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What Do These African Beads Symbolize

African Beads Symbolism

African history speaks volumes about how jewelry has been a significant part of African life. Africans do not view jewelry items only as ornaments. They instead have a different outlook!

It’s amusing to see how African folks have blended jewelry with culture. It’s even more amusing to see how each jewelry item symbolizes different aspects of their life.

Let’s talk about the Zulu community of South Africa. These people are innovative enough to create a unique code for the color and size of the gems and beads. Each size stands for a different purpose or attribute. Large colorful beads demonstrate wealth, prosperity, and high social status in the community. Red-colored beads are usually worn on important events like funerals, tribal festivities, harvest dances, etc. Blue beads, too hold a special significance. Blue colored beads are considered to enhance fertility. A Zulu bracelet designed of black colored beads symbolizes wisdom and age.

Not only this, but a bead necklace worn by an African lady symbolizes that she is married, and when worn by a man, it signifies that he is a warrior. Moreover, Mali wedding beads, designed in rainbow colors, symbolize beauty and are gifted to brides. Thus, it won’t be wrong to say that ornaments have different roles in African culture.

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