Adorning beads in our part of the world by women dates back to several centuries but they are still religiously observed by most women.
It is a cultural norm within most Ghanaian societies for a woman to wear one or more strings of beads on her waist at all times.
It is also the practice for a string or two of beads to be put on a new born child irrespective of the gender.
For us, women wearing beads on the waist is for life.
But why is the trend, an age long tradition still common in most Ghanaian communities and what are the purposes for wearing them.
A bead is a small , decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as stone, bone, shell, glass, plastic, wood or pearl and that a small hole is drilled for threading or stringing.
Typically, beads range in size from from under 1 millimeter to over 1 centimeter in diameter are they are among some of the intriguing and important symbols in our culture, both past and present.
The materials used in making beads are of the largest variety, from bone to glass and their colours and sizes as well.
Some of the most well-known varieties of African beads today are Krobo Beads, Kakamba Beads, Mali Clay Beads and Mali Wedding Beads, Chevrons, Millefiori, Vaseline Beads, White Heart Beads, Kiffa Beads, and Hebron Beads.
The use of beads sometimes has subjective motives as it denotes perspective, experience, feelings, beliefs, desires, and power.
According to some women, the waist beads help them define their waist in order to meet this standard of beauty.
Others like Maame Yaa, a university graduate believes it makes her beautiful as the waist bead is an essential fashion accessory.
It is a common knowledge in Ghana that a woman who wears waist beads look more sensuous compared to their counterparts who do not.
Aside making women more beautiful, waist beads are the pleasure of men as most are attracted to them and can get their eyes and hands of them. It works like magic.
So whenever you see women investing energy, time and money into selecting and acquiring the ‘magic’ colors and designs to wear, the reasons are not far fetched.
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