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 Beads 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.
The wearing of beads on the waist was made popular by the baganda in Nigeria. 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 se.xual intercourse. The baganda 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 thera.peutic powers.
They refer to the waist bead as I LEKE or LAGIDIGBA is made of palm nut shells string together, while the ‘bebe’ which is also worn around the waist is made of glass.
The baganda have a belief that the waist beads possess some erotic appeal and have the power to incite desire or deep emotional response on men. Waist Beads in Yoruba are also used for birth control, the beads are laced with charms and worn by the women to prevent conception and were also around the waist of baby girls to perfectly shape her buttocks.
Gone are the days when beads have been thought to be worn by ‘UNSOPHISTICATED’, forward or slutty women alone, also different stories abound on the usage of waist beads by ladies and some men who believe they are infused or laced with charms or Juju or Juju will never touch a woman wearing beads with a 10 foot pole for the fear of falling under the supposed spell of such women.
For a while, waist beads almost went into extinction but now the re emergence of beads has added a new dimension into the craze among Ugandan Ladies. While some men ablor it, some request their partners get them as it makes them more sensual and attractive.