Ubuntu! South Africa Waist Beads


South Africa has been on my mind lately, and specifically, a beautiful word used by President Obama during his tribute at Nelson Mandela’s memorial; Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a Southern African concept meaning “humanity toward others.” Translated, it means “human kindness.”

“He not only embodied ubuntu,” Obama said of the iconic freedom fighter. “He taught millions to find that truth within themselves.”

I could not think of a greater legacy.

These waistbeads, inspired by the spirit of ubuntu, are strung with seedbeads in the six colors of the South African flag and studded with obsidian chips. Obsidian is a grounding, peace-drawing and protective stone.

It also features pewter ornate beads, faceted glass crystal beads and is  centered by a pewter medallion with two hands clasping a heart.

These one-of-a-kind  waistbeads are 33 inches long with six inches of adjustable chain with a pewter Africa medallion dangle. If that’s not your size don’t be discouraged, size reductions or adjustments with added chain up to 43 inches are free. All Wrap and Soul pewter charms are lead-free.

Only $25.00.

Click here for these ubuntu waist beads and more!

Peace¸.•*¨`☥ ☾ 



Wear Your Waistbeads in Comfort!

Wear Your Waistbeads in Comfort!

Although they are called WAIST beads, they are most comfortable worn under the belly, about where bikini bottoms would sit on your hips! This way, they can be worn under your clothes or exposed against the skin.

Custom Waistbeads By Wrap And Soul

Between festivals and online sales, at times I get so busy I run low on stock at the Wrap and Soul shop at Etsy.com. So I was thrilled to discover that instead of becoming disappointed, many of my customers turned to my Custom Waistbeads service, giving me the opportunity to co-design with them and creating special beads that meet their specific needs.
If you would like certain gemstones or symbols on your waistbeads, for aesthetic or spiritual reasons, but find that what you desire is not available at the Wrap and Soul shop, I will work with you to make it happen. In fact, I will be honored.
For me, making this special jewelry is a calling that I take very seriously. In our ancestral villages and towns, there were women who strung waistbeads for the local girls for each milestone in their lives. They all  knew each other, and the women knew what colors. patterns and beads would be appropriate for each girl’s age, status and disposition.
Our “village” today is a lot larger, but if you give me the information, you can still get those special hand-selected touches.  All Wrap and Soul waistbeads are one-of-a-kind, so with each piece you are get a unique work of  functional art, as well as history and culture.  As you view the selection on the site, notice the waistbeads that catch your eye, the set you keep staring at, and going back to. That’s the one for you. For whatever reason, you need the energy of those crystals. It works every time.
However, if you have something specific in mind, and decide you want Wrap and Soul custom beads, here are the steps for c0-designing a set with me.
First, go the the left side menu of the Wrap and Soul website. Under “Shop Info” you’ll see the number of sales.  The number changes all the time: Today it says “247 Sales.” Click that link, and all of my previously sold waistbeads will be displayed.  Right now, that’s 11 pages of designs.
Scroll through the sold waistbeads to get an idea of the crystals and symbols in my inventory. If you see a set you like, click it for a larger view and to get my description of the properties of the crystals. Note, there are five photographs for each item. Click those on too!
From that vast selection, you can decide which crystals and symbols you would like on your custom waistbeads. Email your ideas to me and I’ll give you feedback. We will co-design! I will make suggestions on your color selection, symbols etc.
About cost: Generally, for a custom design that’s a spin on one of my previously sold creations, I charge only $5 more. about $30, plus shipping. That would be for the standard length of up to 43 inches, with all crystals and symbols in stock.
If you are requesting a crystal that I don’t normally use or that is out of stock, I will order it for you. However, if it is expensive I may pass the cost on to you or suggest  a less expensive version with the same properties/color. The same goes for symbols that are not in my inventory. But I’m always open to suggestions and I’ll work with you.
If you need custom waistbeads that are longer than 43 inches, I will create that also, adding another $5 more to the cost.
I do require a deposit of 50 percent of the cost before I start the project. When the waistbeads are completed, I post photos of them in my shop, reserved under your first name so you can take a look at them before final payment.reservedlisting
After you okay them, you make the final payment and I ship them out to you.  You receive them, open the package and fall in love!!

The Ankh

One of my favorite symbols that came from ancient Egypt or Kemet, is the ankh, which represents eternal life. Many people see the ankh in  jewelry and mistake it for a Christian cross. Actually, the head of the ankh is teardrop shaped and it’s set on a T shaped body. The T part of the cross symbolizes life or wisdom, and the circle or oval stands for eternity. It is also believed  by some authorities that the ankh is a union of a female symbol (the oval, representing the vagina or uterus) and a male symbol (the phallic upright line). Either way, the ankh is the hieroglyph that was considered most powerful during those ancient times.

Goldstone Ankh Waistbeads

On the paintings on the walls of the tombs and on the temples and monuments, gods and goddesses are depicted  holding up the symbol in a protective posture or offering it to figures of the afterlife.  During the 25th dynasty, it represented the one god,  the sun god,  resting on the horizon –  the circle resting on a horizontal bar. The ancient ones believed the ankh to hold the power of protection, royalty, honor, sanctity, wisdom, power and authority.

On the trips I have taken to Cairo with my husband, the ankh is still ubiquitous around the ancient sites and it’s a best-seller among souvenir hawkers. Even outside  Egypt,  the symbol is seen in the art, jewelry, tattoos and clothing of popular culture, still worn as an amulet as it was centuries ago. It’s a wonderful thing to consider that this symbol that celebrates the sacredness of life  has become a part of the collective human consciousness.

I often use the ankh as a pendant on the Wrap and Soul waist beads I create.

Garnet & Amethyst Ankh Waistbeads

For me, not only does it represent a celebration of life, but it’s special because it’s the symbol of the planet     Venus, and the universal symbol of womanhood.  The ankh harnesses a feminine energy, pays homage to our ancestors and the journey of LIFE.

Click here for more Wrap and Soul ankh waist beads. 

For Men: The Sensual Waistbeads Woman


If you think waistbeads are for ladies only, think again.

Although I have created waistbeads for a man – I’ll get to that in a minute – please consider that the waistbeads your woman wears is as much for your pleasure as it is for hers. In a sense they are the perfect gift – they are beautiful, spiritual, cultural and lovingly reciprocal. When she wears waistbeads for herself, she’s giving you a gift; when she wears waistbeads for you, she’s giving a gift to herself.  And while the same can be said for other types of  jewelry, few have the same sensual appeal as waistbeads.

Here’s what waistbeads do for you:

1) They make your woman FEEL more beautiful as the energy the gemstones exudes a subtle positive influence.

2) They make your woman LOOK more beautiful; waistbeads are stunningly seductive along the curves of her body, against the glow of her skin.

3) Gemstone waistbeads add to her spiritual armor, protecting her and keeping her safe from negativity when you are not around. And if she is pregnant, her waistbeads are literally guarding your family.

4) They are a part of your racial memory. The oldest African jewelry ever discovered was found in 2004, in the Blombos cave on the southern tip of South Africa.  They are 40 mollusc shell beads that had been pierced and are estimated  over 75,000 years old.  Women are seen wearing waistbeads on the walls of the pyramids in Egypt, but it’s hard to say when they were first introduced into our culture. However, it’s certain they have always played a large role in seduction and romance between the sexes.

Even today.  The Nation, a newspaper of the Republic of  Malawi, recently discussed the merits of waistbeads among market women, who opined that every young woman should have waistbeads to keep her husband aroused during foreplay. In the article, the women went on describe the hidden meanings of waistbeads colors, from black, which means “not tonight I have a headache,” to blue and green, meaning “all systems are go.”



In her book, “Sacred Woman,”  Queen Afua  writes among the 17th century Saramaka people, a woman would give her  scented waistbeads to her husband as a symbol of her intended fidelity when he went away for long periods of time. That certainly beats a photo on your cellphone!

5) From a dozen years experience in this craft, I kid you not when I say there are few women who would not be moved when a man selects and purchases a set of waistbeads for her. It is more creative than flowers, sexier than lingerie, and more personal than most other jewelry.

As you can see the benefits are multiple. For superior quality and beauty, try Wrap and Soul gemstone waistbeads.

For those of you who are wondering whether a man can wear waistbeads – yes, I do get asked that question – the answer is: It depends.

I was once talked into making waistbeads for a very persistent older brother. He selected the beads and stones, the symbols, gave me his measurements and drew up the design. I knew that some African men do wear beads and belts around their waists, so the concept was not completely strange to me. But, as I pointed out to him, those men wore little or no clothing at all. The idea of waistbeads UNDER modern pants or jeans, seemed a little odd.

Nevertheless I made them, presented them to him and he was thrilled.

A month later I met him on the street with his waistbeads on – around his neck! When I commented on his “necklace,” he looked at me rather sheepishly. “As waistbeads, they just kept getting in the way,” he said.

I replied:   “That’s because the real pleasure you get from waistbeads is from the woman who’s wearing them.”

Beauty and The Lowly Gemstone Chip

I am sometimes asked by other jewelers why I use gemstone chips, rather than faceted gemstone beads, when I create my waistbeads. The question is usually presented in a manner that suggests that gemstone chips, the irregular-shaped by-products  created during the manufacturing process of producing regular shapes, is somehow less worthy.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Lapis Lazuli Chips.


The gemstone chip has so many advantages it is astonishing  to me that more jewelers do not use them. Gemstone chips have a raw, natural quality that appeals to me much more than regular, uniform beads. The chips often have slight imperfections and their small odd shapes are more appealing strung in clusters. However, to me  they are beautiful- their colors can be blended and manipulated like an artist’s palette; they are fabulously economical; and most importantly, despite their size and shape, capture all of the metaphysical energy of the stone. To look down on a gemstone chip is like disliking  a rose petal while loving a bouquet.

I recently scored a pretty pink opal pendant at a bead show. It didn’t cost me very much, but the color is stunning. It is deep pink with veins and smudges of  black and smoky gray. I decided to make a necklace with it and came home to my studio to begin work immediately. I pulled out my rose quartz chips, and very carefully selected those closest in color to the pink of my opal. Then I chose the chips that are a shade darker pink, and others that are a shade lighter.  After considering which stones would best compliment the romantic energy of the rose quartz and inner beauty boost generated by opal, I decided on the grounding stones of hematite and blackstone. These stones are gray and black respectively.  The rose quartz chips are crystalline, while  hematite and blackstone are both smooth. The contrast in textures, the matching  colors and the feel-good energy from the stones resulted in a great necklace that sold immediately after I took it off my bead board!

That’s not to say the same design – on waistbeads or a necklace –  could not be done with conventional beads.  It’s just that the cost of so many different types of faceted beads may be prohibitive to some of my customers and so would not allow me the flexibility of finding stones with complimentary energy and color.

On waistbeads this is very important because I believe the positive energy from the stones mingles with the aura of the wearer. For me, energy, color and symbols are just as important as beauty and design. Some of my customers call Wrap and Soul waistbeads medicine jewelry. I like that.

Amethyst Chips