African Beads are often seen as just a decorative item of jewellery, but the meaning and history of our African beads goes back many hundreds of years with complex uses that have evolved with the modern world.
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At first glance, the beads so commonly used in African culture are used for fashion, and you can find leg beads, ankle beads, neck beads, and waist beads.
In Africa's history, the beads have had numerous uses, from protection from illness, as a sign of maturity and menstruation for daughters as they come of age, or as a sign of important ancestry and family. African beads were also an important part of a marriage dowry, as woman would wear multiple beads and the only person allowed to remove them was the husband at night.
But why do African women still wear African beads in the modern world?
"African beads are mostly for women's fashion nowadays," explains one bead shop owner in Lagos, Nigeria.
BattaBox Presenter Folly visited an African bead store under the bridge in Ikeja, Lagos to find out more - with a crazy variety of stones, beads, colors, and strings, decorated with pendants in the shape of Africa or cowrie shells.
The shop sells the beads to chiefs, for weddings, for Nigerian fashion, and much more.
"One African bead in particular has a different string to all teh others," explains Folly, our BattaBox Presenter, showing a unique bead. "It comes with a powder - which helps a Nigerian man enjoy having sex with the woman, and to keep the man coming back for more!"
And the charm costs only 500 Naira.
Another intriguing power of the African beads in Nigeria is to help improve the size of a woman's Bum Bum. In theory, when a lady wears the beads around her waist, it will enhance the shape and arc of her waist and Bum Bum. But there is another power:
"If you want to use the African beads to enlarge a Bum Bum, then it must be used when the person is very young - if the girl does not have a big Bum Bum, the beads should be tighten around the waist - and the law of circulation of the bum bum will mean the blood flow is restricted and the Bum Bum to grow!" explains one lady in Lagos wearing traditional cloth.
And the mean seem to agree - "When i see waist bead on a big Bum Bum i will be finished!" laughs BattaBox presenter BolloLomo.
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