Black Pain | Black Hair

As Black women and men, we tend to care a lot about how we look, especially with our hair. We often use hair accessories, turbans and ways to define our beauty.

Originally the head-wrap, or turban, was worn by both enslaved men and women. It became almost exclusively a female accessory. In that time for their white European masters, the slaves' head-wraps were signs of poverty and subordination. Also in certain areas of the South, legislation appeared that required black women to wear their hair bound up.

The head-wrap, was more than a badge of enslavement imposed on female slaves by their owners. Embellishment of the head and hair was a central component of dress in various parts of Africa, particularly in West Africa. From the time European fabrics were made available to them, African women wore head-wraps similar to those worn by their enslaved counterparts in America.

I want to celebrate our hair and wear it freely. The pain from 400 years of conditioned to the European standards of beauty within our hair we have liberated from that into celebration of our hair.

So, I’ve created cowrie shells adornment represent the strength, beauty and power our hair holds.