What are waist beads and belly beads

What is the purpose of waist beads & belly beads?

As a jewelry designer and spiritual woman, I believe that waist beads are a kind of ministry (and mystery).  

I first began wearing belly beads - a sensual, ancient and multicultural adornment style - more than ten years ago.

Back then, I strung glass beads and gemstones onto thread, hovering over a white towel. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, watching Scandal! 

But even back then, I learned that waist beads were also fertility magic – my first client became pregnant after wearing my beads once. Yes, just once.

Today I humbly and passionately create opulent works that boldly transcend where I began. 

I string hundreds of 14k gold, diamond, bone and gemstone beads onto steel – the latter intricately hand-cut in Jaipur, India – all in reverence to the divine feminine.

If you are new to or vaguely familiar with the adornment practice of belly beads, keep reading.

What are waist beads, and why do women wear them?

Waist beads or belly beads are a timeless form of body adornment, and have captivated cultures across the world for centuries. 

While women from many ancient civilizations wore waist beads, they are most familiar in modern fashion with Black women and women of African descent from all over the Diaspora. No matter where they are found, belly beads hold both cultural significance and personal meaning. 

Waist beads are traditionally worn by women as a symbol of beauty, sexuality, femininity, fertility, well-being, maturity. Waist beads are a popular way to track weight loss or gain in adults and children.

Because Ilium Wing waist beads and belly beads are fine jewelry, unique for their opulence, I also love to consider them as private celebrations.

Do You Take Off Waist Beads?

Traditionally, waist beads are made with thread and tied onto the body for semi-permanence. 

But don’t worry if they match your outfit or not, because they are commonly worn under a woman’s clothes.

In this way, waist beads become very sensual. They are secrets just for a woman, and a privilege to allow others to see.

But in private moments, belly beads caress the skin and are a way that women can awaken each morning with a sense of luxury. My devotion to creating wearable art embodies every bead. 

Waking up in diamonds, opals and gold is a beautiful start to the day! 

After having more than enough strands of belly beads break in my life, I make Ilium Wing waist beads with steel thread and 14k gold lobster clasps for added durability.

Wait, Waist Beads Break? What Does it Mean if My Waist Beads Break?!

Imagine this: rushing to the restroom and pulling down your pants with fury, to then feel 200 glass beads fall into your underwear and all over the bathroom floor.

This moment can be devastating or shocking, maybe both. But all strands will eventually surrender to time. 

A broken strand is not a loss; it is an important lesson. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Your waist beads may break because of Time. They are made of a fiber thread core, remember? Eventually that thread will rot. Simple as that.
  • Your waist beads may break because You treated yourself poorly. Sis, you knew that you needed to go to the bathroom thirty minutes ago. Why did you wait? Why did you sit in discomfort? Why did you tug at your body so roughly? Wearing waist beads requires that we learn to treat ourselves gently.
  • Your waist beads may break because of Passion. Yup, sometimes it can get a little heated with your lover. But still, maybe see the above point.  Can you be passionate and considerate?
  • Your waist beads may break because of Spiritual protection. Yes, it is true. The patterns created, intentions while stringing, and the possible use of crystals turn waist beads into talismans. Sometimes, these things “work” on your behalf.

For added durability, Ilium Wing waist beads are made with steel thread. But this can only do so much.

Nothing lasts forever - not even the sun. So please, treat your body as the temple it is. 

How Many Waist Beads Should I Wear?

Simple answer - wear as many as you like. I once wore seven strands of glass waist beads for over a year. 

An Ilium Wing Stack means wearing hundreds of carats of gemstone waist beads at once, draping yourself in a harmonious crescendo of intentions.

No matter how many or few you choose, each strand is a brushstroke of opulence to your canvas of self-expression.


Ilium Wing waist beads are more than gems. They're an embodiment of desires, a testament to your journey. An intimate connection to your innermost self, marked by fine craftsmanship and seductive materials.

I invite you to step into this adornment world of jewelry where elegance meets desire, where body adornment is the same as temple decor, and women's bodies are celebrated symphonies of sensuality.

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