Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beautiful hair

Although I only spent three weeks in Africa, I was impressed by the many beautiful African women I saw and met.  The first Sunday when we attended services at the cathedral, my head was turning at the beautiful dresses, and elegant hairstyles.  Many women had high foreheads which emphasized their hair.  It reminded me of the fourteenth century in Europe, when women plucked the hair on their forehead to achieve this look.  Here it was in one woman after another, and it was natural, and very striking.  I suddenly understood the craze in the 14th century.
Hairstyles were varied and often reflected the age of the woman.  Many, especially older women, wore their hair short, and used large earrings to set off the style.  Others wore their hair somewhat longer, but caught it in a ponytail or bun.  Some women straightened their hair,  However, the style that turned my head most often was the braid.
There were many elaborate braids.  One of the most popular rowed the braids back to a bun.  Often the braids were dyed so that the different rows were red or an orange henna color.
Sometimes, especially for young girls, the braids were plain but tight and straight.
The braiding was clearly a fine art practiced mostly by the young who were looking to impress.  They succeeded with me.  Finally, in addition to flowered turbans, and Muslim headscarfs, the most unique headdress was a bowl of fruit.  Bananas were easy, but a platter of mangos or papayas, showed real mastery.

No comments:

Post a Comment