Are waist beads evil? Certainly, the issue of decoration, has always been full of argument especially here in Nigeria. Besides, once the adornment pertains to ladies, the argument gets even hotter.
After reading through the African history on waist beads, i decided to do a post on the topic “Are waist beads evil” and the meaning behind waist beads.
I believe after reading this you will be able to know for yourself.
There was, in fact, a rather innate fascination with waist beads that existed, especially for some younger women who wanted to reach the age where they could adorn some. Hidden under the modest women’s clothing favored in those times, the beads appeared at random intervals, surprising and seducing a spectator.
Although some people remained unaware of its meaning, a woman’s fascination with beads was practically undeniable.
Are there many different reasons why we came across why African waist beads were used?
Common folklore attributes this to the definition of a woman’s waist; in essence, it helps them keep their figures.
Traditional Ghanaian culture, however, had a more practical use, where the many strings of beads around the bikini line were used as an anchor to tie the menstrual tissue.
Some other uses or varied meanings of waist beads include;
- As a symbol of femininity and sensuality, only the partner a woman chooses would have the honor to see them fully.
- Waist beads serves as a sign that a woman had reached marriageable age and could now have suitors.
- Tied up with bells, to show that a woman was still pure as when she was married.
- Used on infants during naming ceremonies, some say; to intensify the waist and hips as they grow.
- As a measure of weight; as you gain weight, the bead belt goes up, and when you lose weight, it falls elegantly onto your hips.
- After adding gemstones, waist beads take on healing or rejuvenating qualities; depending on the illness or what needs to be improved (ie love, physical powers, balance), various semi-precious stones can be incorporated in the design of your waist beads.
Currently, only a few people maintain the culture of adorning these beads on a daily basis, but a large majority will likely place them on special occasions. Most of the meaning of tradition is now also redundant.
Women who adorn waist beads in this day and age, wear it more for decorative and beautifying reasons, or simply to check their weights, so it’s wise not to overread a woman’s decision to wear them.
All we know is that waist beads, when used correctly, are pretty things, and since they’ve been around for a long time, many people evidently agree.
Waist Beads Origin
Although there is so much history behind girdle beads, it is generally accepted that the existence of girdle beads dates back to ancient times, as far back as the 15th century.
In fact, many scholars are of the opinion that the history of beads began in ancient Egypt (North Africa), where they were used by beautiful women as a status symbol. They were simply called ‘belts’ at the time.
In West Africa, many historians believe that the tradition of waist beads was popularized by the Yoruba tribes, notably Senegal and Ghana (mainly the Sheep, Ashantis, Krobos, Ga-Adangbes), where they speak of nobility, femininity and wealth. Today, countries like Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone have also adopted the waistband.
Waist Beads Color: meaning and importance
Colors often play very important roles in our lives. While some people are easily attracted to bright colors, others, on the other hand, literally irritate other people.
However, the meaning of the color of a waist bead varies from culture to culture, tribe to tribe, its meaning is deemed very important and powerful in many African communities. Choosing the right bead color remains as important as its design, weight, length and flexibility.
Here are the meanings of some waist beads color:
- Brown – Earth and stability
- Gold – Good health, power and wealth
- Green – Abundance, fertility, nature and prosperity
- Red – Confidence and vitality
- Turquoise – Communication and Self-Awareness
- White – Light, truth and purity
- Yellow – Energy, joy and happiness
- Black – Power and protection
- Blue – Loyalty and Truth
- Orange – Courage, self-confidence and vitality
- Pink – Care, beauty, love and kindness
- Purple – Royalty, spirituality and wisdom
The waist bead has different names in different tribes. In Nigeria, eastern part of the country it is called mgbájị́, while the Yoruba (people of southwestern Nigeria) are called Bebedi. In hausa it is called Jigida.
The waist cord is also identified as Giri-Giri, Yomba, Jel-Jelli, Bin Bin, Ileke Idi and Djalay Djalay in some other tribes.
Are waist beads evil? Let’s consider waist beads and christianity
Here are some myths and truths about waist beads and their wearers:
All waist beads are diabolic
Myth: Some Christians, especially those from Africa, believe that anyone wearing a waist bead, cannot make heaven, be born again and most likely, has an evil or diabolic agenda.
Even more, some believers, think waist beads to be worn as a protective charm.
Truth: Waist beads, are a harmless fashion accessory. In as much as a wearer may be diabolic, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all wearers and waist beads are diabolic.
Can Believer Wear Bead?
Before I say yes or no, does believer wear necklace? Does believer wear bangles? Does believer wear wrist watch? What is your answer? YES or NO?
Actually believer(s) can wear waist beads. This solely depends on your intentions. Do you wear it as a charm, for beauty or to monitor your weight? The choice is yours.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, hence our intent of wearing waist beads as Christians, is different from the others. That’s the verdict!!!
It Is A Sin To Wear Waist Beads
Myth: Many Christians, believe waist beads are sinful and they anchor their beliefs on 1st Peter 3:3, where Apostle Peter talked about women’s beauty not showing outwardly.
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.”
Interestingly they argue that waist beads are a show of ‘carnality.’
Truth: Waist beads are physical adornments and accessories. Just like the wristwatch is worn on the hand, the necklace on the neck, so also is the waist bead on the waist.
Sometimes, believers should be careful, not allow religion becloud their sense of reasoning and understanding especially here in Africa.
All Waist Bead Wearers, Are Headed For Hell Fire
Myth: Since many Christians, label waist bead wearers as sinful, those that put on wrist watch and necklace (whether holy or not) should also be tagged sinful as well.
They just assume that those that wear waist beads are already hell-bound humans. But is that true?
Truth: (John3:16) Jesus died for both waist bead wearers and non-waist bead wearers, as well.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Hence, it would be so wrong to regard people as sinful or hell-bound, as a result of what they wear.
As a matter of fact, your clothing does not determine your Christianity.
In summary, in the book of Genesis 24vs30, the Bible records that Abraham’s servant, gave Rachel golden nose rings and bangles.
“And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the; and behold, he stood by the camels at the well.”
It was normal tradition to wear nose rings and gold bangles and it was not a sin. African tradition, supports the wearing of waist beads.
As such, waist beads, can never be a sin.
In the book of Exodus 12:35-36, God instructed Moses to tell all the Egyptians to take articles of Gold, silver and clothing from the Egyptians.
“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”
Are waist beads evil? Well, for me i will say, it is left for you to decide. Because the wearing of waist beads dates back to hundreds of centuries ago. However, with the coming of Christianity to Africa, a lot of simple and even innocent African tradition have been ruled out as sinful.