An article on the colors, meanings, spirituality and importance of waist beads plus anklets. Waist beads in the eyes of Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion.

An African woman is not complete without her waist beads 📿 – Fela Anikulapo Kuti

To some it is cultural, portrays our cultural heritage, beautifies the body, tribal, fashion, love, fertility, makes sex more appealing, a waist trainer, a contraceptive, a religious adornment, and for protection; while for others, it is diabolical, witchcraft, some form fetishism and and object that glorifies sex and worn by women of easy virtue. This is the information or feedbacks I could get from various social media opinions and my direct interactions with persons about WAIST BEADS.

Waist beads
Wearing waist beads has its importance

Why do ladies wear waist beads and anklets or ankle beads? The importance.

Read opinions and responses below.. ….Enjoy

Ire Nitemi

Overall meaning: femininity, decoration, and beauty. Names for waist beads jigida, Lagidigba, Ileke idi, bin bin, obutiiti, djalay djalay, jel-jelli, toma, and more.
Waist beads are worn all throughout Africa in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal.
There are waist beads of Yorubaland representing the Orisas devote in a form of Ileke. Priestesses may wear them to envoke water deities for protection against malicious water spirits. They’re also worn for protection during pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage and stillbirth.

👉The beads are also worn as a form of sexual attraction and to increase fertility.
👉The beads are also proof of chastity or sensuality depending on the behavior the beads are worn.

👉They’re also, used as a form of contraception because it’s believed that certain charms help prevent pregnancy by letting the woman know when she is ovulating.
👉They can be depicted as a high-status symbol depending on what they’re made of such as things like rare or expensive jewels.
👉Waist beads help control weight. If the beads get tight the woman or girl is gaining weight. If they become looser then she is losing weight.

👉Waist beads are given as a symbol of love and affection as gifts and are worn during many rituals and festivals. The beads are worn by the youngest of girls to oldest of women.

Beads are usually small round pieces of pierced glass, wood or metal strung together to serve as adornment for the waist, neck or ankle beads.

Waist chains are common with females and they are an excellent tool for women to feel more feminine and beautiful. These beautiful gemstone waist beads are hand made and customized. The tradition of wearing beads is an age long one, from time immemorial; it has been worn for varying reasons by the royalty, for body adornment, deification and decoration.

Overtime the culture of the use of beads has been associated with both spiritual and material reasons. In some parts of Africa, the beads are anointed in oils and the woman stands over a smoked pot and commences to ‘smoke her self’.

This practice aids in sensory pleasure for the man. Some beads are adorned with bells, which is a signal to let the man know that the woman wants to engage in sexual intercourse. The some have a revered usage attached to the waist beads. It is also worn as a form of birth control, as a way of preventing obesity or also for their ‘healing’ and therapeutic powers.

In some parts of Ghana and Nigeria, people have a belief that the waist beads possess some erotic appeal and have the power to incite desire or deep emotional response on men. Different countries take various perception to beads. In fact in Ghana, waist beads have only been acknowledged for their positive attributes. In fact one main attribute women are believed to wear waist chains in Ghana is to enhance their hips.

Illeke idi
Illeke idi (waist beads in Yoruba)

Diri Okparavero

Beads. We Urhobos call them Evwarha.
When the beads are worn for fashion purposes it is called Evwarha. When it becomes more than a fashion accessory, it’s is known as EGBENE. They also add Obiebi/Ubigho Ofuafo to strengthen the charm (black ornaments).

Men wear EGBENE around their waist or upper arms. It’s is use for warfare purpose i.e when he is 100% ready for war/battle or moving against spiritual powers (spiritual attacks).

Women wear EGBENE around the waist as well on her upper arm. Both can be use for fashion purpose (Evwarha). Wearing it on the upper arm for the women, can also can be used against spiritual fight (attacks by the unseen).

The waist is for seductive reason. She uses this for love, fertility, seduction etc.

Nnenna Egodimma Eze Anaba

I met this guy, he asked why I wear waist beads. I asked him if he has a problem with it, and if it’s his first time seeing it. He said he’s seen it, and has been wanting to ask me. I think he saw it on one of those occasions I wear my loose short and some mini tops.

Well, I told him I wear them because I love wearing beads. And I asked him again if he has a problem with it. And he said “I DON’T LIKE IT”.
Guys and ladies, I don’t give a care about what you like and hate😂😂. Apparently, a lot of people (males & females) in Nigeria seem to have a problem with waist beads. Christians attach so much spirituality to it but this is unnecessary.

What exactly are you folks scared of? Death or Juju? Or your Bible condemn beads? Ooh I get, you think it’s a sin. Or maybe, you think we use the beads to exchange your destiny, because I’ve got people ask me if mine is Juju. On behalf of all the bead wearers in Nigeria, we actually do not care about how you feel about our waist beads.

beaded waist
Please do not discriminate or body shame women in waist chains or leg chains. You have no right to?

And if you think you can’t keep a relationship with us because we wear waist beads. Please move along! You see my beads? They ain’t going off anytime soon. I’ve been wearing them for over 5 damn years. Believe me, I won’t change because I met you. I would rather have you walk than remove them beads. I even need me some new ones. I don’t mind it as a gift. Preferably the chain ones. After all, it’s almost Christmas already. Show some love this season and stop hating on waist beads.

Nana Adu-Boafo Jnr wrote on the Mysteries, History and importance of Waist Beads!

Waist Beads, also known as belly beads, have traditionally been worn by African women since the 15th century to serve many celebratory purposes. In Africa, a bead is rarely a simple ornament; beads are worn visibly as a sign of status or hidden as an invisible yet perceptible signal to a husband or lover.
Historians believe the African tradition of waist beads may have originated among the Yoruba tribes, now mainly in Nigeria.

But the practice is also seen in West Africa, notably Ghana, where the beadssignify wealth and aristocracy, as well as femininity
Some other varied uses or significance of the waist beads include;

💠As a symbol of femininity and sensuality, only the partner a woman chooses would have the honor of seeing them fully.
💠As a sign that a woman had reached marriageable age and could now have suitors;
💠Strung with bells, to show that a woman was still pure as at the time of marriage.
💠Worn on babies during naming ceremonies, some say; to accentuate their waistlines and hips as they grow.
💠As a weight measure; when gaining weight, the belt of the beads climb up and when you lose weight, it falls elegantly on the hips.
💠Upon addition of precious stones, waist beads take on healing or rejuvenation qualities; depending on ailment or what needs to be enhanced (i.e. love, physic powers, balancing), various semi-precious stones can be included in the design of your waist beads.

These days, only a few people maintain the culture of adorning these beads on a daily basis, but a vast majority are likely to put them on during special occasions. Most of the significance of the tradition is also now mostly redundant. The women who adorn waist beads in this day and age, use it more for ornamental and beautification reasons, or simply to check their weights, so it may be wise not to read too much into a woman’s decision to wear them.

Below are the meanings of some bead waist colour:
Brown – Earth and stability
Gold – Good health, power and wealth
Green – Abundance, fertility, nature and prosperity
Red – Confidence and vitality
Turquoise -Communication and self-awareness
White – Light, truth and purity
Yellow – Energy, joy and happiness
Black – Power and protection
Blue – Loyalty and truth
Orange – Courage, self-confidence and vitality
Pink – Care, beauty, love and kindness
Purple – Royalty, spirituality and wisdom.
The waist bead bears different names in different tribes.

Each color of the bead signifies something

Emmanuel Kant

Beads are destiny/career killers. They are charms in disguise. Ladies who wear them will always say, they wear it for fashion or, their grandmother or mother placed it there, some will say it’s to check their size, guys’ believe me, it is diabolical.

Ogunleye Sheriffat

How people came attach spirituality and fetishism to beads beats my imagination. To me it is fashion and my cultural heritage. Yes, I am a Yoruba women and from history waist beads originated from the Yorubas. I wear waist beads and in fact am wearing one now. I know many high society ladies and female socialites that wear beads on their waists. It now cuts across tribes and races. Igbos, Yoruba, Hausa-fulani, Blacks, Latinos, Carribeans and some Europeans wear beads. Some wear them just to check if they are gaining weight or not. To some it is a waist trainer, sexually appealing and helps check big tommy. Waist beads rocks!

Glow-Getter (Twitter thread)

Why every female must wear waist beads.

There’s a belief that women who wear beads are more sensuous, attractive and feel more beautiful.

Waist beads helps shrink your waist. It’s serves as a traditional waist trainer which gives you that tiny waist.

Best intimate appeal. Waist beads can be worn for seduction and honors her sexuality as well. Waist beads possess intimate appeal and provokes desires. The rattle of waist beads makes some men go crazy, most men love playing with them too!

Waist beads alerts you when you’re loosing weight, gaining weight or even alerting you when you’re pregnant. Beads roll lower your waist when you’re loosing weight or roll higher or get tight when you’re gaining some weight.<

They’re simply amazing. Get one today


For whatever reason people wear waist beads should and must not be your concern. Stop attaching meaning to them. Stop body shaming girls, ladies and women that wear waist chains. Stop the DISCRIMINATION and the holier than thou. You don’t have any right to.

You can read an explosive article on bleaching here by Dr. Folakemi

Thank you for reading.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here