The Intentional Adornments Waistbeads mission is to allow the woman to deepen her relationship with her body and healing by draping all her intentions around her waist as a gentle reminder that she can be everything she desires to be. Loving the skin we’re currently in and not being afraid to embrace all of its beauty is what IAW is all about. We don’t subscribe to negative talk about our bodies, minds, or intentions. We ONLY speak positive words about ourselves and all the accomplishments we desire. We want it, we think it, we accomplish it. It’s that simple. So I have one question for you? What do you want? Write it down so you can speak it as you self-tie your waistbeads around one of your greatest assets, your womb.
Aja Alia is a devoted soon-to-be wife, mother, Life & Dating Coach, and founder of Intentional Adornments & Studio Two Five Two.
Passionate about helping others achieve personal growth, Aja’s professional life has been dedicated to erasing the “woman with daddy issues” stigma as she calls on her knowledge, experience, and understanding to support others in their journey towards defeating generational curses.
When she’s not defeating black love, you’ll find Aja taking on new experiences through her love of jewelry making, plant life, fashion, food, and inspiring others.
Why Does That Matter?
Over the years, Black culture has been admired, adopted, and co-opted by the mainstream and in many cases without giving credit where it is due.
Our take on cultural appropriation is that anyone (White, Black or otherwise) who takes up the practices or implements of another culture should at least take the time to learn something about that culture and most importantly credit them for their historical contribution.
As a Black-owned company, we feel it is our responsibility to share the unique history of our product and its varied uses across the continent and in the diaspora. Here are just a few examples!
Waist beads can be seen worn by dancers depicted on the walls of ancient Kemet (now called Egypt).
These layers of beads called girdles were used to denote a woman's status in society.
The Yoruba women of Nigeria use waist beads as a sensual adornment to seduce their mates.
They are also believed to be a form of birth control when laced with specific charms.
In some parts of Ghana, a single white strand of waist beads is gifted to a baby girl during her naming ceremony for spiritual protection.
Strands can be gifted to young women during various rites of passage (puberty, marriage, motherhood).
They are also believed to keep the waist small and promote curves as she develops.
Namibian Oshiwambo women add gems and crystal to their waist beads to evoke healing properties.
Waist beads are also worn for protection as they encircle the body and close off circuits of energy.
African exploration, trade, migration, and the transatlantic slave trade has spread waist beads and their various traditions throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
We hope to encourage more women to research their history and even create new traditions to pass down to their daughters.