The Art of Waist Beads

The art of constructing waist beads is a sacred practice. Wearing waist beads, in any capacity, is delving into a sanctified pool. Waist beads are a culture based ritual.


Waist bead wearing is a sentimental tradition, that has been passed onto us from our feminine ancestors. There’s an entire culture of women, from which waist bead wearing stems. 

Waist beads bare many different meanings across different tribes, yet we all agree, they are definitive of one’s power, resilience and femininity. In general, waist beads tell each of our individual stories, while highlighting the legacy, from which we’ve emerged. Waist bead wearing represents our commonality, instead of broadcasting our differences - they are the thread which binds all the women of our culture together.


The Construction


I construct tie-on waist beads. My strands are made of various beading materials, which include, but are not limited to, traditional African beads, glass beads, acrylic beads, wood beads, shells, ornaments, jewelry, charms and crystals. Waist beads are strung on a durable nylon cord. 

When it comes to constructing these strands, I try to keep as close to tradition, as permitted. It means a lot to me to keep them authentic to what our ancestors created.

Reminder: the strands that I create are “permanently” tied-on, and one wears them until the cord either pops or until they’re intentionally removed. This keeps in alignment with how our ancestors constructed and wore their waist beads. 


The Creative Space


I’m not certain how important the creative spaces were regarded, when our ancestors constructed  waist beads. Nothing that I’ve ever read or have come across, stated the importance of the creative space. If anything the mindset/intention were probably more important than the actual space. However, I like to think that space, intention, vibes, mindset and all that, were just as important during the ancestors construction periods, as they are in mine.  Seriously, though! Who doesn’t love and prefer spaces that thrive in good energy?


With all that being said, I’m overly protective of any space that I occupy. And I’m especially mindful in protecting the workspace, in which these strands of beads are created.   

Whether good or bad, energies transfer; they transfer from people to people, place to place and even from object to object. Since these beads are a fixture that will be in constant contact with your person, I make sure that I’m in the best mindset, with the best intentions and that I’m carrying good vibes when I’m constructing them. 


The workspace is cleansed daily, sometimes even several times throughout the day, with sage, palo santo sticks, herbal incense, good music, by plants or a combination of all. Having a flow of positive energy flow is essential.  

Since most strands are custom made, for specific purposes, I’m afforded the opportunity to construct these strands knowing exactly who they’re for and the purpose that they’ll serve. It then becomes a very connected, intentional and personally process - which is always my goal. 

Energy matters. It is constantly being transferred from person to person, person to thing and from person to space. With that being said. each strand carries it's intended energy, it's color energy, and  also the energy of its creator. 

Once construction is complete, I cleanse and activate each strand. I also recommend that upon receipt that you cleanse and re-activate them yourself.