‘Jigida’…. The beautiful waist beads of an African woman.
The beauty associated with waist beads laid on a woman’s hips is gratifying. So many women including myself find extremely alluring.
The usage of beads dated back to ancient Egypt (North Africa) where they were put on by beautiful women as a status symbol. It is believed that the tradition of waist beads was popularized by the Yoruba tribes where the beads is depicted as Nobility, Feminity and Affluence.
Most people wear this beads for various reasons, could be spiritual, culturally inclined, for beautification and to check your weight gain or loss.
Where I grew up at in the North, Kaduna State (KD city) these beads were called ‘Jigida’ and a lot of girls adorned their waist with it. It came in different colours and design as well. In short one could be deemed an outcast if one had none on one’s waist.
I grew up loving the feel it gave jingling on my waist and beautifying it as well. Now, these waist beads have different names based on tribes, the Igbo’s call theirs ‘Mgbaji’ and the Westerns being the Yoruba’s call theirs ‘Bebedi’.
If we set our minds back to Chinwe Achebe’s book called ‘Things fall apart’ a young maiden wearing a waist bead depicted that she was not only a virgin but was ripe for marriage. It clearly shows a rite of passage from a girl to a woman.
According to researchers the significance of the African waist beads ranges from being a:
Sexual desire/ pleasure to arouse men.
It is seen as stylist.
It is used for healing and meditation. It reduces stress, anxiety and relax the nerves especially during pregnancy.
Maturity: A passage from a girl to a woman.
It’s no surprise that the colours of these waist beads do not only come in various lengths, designs and flexibility but have their individual meanings as well.
Red – confidence and vitality.
Brown- Earth and stability.
Gold- Good health, power and wealth.
Turquoise- communication and self- awareness.
Yellow- Energy, joy and happiness.
Blue- loyalty and truth.
Pink- care, beauty, love and kindness.
Orange- courage, self-confidence and vitality.
Purple- Royalty, spirituality and wisdom.
White- light, truth and purity.
Green- Abundance, fertility, nature, and prosperity.
Black- Loyalty and truth.
In as much as, this waist beads are popular, a few people have this notion that it is fetish to wear one and others clearly state it is a turn off for them. Interestingly, others find it as a point of contact or should I say bonding between couples and encourage their women to buy the waist beads.
Personally, I wear them and I don’t associate it with being fetish, but more like an accessory like putting on your necklace, earrings or watches. I switch up with colours, to design and having my name on it. One cannot go wrong with it, there are a so many choices involved in this beauty called waist bead.
So, my lovers if you are a bead lover and you have not found the courage to wear one, I hope this gives you the confidence and knowledge you need to go out there and slay just like me.
By the way, comment or send a message to know where to get Lolia Brown who makes the most beautiful waist beads in Port Harcourt. Works of her beads will wow you.
J’atime mon ami.