For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured.
—Herman Hesse, Wandering (via liquidnight)
The growing popularity of waist beads as a trend in the West has led them to take on their own meanings and interpretations. Now, many women wear them as a form of personal expression or as a fashion statement. Although waist beads are not limited to any race, culture, or country, it is still very important to know and understand the significance of waist beads within African cultures.
Waist beads have a long history in Africa dating back to ancient Egypt and are worn for various reasons and purposes. They are a symbol and celebration of womanhood, sexuality, femininity, fertility, healing, spirituality, body shaping, first menses, protection, seduction, and wealth amongst other things. The meaning of the colors and different shapes of beads varies with every tribe and they can be thought of as a visual dialect. Each bead, color, and shape relays a different message depending on the receiver.
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