Monday, 5 March 2012

The arrival of doom

Before moving into this post I just want to apologize for not posting the entire history series in February, as I had originally planned. I was under the weather during the end of the month and therefore the reason why my posts were scarce. I will still finish this series though and I hope you all enjoy learning about our hair history as I am....

Beautiful tribal women
When the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade started it was incredibly traumatic to the African people. So much so that it is still affecting us as descendants, to this day. They were wrenched from their homeland and in most cases their family as well and put in chains and loaded on to slave ships to work in the foreign western world. Their language, way of life and traditional costumes and everything they loved was taken away from them. The grooming practices that they were used to was not a priority anymore, survival was the main concern, not to mention as the slaves got younger, they had limited knowledge of how to manage their crown as the skill was only passed down to certain women in the tribe.
Axle grease

The slaves often wore their hair covered to protect hair from the harmful hot sun, wind and dirt. When they found time to do their hair, it was done to emulate the straight hair of their captors. Many slaves started to hate the natural texture of their hair and could no longer see the beauty in it.  They used a medley of toxins to achieve the straight look. A couple early straightening agents were axle grease (also used as a dye) and hot butter knives.  Lard and cooking grease were used as pomades and to moisturize the hair. They used sheep
fleece carding tools to detangle, but this spread scalp diseases such as lice
Fleece carding tool

As you can see it was quite a struggle back in those days on EVERY level, but what can be said is that our people never stopped being creative through all of their hardships. They found ways to exist.

Blessings and Curls,


1 comment:

  1. Really interesting to see the history of our hair. This is something that I would love to personally explore more.