5 significant African traditional accessories your self-care is missing

Accessories from various African traditions can aid in grounding practices for mental and emotional wellness. Most accessories carry a history of symbolism that has united cultures, and societies, and helped in rituals. The accessories can be symbols of power, royalty, beauty, strength, status, soul energy, and identity.

African traditional accessories are vital elements of mental and emotional wellness/Courtesy

Subtle accessories from African traditional wear can easily be used in modern settings for comfort and support.

Sometimes a physical item like an accessory can be a great assistant to get through some things and a reminder to stay true and connected to ourselves. Specific accessories can help us achieve this while drawing from the long tradition of accessories significance among our cultures.

Here are five significant accessories you can add to your style or self-care:

You can enjoy the aesthetic and practical uses these accessories offer the modern woman.

They are a major symbol of fertility, sensuality, femininity, spiritual wellness, and self-identity.

The arm cuff is also known as the armlet.

It dates back to ancient times and is connected to acts and feelings of strength, vitality, determination and courage.

You can't help but feel like an extraordinary person when wearing this accessory.

You can wear it as part of your outfit or you can wear it underneath your outfit for "quiet" confidence.

Beads and beaded necklaces are important ingredients in many African cultures. They are made from a wide range of materials for different tribes, rituals and ceremonies, notably initiation ceremonies.

In some cultures, a warrior is adorned with a beaded necklace when he returns home after initiation, the same goes for girls going through puberty.

In other instances, they are for dramatic effect and eye candy for onlookers. They are also used to protect the wearer against bad energy.

Tattoos are widely recognised means of self-expression and identity. African tattoo designs and markings have deep symbolic meanings and significance other than aesthetics.

This is why some of them are "upsetting" to the modern eye. Below are some examples of tribal tattoos.

  1. The Adinkra tattoos were used to represent important proverbs, historical events, and spiritual qualities.
  2. The Dwennimmen tattoo is a bird’s eye view of two rams butting horns and is considered to be a powerful symbol of strength and humility.
  3. The Duafe tattoo is a wooden comb and is used to denote femininity, self-care, love, and cleanliness.

The other common and symbolic tattoo is the black armband tattoo.

It is used to represent mourning of important people in one's life and to demonstrate courage, joy and strength from overcoming hardships.

They are also seen as a symbol of protection.

The headwrap is part of many African traditional getups, but can be used in various modern styles. Because wearing a crown in public can be unsettling and a little dramatic, wearing a traditional headwrap or scarf can offer the same meaning if used with that intention.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulse.ug