist of the ladies more attractive.
Its power to turn men on is a mystery one cannot comprehend, but the men agree whenever they see them on a woman’s waist, it awakens their sensual desires. Some cultures say only your husband should see them. Women wear different beads at various times to send signals to their husband, like specific ones to say she is on her menstrual, that she is sexually excited, usually the crystal, glitter ones, or when she does not want to have sex.
- They are seen as symbols of nobility, femininity and affluence. Throughout different cultures in Africa, beads are known to host spiritual power and influence, making men who ‘can’t get it up’ suddenly ‘rise to the occasion. In addition, it shows beauty, royalty, is used for weight monitoring, rites of passages, to help deepen curves, appreciate and adorn the body. They represent nobility, femininity and affluence.
Well, besides its usefulness and mystical powers, beads in general and royalty are also closely linked in Africa. In Yoruba tradition, strands of beads are the emblems of the gods. Wearing a beaded crown with a veil is the quintessential sign of kingship. Also in Ghana, beads worn on the wrists and legs are signs of royalty or priesthood.
Beads are not just mere ornament for adornment, but with its mysteries, they are a symbol of the link between Africans and superstition.
We have to now make a choice of fashion that will suit our imaginations and sensibility.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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