Monday, March 22, 2010

Stampin' my thug card... officially!

For the doubters and the haters, you didn't believe I would ever do it. Well here you go. I actually like them very much. It took about 2hrs and my head is not sore. Yes, my head feels cooler. If you have any other questions, just ask.

A bit of a history lesson for you about 'cornrows.'

Cornrow braids are not only widespread in Africa, they are also quite ancient. Dating back to at least 500 BC.

Cornrow hairstyles in Africa also cover a wide social terrain: religion, kinship, status, age, ethnicity, and other attributes of identity can all be expressed in hairstyle. Just as important is the act of braiding, which transmits cultural values between generations, expresses bonds between friends, and establishes the role of professional practitioner.

Like many other “Africanisms” in the new world, knowledge of African hairstyles survived the 'Middle Passage. Heads were often shaved upon capture, ostensibly for sanitary reasons, but with the psychological impact of being stripped of one’s culture. Re-establishing traditional hair styles in the new world was thus an act of resistance; one that could be carried out covertly:

"The slaves that worked inside the plantation houses were required to present a neat and tidy appearance… so men and women often wore tight braids, plaits, and cornrows (made by sectioning the hair and braiding it flat to the scalp). The braid patterns were commonly based on African tradition and styles. Other styles Blacks wore proved to be an amalgam of traditional African styles, European trends, and even Native American practices (Byrd and Tharps 2001 pp.13-14)."

For the full and complete article, including pictures, please visit this site. I would like to thank Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the story.