Beads have been around for very many generations. They were once used as currency and family heirlooms. Passed down from the elder women in the family to the younger ones, they would string together their beads and wear them on the hips and waists. It has also been documented that waist beads were and I’m sure are still used in certain places in Africa  to hold up a woman’s menstrual cloth. 

There are regions where waist beads and other jewelry  are gifted to the bride to be by her intended as dowry. An adorned woman is a happy woman. This is why African women are often times adorned in the most elaborate way. 

A beautiful shot of Waists beads by Richard Zulu Shabazz Photography

There are different types of beads which also means that there are different qualities of beads. We have glass beads, clay beads, wooden beads, plastic beads, beads made from plastic bags and stone beads. They all have their significance to those that wear it. 
The waist bead movement seems to be sweeping across America and the diaspora. Women, big and small, are seeing and feeling the effects of adorning oneself with waist beads. It is added beauty even after she has undressed. “They’re like window treatments.” I heard a male friend of mine say. Another male said, “They give me something to play with.” women boast of added confidence and an added fuel to shappen up and/or love their bodies as it is. 

Beautiful shot of Kaia, Yashi, Joi and Jameilah by Richard Zulu Shabazz Photography

Waist beads can be used to keep ones weight in check. How does this work? Well, when you put the beads on, it will either get tighter as you gain weight or get looser as you loose weight. This way, a woman can be aware of the subtle changes in her weight loss and gain. 

I have heard it said that waist beads have a magic that comes with them because as soon as a woman ties them on, she feels more alive and in tune with her womb energy. Waist beads deal with the root, sacral and heart Chakras. A perfect reminder that our womb is alive and must be honored. This in turn generates that love in our hearts for ourselves. Often times, we women are not aware of the level of womb trauma we are carrying around with us on a day to day basis as we continue with our service to humanity. We must heal and waist beads are a great reminder to not forget ourselves in all we do and that all healing must come from the womb. 

Richard Zulu Shabazz Photography and Naeemah showing off waist beads by Nomadiq Merchant Inc.

Waist beads are made up of many different colors and colors evoke certain emotions in us. Here is a common list of colors and their meanings…

Red is the color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. It is also the color of anger and sexual passion.

Orange is the color of social communication and optimism. From a negative color meaning it is also a sign of pessimism and superficiality.

Yellow is the color of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice.

Green is the color of balance and growth. It can mean both self-reliance as a positive and possessiveness as a negative, among many other meanings.

Blue is the color of trust and peace. It can suggest loyalty and integrity as well as conservatism and frigidity.

Indigo is the color of intuition. In the meaning of colors it can mean idealism and structure as well as ritualistic and addictive.

Purple is the color of the imagination. It can be creative and individual or immature and impractical.

Pink is unconditional love and nurturing. Pink can also be immature, silly and girlish.

Brown is a friendly yet serious, down-to-earth color that relates to security, protection, comfort and material wealth.

Gray is the color of compromise – being neither black nor white, it is the transition between two non-colors. It is unemotional and detached and can be indecisive.

Silver has a feminine energy; it is related to the moon and the ebb and flow of the tides – it is fluid, emotional, sensitive and mysterious.

Gold is the color of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, gold implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.

White is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.

Black is the color of the hidden, the secretive and the unknown, creating an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world.

A shot by Yetunde Orungbemi of waist beads in Elmina, Ghana.

With these color schemes in mind, some women purchase these specific colors in hopes to generate these emotions. I have always found it more effective to just wear all the colors. A balanced womb, I like to call it. 

Waist beads can signal to a husband that his wife is on her menstrual cycle, that she is hot and ready, uninterested, ovulating or pregnant. Some tribes believe in wearing waist beads while pregnant and others don’t. 

Babies and beads

You see, waist beads are ultimately about bringing to attention by to the individual. The reminder that we are beautifully crafted by The Creator. 

The beautiful ladies of Nomadiq Merchant Inc. Waist Beads in Atlanta. Photo by Richard Zulu Shabazz Photography

The waist beads sold by Nomadiq Merchant Inc. are made by Africans and sold by Africans in Africa. We cleanse and bless them in the ocean off the coast West Africa. Our mission is to give you a little piece of Africa to carry around with you until you can make the pilgrimage, if you so choose. Wet and sandy, carefully selected waist beads with you in mind is what you’ll receive. 

My name is Yetunde Orungbemi and I am the CEO of Nomadiq Merchant Inc. I hope to see that day that I am of service to you. 

Words from an Ghanaian chief on why women should be waist beads. 

Yetunde Orungbemi of Nomadiq Merchant Inc. Waist Beads

Click on these links to get to me and the rest of the waist bead movement brought to you by Nomadiq Merchant Inc.