African beads have been worn as early as the 15th century for many purposes such as rites of passage and as a status symbol. Trade Beads within Ghanian culture is used predominantly because of the many colours they came in. It is believed certain colours ward off evil – notably white.
Colourful beads known as Bodum beads were for centuries passed down within families, alleged to possess the whispered incantations, prayers and healing properties of wise elders. It is a common ritual within Ghanaian tribes, especially the Krobo – to tie a multicoloured string of Old Venetian Glass Trade Beads around the waist of a new-born baby to ward off disease, evil and negative aura.
Each colour variant was though to house a specific healing property, and was used for a specific ailment.
Trade Beads were for centuries the primary currency of African economy, however they are also thought to be a form of currency exchange for the soul, with certain Gods. In a similar fashion to the Egyptians, certain Ghanaian tribes send multicoloured strands of Old African Trade Beads to accompany the dead to the after-life. It is thought they will then be able to pay any debt of sin with these beads.
Waist beads can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times and were then known as “girdle.” Waist beads are single or multiple strands of beads made from various kinds of glass, metal, crystal, bone and wooden beads that are worn around the waist and stomach.
In Ghana women wear waist beads as a symbolic adornment that can serve as a sign of wealth, femininity, and aristocracy as well as spiritual well-being.
They are the perfect tool for one’s healing and spiritual journey as they encourage self-love, confidence, and beauty within a woman. African waist beads are worn beautifully by women of all colour, shapes, sizes, and ages.
Ghanian women believe the placement of beads can also shape the waist. The practice of wearing multiple strands over time can help keep the waist small and accentuate one’s natural curves. It is believed that the beads possess the power to attract as well as evoke deep emotional responses. Traditional waist beads are meant to be worn until they break or fall off.
Our African beads jewellery are all handmade by a small group pf women corporative in Ghana with positive intentions to promote all of these purposes. Each bead has different meanings and causes, depending on the colour, shape and the charm that it accompanies.