View Full Version : Beads Going Out of Fashion?

2nd March 2012, 04:34 PM
As the diversity of Ghanaian culture keeps advancing and with the influence of Western fashion, beads seem to have lost some of their appeal, and many young Ghanaians are seen wearing other types jewelry.

But to satisfy my curiosity as to why these young ladies have taken the fashion trend to a new dimension, I took to the streets of Accra to find out more from them.

A couple of young ladies explained that wearing of beads had magical and medicinal connotations which made one prone to evil attacks that was why they preferred putting on other types of jewelry. They added that since they did not want to be associated with any kind of demonic attacks, nothing would compel them to rush for beads.

However, a preference for beads was strongly expressed among many of the women I spoke to. According to them, the simplicity, size range, and colours of beads made them easy to wear. They remain popular among women looking for versatile fashion accessories which can be worn with many outfits.

Aside the enjoyment of indulging in the latest fashions, they put on waist beads to privately attract and impress a partner. Anita, who preferred putting on beads, also stated that she wore beads around her waist for her own pleasure, rather than to impress a partner. She added that wearing beads made her feel attractive and that she could not go out without them.

Other ladies pointed out that they enjoyed wearing beads around their waist as they felt they flattered their figure. Another woman, who pleaded anonymity, also pointed out that beads helped her to check her weight. According to her, the beads determined whether she was gaining or losing weight.

From as early as the fifteenth century, glass beads were imported from Italy to adorn chiefs and queens and used in ceremonies which marked rites of passage. In the current Ghanaian society, beads are used as fashion accessories by both men and women.

A common way for women to wear beads is around their waists, hidden beneath their clothes. These beads represent a close bond between couples, since only the man has the chance to view his partner’s beads. Boakye Ntow, a driver, explained to me why he found beads around the waist of a woman attractive.

“They catch your eyes and make a man take notice of a woman and draw attention to a woman’s hips and bottom, which are the attractive parts of the female body for many men”. He said, “I like bright colours, but it is important for the beads to suit a woman’s complexion, when a woman wears beads which suit her, it is very attractive.”

Beads can be worn in several ways- around the waist, as a necklace, bracelet or anklet and as a fashion accessory. Indulging in fashionable items is a female’s pleasure and a way for a woman to reward herself and feel confident. Similarly, some men enjoy wearing beads on their wrists or around their necks because they feel they complement their outfit, or add a certain status to their appearance, as beads are associated with royalty.