Waist Beads, also known as belly beads and/or jelly beads, have been worn traditionally by women in several parts of West Africa since the 15th century. They were either worn visibly as a sign of status or hidden as a signal of seduction to a husband or lover. Throughout several countries in West Africa, waist beads have been worn to enhance women overall. They were often used to indicate how girls have matured and grown. Waist beads also symbolized womanhood, a woman's progress in life, and the unique things about a woman that set her apart from men. Waist beads would also be worn to honor a woman's sexuality. They influence intimate sex appeal and can provoke sexual desire. Many African women use waist beads as a tool for body shaping. They're used to alert women when their gaining weight or if they're pregnant. Waist beads can serve as an indicator of weight loss and/or weight gain. The waist beads will get lower on your waist if you're losing weight, and become tighter or higher on your waist when you're gaining weight. You do not have to be African to wear waist beads. Waist beads are meant to celebrate femininity. The historical and traditional culture of African waist beads gives a greater understanding of the purpose of the beads. My African Waist Beads have their own modern touch. Our waist beads can either be worn for traditional reasons or simply for fashion. Make a statement by enhancing your look with this exotic form of jewelry.