what a WAIST!

what a WAIST!
Using jewelry to adorn one’s self has been in practice since the beginning of time. For some its blatant, other times subtle, but it’s always exciting. I too love to add a bit of flair and excitement to my overall look! From my head (earrings) to my toes (toe rings), my body is all-too familiar with jewels and adornments.
But what about the ‘in-between’ you ask? Well, I celebrate my power center with waist beads.
Waist beads are more than eye candy; they serve many purposes depending on who is wearing them or how they are worn. Waist beads are like talismans, and in many cultures have come to symbolize wisdom, strength, and DEFINITELY femininity. They’re typically worn under one’s clothing and held in place by the hips and buttocks. Their uses range from rites of passage, healing and rejuvenation to simply enticing your mate.
In Senegal, women start wearing waist beads (there, called bin-bin or jel-jelli) as babies. In Congo, they are a symbol of the beginning of a young girl’s reproductive cycle. They are a a part of a young woman’s rite of passage- a first step in her unlocking the mysteries of womanhood (menses, courtship, sex and childbearing).
When you add stones, waist beads take on healing qualities. Depending on the ailment or what one desires to be enhanced (i.e. love, physic powers, balancing), various semi-precious stones can be included to the strands.
In Ghana, some belive that waist beads help women achieve an “hour glass” figure as well as sexually stimulate their men. The same goes for some Islamic cultures which allow women to wear these beads under their clothes for their husband’s pleasure. Some traditional cultures even claim waist beads have contraceptive powers!

Waist beads in ancient Egypt were referred to as “girdles”. They date back to the 6th dynasty and resembled a belt with long beaded strands that hung down with a center tail that was slightly longer than the other strands. Around the 17th century, girdles began to look more like today’s contemporary waist beads: multiple strands worn around the waist. These girdles were made with gold, lapis lazuli and feldspar to name a few stones. The most well-known relief of women wearing girdles is that from the tomb of Nebamun.

Though waist beads are typically worn under your clothes, today, some women choose to show their waist beads as the latest fashion accessory. Which isn’t hard since low-rise jeans keep getting lower….and lower.  It’s cool to enjoy that “peek-a-boo” look, and I’m pretty sure it’s sexy from a guy’s pont of view 🙂

So why not adorn your canvas with beautiful beads?  Go ahead and create a pair for yourself (or whomever you have in mind to share ’em with *giggle*). Think how sexy you will look and feel rockin’ your beautifully crafted and colorful beads around your waist. Try dipping them in a scented oil or make them from a fragrant material such as sandalwood. You can even put bells on them so that they jingle as you sway your hips in stride.  They are easy to make. All it takes is some string (Egyptian cotton, elastic or fishing line work best and will last a long time), a necklace/bracelet clasp (available at a craft store), beads from a bead shop locally, online or an African marketplace and CREATIVITY!

Before you get into a stringing zone, measure yourself on bare skin. Be sure to have an idea of where you would like your beads to fall. Make sure the measuring tape is snug, but not tight. Don’t cheat yourself and suck it in!! If you’ve never worn waist beads before, measure right below your belly button. If you have a tummy, measure underneath it. Measure lower if you would like your beads to sit on your hips.

If you’d rather leave the creativity to someone else, check out  waist beads by sewra for a vast selection. She’s a talented “beadstress” (I coined that) who has many awesome styles and selections to choose from.

You don’t have to have a flat stomach to wear them;  just be proud knowing that you are wearing something subtly sensual and beautiful for your (or his) eyes only!


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