Adinkra Expo Waist Beads FAQ

Below, we answer some of your frequently asked questions.

Most of our waist beads are traditional tie on beads made with non-stretch cotton thread. You will receive a long strand of beads that you then fit to your waist. You do not need to know your exact measurements, and do not select a size when ordering tie on beads. Our standard beads are approximately 47 inches in length and will generally fit up to US size 18.  If you require a longer length, you can choose from our selection of extended length 60 inch beads here.

We've included a video on how to tie in our tutorials section


When tying your beads, make sure to give yourself wiggle room, push the beads together so that no string is exposed, and when cutting the excess string, do not cut too close to the knot or the knot will push out.


Where you wear your beads is a personal choice. If you plan to engage in vigorous exercise where your mid section will contract often, we recommend wearing your beads on the hip or low hip

You do not need a clasp for traditional tie on beads. If you are using waist beads as part of a fitness journey, we recommend the traditional tie on beads. If you want the option to remove your beads, we suggest tying them lower hip, so that you can remove it overhead, or, you may opt for our beads that have clasps/screws which can be found here.

Traditionally, we do not remove beads once tied, they are suppose stay on. You can bathe, exercise and do just about anything in your beads. The thread will dry quickly on its own after being exposed to water from bathing and swimming.

If you want the option to remove your beads, we suggest tying them lower hip, so that you can remove it overhead, or, you may opt for our beads that have clasps/screws which can be found here.

Waist beads are beads strung on a thread that are worn as jewelry around the mid-section and hips. The practice of wearing waist beads has origins in Africa, and the history and meanings vary amongst cultures. All our waist beads are handmade in Ghana, where waist beads have been used to celebrate femininity and sexuality; as jewelry worn for your lover’s eyes only, in female rites of passage and marriage ceremonies; and as a tool for tracking children’s weight. Some beads were blessed to offer protection, ward off illness, bring love and fertility to its wearer.

In modern times, waist beads have become a movement of empowerment, a way for women to express themselves, set positive intentions and celebrate the female form by drawing attention to a part of the body that is sometimes judged and shamed. Our beads are made for every body, shape, size and color. We believe that all women should be able to experience the beauty and power that comes from wearing waist beads. We encourage you use waist as a daily reminder to appreciate your body in all phases of your journey.

Read about how women are using waist beads to adorn their bodies, set positive intentions, track their fitness journeys and celebrate milestones here

And visit our Features page for more videos and discussion on beads, empowerment, and behind the scenes views of our process.

Beads can be used a personal means of self expression so it really depends on you. Some people choose based on the meanings and emotions associated with certain colors, others choose based on colors they are drawn to. See our color meanings guide for inspiration.

Our beads are made with multiple layers of non-stretch cotton thread to create a rope like effect for durability. Most of our beads are glass seed beads, while our flat beads are made using vinyl heishi beads.

Some people use waist beads as a non-scale way to track weight fluctuations. As you lose weight, you will feel the beads dropping, and as you gain, you will notice the beads push up.

You can retie your traditional tie on beads if they become loose. You must have enough excess string to be able to retie the ends together. Simply cut the string where you initially tied, remove the excess beads and retie the knot following the initial tying instructions.

Our beads are handmade in Ghana and ready to ship from Virginia.

Traditionally we wear 3 beads at a time, but most customers start with 2 so they can coordinate colors and layer it when tying. Some people wear as many as 30 at a time.