Overtime the culture of the use of beads has been associated with both spiritual and material reasons. In some parts of Africa, the beads are anointed in oils and the woman stands over a smoked pot and commences to ‘smoke her self’.
This practice aids in sensory pleasure for the man. Some beads are adorned with bells, which is a signal to let the man know that the woman wants to engage in sexual intercourse. The Yoruba’s have a revered usage attached to the waist beads. It is also worn as a form of birth control, as a way of preventing obesity or also for their ‘healing’ and therapeutic powers.
They refer to the waist bead as ILEKE or LAGIDIGBA is made of palm nut shells string together, while the ‘bebe’ which is also worn around the waist is made of glass.
The Yoruba’s have a belief that the waist beads possess some Intimate appeal and have the power to incite desire or deep emotional response on men. Waist Beads in Yoruba are also used for birth control, the beads are laced with charms and worn by the women to prevent conception and were also around the waist of baby girls to perfectly shape her buttocks.