How Cultural Tradition Is Intertwined And Woven Into Chic Braided Hairstyles
"With each precise movement, we could feel the power and pride of our ancestry."
April 05, 2019 at 12:09 am
On a large scale, hair is an important part of our culture. There is a strong connection between hair and culture, an it's a lot stronger than one may think. It operates as an expression of one’s cultural identity and serves as a way of preserving and passing on culture and tradition.
It is a symbol of pride; a reflection of who we are as a people and from where we came.
How we wear our hair tells a lot about who we are. It can reveal a great deal, highlighting values that are important to a culture. It is tradition.
Take the tradition of braiding, which can be passed down from one generation to the next or, like in the case of Jahmai, can be learned.
I got a chance to go with my friend, Delia Douglas Haight, to meet up with celebrity braid stylist Jahmai, at her salon.
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Jahmai has a ton of experience braiding and is very knowledgeable. She has worked with several celebrities and once you're in her chair, she makes you feel like one, too. As she carefully parted a section of my hair, with each strand of intertwined between each finger, we began exploring different braiding techniques. Delia and I listened to her as she explained some of the origins of each braiding technique before settling on the braids we wanted. We went with cornrows.
With each precise movement, we could feel the power and pride of our ancestry. A glimpse into history, culture and tradition.
When our braids were complete, we were not only more informed than when we got there, there was this opportunity to embrace our mixed heritage and the honor that comes with it. The braids became a beautiful visual glimpse into the roots of our identity. It was a portal into our cultural history.
We walked out from our session with Jahmai with a renewed challenge to always remember that our hair has a special place in our culture, however you choose to wear it. It belongs in all settings because you belong in all settings. We will also remember it can be a great way to learn about, and connect with, different cultures if we just take the time and make space for learning and understanding.