African Waist Beads

African Waist Beads

 My name is Moon. I have been making and selling waist beads for 12 years and I never grow tired of it. I harness the power of crystal gemstones and African and Egyptian symbols to make my waist beads potent and unique.

I was introduced to waist beads a little over a decade ago by Queen Afua, the renowned healer, author and Sacred Woman from Brooklyn. She explained that almost every country in Africa has a tradition of assigning various meanings to this adornment.

In her book, Sacred Woman, Queen Afua writes that among some nations waist beads were given to young girls at puberty by their older kinswomen as a symbol of her womanhood and power. “They were used only for lovemaking; only a woman’s husband saw these beads… after death they [were] laid in her coffin along with the rest of her clothing required for proper burial.”

Through the ages, the color of the beads or the pattern of beadwork may signify a woman’s status as a maiden, mother, widow or elder. Waist beads were always on her,  protecting the wearer during menstruation, courtship and childbirth.


Under Queen Afua’s gentle instruction I created my first waist beads, and since then, I have never been without a string of beads, pearls, or gemstones around my hips. Like cornrows,  bangles, spicy food and the drumbeat, waist beads are another aspect of our culture that just feels right.They are a continual affirmation of the beauty of my body and my heritage. I felt their gentle positive influence during times of stress, in hostile corporate environments and when I was unwell. They always remind me of how much we as Black women have endured and how we have persevered, keeping our dignity and divine power.


Your WRAP AND SOUL waist beads are made up of  a belt and a chain. The belt is the string of seedbeads, crystals or semi-precious gems and beads. Each gem or crystal exudes a powerful energy.  Pewter beads,  meaningful charms and symbols on the belt are also a hallmark of Wrap and Soul. They are strung on a soft coated wire that is tested to hold up under 100 pounds of tension. Attached to one end of the belt is six inches of chain.  The lobster claw clasp on the other end of the belt can hook onto the any link of the chain giving you the option of making it tighter or looser depending on where you want  your beads to hang on your body.


The most comfortable way of wearing waist beads is under your belly, about where bikini panties would sit on your hips. Most waist beads women wear their beads traditionally, under their clothes against their skin. It’s worth mentioning here that Wrap and Soul waist beads are designed to withstand the friction clothing, yet remain comfortable against your skin.

Some women may  wear them over their clothes, to adorn  a long skirt or  dress or against their skin while wearing  a cropped top or low -rise jeans.

However, waist beads are not about not about whether or not you have a flat stomach or six-pack abs. They are not about highlighting the thickness of your waist or the bulge of your belly or span of your hips.

Waist beads have a completely different energy. They tell the story of your womb. They remind you that the curve of your hips and belly are what makes you a woman. They also tell the tale of the daughters of the African Diaspora- of traditions lost and then recaptured. They symbolize the beauty of women who soar.


WRAP AND SOUL waist beads can be worn all  the time, day and night,  as long as you have no allergies. Make sure the findings, made from base metal or pewter, and the stones and gem chips cause no skin reactions. I also scout antique shops for vintage beads, so you may have a very old unique adornment on your waist beads. But if everything is fine, you can even shower with your beads on. Soap can sometimes coat and dull the beads, but if that happens simply take them off, rinse with clear water and buff back to their original sparkle with a soft cloth.


Some wearers believe that “clearing” the gemstones before wearing them removes any residual negative energy from previous handlers. To “clear” your WRAP AND SOUL waist beads, leave outside in direct sunlight or moonlight for 24 hours.


WRAP AND SOUL waist beads are one-of-a-kind. If the clasp or chain breaks, we can repair for it for a small fee. However, if the belt breaks it cannot be repaired. The most common way the belt breaks is in a bathroom scenario- that is, the wearer needs to use the bathroom urgently, goes to pull down her underwear and inadvertently hooks her thumb into the beads- and yanks- breaking the wire and busting the belt.

Browse for your African waist beads at  Wrap and Soul


Our grandmothers were on to something. They knew what they were doing… Wearing waist beads is sexier than being totally nude. Ask any woman who wears them…Better yet, ask her man. Can I get an Amen?




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