“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates”
Welcome back to a new post readers !
Today I decided to blog about braids yet again! I realised from my last post in February, that there is yet so much to delve into about the topic surrounding braids, yet it isn’t really explored that much. So this post pretty much explains the history and backgrounds of braids and how it has transformed into what it is in 2018.
Looking at the origination of braids, we have to look at Africa, particularly West Africa. In the villages, hair was known to act as a statement. Based on your hair, a person could tell your background, family roots, location and so much more information about you just by the styles and the presentation of your braided hairstyle.
This is why when the Trans Atlantic slave trade occurred, many women’s heads were shaved for sanitary reasons, meaning they lost a part of their heritage and identity.
However as slavery ended around the 50’s, the black power movement’s in America stemming from the civil rights movements encouraged a “Black Consciousness” out of black women to recognise their roots and their hair as being just as acceptable as the typical European style.
So, in comparison to 2018, where braids are appreciated even more than ever! Why are we still talking about them? The true fact is, that deep down oppression of braids still occurs today. I spoke on a previous post about the topic of Cultural Appropriation and how trends and lifestyles typically known to be created by black people are adopted by another culture. Although it may not be out in the open, it still exists.
Braids are no longer seen as something used for portraying an identity, rather it is used for styling and social media purposes. Which isn’t necessarily a negative thing, however it can mainly be misinterpreted as a muse to boost social media followings on pages. Again, isn’t a bad thing, as it is showcasing the many talents of hairdressers around the world. So I guess it is at a point where it is neither negative or positive. Views on the purposes of braids are completely subjective.
I believe it is up to us as older women to not only educate the younger generation about their roots but to encourage them to recognise it as their original identity, stemming back from centuries. I guess because it is what’s in fashion alongside other styles such as wigs and sew-ins, but at the end of the day it is nice to know where your heritage come from.
So this concludes my post about braids and it’s origins. I hope to research more about other African cultured items and trends that are valued at such a high standard like it is today. Until next time!
(All research used for this post is credited to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_l0rEJq1_s)