Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Head Wraps

Head wraps, a symbol of enslavement,  resistance …. Or fashionable/ practical accessory?

Head tie… Head wrap..Turban…call it what you may….

The head wrap has been historically tied to woman (and men ) of African descent.  It is not specifically bound to any particular geographical area within the African continent, although it does appear in different variations, patterns and materials. In some regions it serves a practical and functional purpose by offering protection from the  sun’s raises, particularly amongst societies along the equator. In some cases it has religious significance. However, in the slavery narrative it was a seen as symbol of  oppression. Free and enslaved black women were (legally) required to cover their heads with cloths . On the other hand, over the centuries the meaning and connotations assigned to head wraps changed. Head warps became a symbol  of resistance against the oppressors, for some women it symbolised their identity by embracing their ancestral roots.. Africa.

As a Zimbabwean, I  see head wraps as an everyday accessory, they are practical, functional and fashionable. It may still be a head turning occurrence for many people in my university city of Cambridge,  but head wraps have been adopted into many western cultures.  A particularly notable example was Jean Paul Gaultier’s 2010 Fall/Winter Collection. Take a look at some of the pictures below…..


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