My First Waist Beads

In African tradition, waist beads are meant to be worn under clothing. They’re for you. It’s personal.

Tica Bowden

Yesterday, after work, I picked up my very first set of waist beads from a friend in Brooklyn, who creates them by hand. It’s been quite a long time coming and finally, everything I needed to be able to commission them, lined up so I could make my order. I met Janice through my BF soulsistah4real who conducted an interview with her in 2015. I ran into her at a party for a mutual friend last month and took the opportunity to speak to her about making a set of waist beads for me with some specific energy and intention poured into them.

When Janice sent me the photo of my waist beads, I loved them right away. She used the color I love and the stones that were necessary for the intentions I am setting. Putting them on was like putting on something that belonged on me. They’re not irritable or foreign feeling at all, at least not so far. They lay comfortably just along my waistline, under my belly. They’re so light, I sometimes forget they’re even on.


As I lay in bed last night, feeling them on my skin, it felt as if they were at home on me, like a part of me I didn’t know I needed. I don’t have any tattoos but I imagine this is something like what people who love tattoos feel like. It’s also wonderful to be connected to other women through an ancient tradition. It’s something beautiful  and meaningful, which is tucked away and unnoticed, yet always there and sometimes peeking through.

When we were last at Spa Castle, lounging in the hot pools on the lower level, I remember we saw several sistahs wearing waist beads. You would think that just being naked was sensual enough but waist beads have a way of enhancing feminine energy in a distinct and way that varies in nature from delicate and demure to bold and extroverted but always sexy

Like another BF of mine said, waist beads tell a story. And I know that in ancient times women who were proficient in the language of stones and colors, knew what those stories were, what tribe a woman was from, how old she was, what she was wishing for, going through, celebrating, expressing or meditating on, based on her waist beads.

The look on my husband’s face when I showed him was priceless. He was like a kid in candy store! LOL! I know it was a new feeling for him. Even I could not have anticipated the feeling I had when I put them on, and saw them on myself the first time. It’s a uniquely pleasurable experience that is a welcome departure from Western ideas about sexuality and what makes a woman beautiful.

I’m very glad that these particular waist beads are my very first set. I know they will not be the last.

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