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Why Beads? Please Read... "All over the continent of Africa, beads were used once as a currency to trade purchase gold, ivory and palm oil, spices and weapons…" "The earliest powder glass beads were found in present day Zimbabwe dating back to 970 – 1000 CE; but from colonial times to the present day, the main area of powder glass bead manufacture is West Africa-particularly the Yoruba tribes of Africa – a population now settled within Nigeria. Conversely, the tradition also extends to Ghana, which is regarded as the Bead Production Capital of the World, where women perceive African waist beads and have held a long fascination with them, as ornamental and symbolic adornment; and as well as signs of wealth, aristocracy, and of femininity. There are beads used to adorn babies during naming ceremonies, while others are worn by young adults to portray femininity during puberty rites." "Strings of waist beads also force the wearer to be aware of their size. Gain five pounds and the beads will be the first to tell you. Since they don't stretch, like clothes do, they simply roll up the waist until they find a place to sit comfortably. Beads higher up the body equal weight gain and beads lower the body mean weight loss. This means that waist beads are a simple method of monitoring weight without the aid scales."
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