Waist beads have been a cultural tradition in African countries since the 15th century where they served spiritual and celebratory purposes. Also known as waist bracelets, waist chains or belly beads, these ornaments can convey great meaning as a sign of status, mood or mating signals.
In modern times, these ornaments can be worn by any ethnicity or culture for spiritual healing purposes, decorative adornment, empowerment and confidence building as well as sensuality and weight loss tracking.
While anyone could attribute any meaning they wanted to the colors of the beads, some colors have rose to mean specific things for certain tribes and sets of people.
Purple – Spirituality and wisdom. Similar to Europe, the purple color would often represent royalty and high status due to the rarity of this color.
Pink – Care, beauty and kindness
Orange and Red – vitality, courage and social aggressiveness