Ashabe Beads

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

A traditional wedding is a wedding held in your father’s homeland. It signifies that the man came to ask the father and the father’s entire village to have his future wife's hand in marriage. As I started getting older I've began seeing the same beads over and over at my family weddings. So, at my aunt’s traditional wedding I asked my mom what are the beads around my aunt's head. My mom then told me that on the day of my wedding I would be given “Ashabe” (the bead) by my grandma specifically. With the help of my family which is a sign of womanhood, they are now handing me over to be a wife. The beads are not suppose to be worn outside until your traditional marriage day. These beads originated from Nigeria which is located in west Africa. Ashabe was created by my grandma in 1950. The beads is made from heavy stones, strings, grind diamonds and other ingredients, and is a peachy color. The beads are blessed by your grandma. The first person in my family to ever wear the beads was my great, great grandma many years ago. After her traditional wedding the beads were placed in a safe in my late grandpa’s house in Abagana, Nigeria. It is only brought out by my grandma and given to the women in my family on the day of the traditional until after their traditional wedding then is placed back in the safe after. The beads can only be placed on your head by your grandmother and can not be touched before your special day, if it is touched before traditional it a sign of bad luck. 

Place(s): Nigeria
Year: 1950

– Kaosy Azuka-Okeke

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant