"Waist beads always remind me of how much we women have endured & how we have persevered..."

My name is Moon. I have been making and selling waist beads for 15 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. Recently I have also been using gemstone angel cards as a tool for women who seek my waist beads for healing.

I was introduced to waist beads in the ’90s by Queen Afua, the renowned healer, author and Sacred Woman from Brooklyn, New York. Queen 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.

Waist beads always remind me of how much we women have endured and how we have persevered, keeping our dignity and divine power.