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The Braiding Vault

Learn the History of Your Braids

Do you remember going through long hours as a child sitting on the floor between a friend or family member’s legs as your braids were carefully made?

Braids have been around since 3500 BC. The revelation of old stone paintings showcasing women with cornrows in North Africa shows that braids have been a round for years.

With the cultural erasure that slavery brought to enslaved Africans, braids were known as a tool to hide rice or seeds in their hair for them to have food to eat on their Middle Passage journey.

Braids became quite fashionable in the early 1900s all over the world. Almost all women, children, and most men had their hair braided in some way.

For some Black women, getting their hair braided acted as a right of passage. Several braided hairstyles were passed down each generation of women. They are a vital component of Black culture, both past and current.

Braiding was and continues to be a social activity. People typically take the time to socialize because of the amount of time it takes. The elders braided their children’s hair, and the children would watch and learn from them. Braids are more than just a fashion statement. They are the glue that holds us together.

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Sources: Byrdie | Amplify Africa| Essence | Image | Images

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