Braids: The Way to Freedom

Photos Camilo Alzate González / Rodrigo Grajéales via Altair Magazine

I want to share this incredible braid story and important piece of history, passed to me from my dear friend Sarah Rotterman.

San Basilio de Palenque is the first village freed from slavery in the Americas.  Deep in the jungle it’s located in Bolivar, a northern department in the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

The way to freedom for these slaves was woven in a very particular manner: On their hair, through braids.

The braids were a way of communication between women. As they were not so monitored, they could sneak along the paths and spy on their masters. They could see the landscape, rivers, mountains and the stationed troops of the Spanish army. They wove in their hair what they saw and created maps illustrating the traveled paths.Photo Jose Alberto Mojico

In this way the slaves, led by Benkos Biohó, planned the escape, armed with what would be a compass of hair.

In their tangled hair, women also hid small pieces of gold and seeds that they could later grow in their free villages. This way they guaranteed future food security for the community.

The braids had two points: the starting one that indicated the way out and the other one was the escape route.

Photos Camilo Alzate González / Rodrigo Grajéales via Altair Magazine

They’ve been giving names to the hairstyles ever since, some of them are:

“Separate braids” that symbolize the freedom, those that are separated from each other.

“Balay” or “The Edge” is the braid that was used to twist the edges of the baskets for cleaning rice, corn and other grains.

“Puerca Paria” or “Farrow Sow” – The meaning is fertility,  both on the ground and in the belly of a woman.

Photos Camilo Alzate González / Rodrigo Grajéales via Altair Magazine

“The Mesh” indicated that an escape was already planned.

“The hearts” was the sign of respect and love of the woman to her beloved who was absent and the comb was a song of waiting for his return.

The braids for the Palenqueras have been a symbol of resistance, union, freedom and reaffirmation of their origin.

Photo Cristina de la Concha. IG @cristinadelaconcha

Deepest thank you to Sarah Rotterman who compiled and translated this story :

Sources:

http://blogs.elespectador.com/actualidad/cattagena/palenque-y-la-eterna-resistencia

http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-10180608

Free Your Hair.

xo, HTHG

 

 

 

Valentine’s Hair Special

Hi babes. In honor of a day to celebrate love, here are two hairstyles to rock and profess your love to yourself and your hair.

The first one is called Flying Hearts, and the second one is called Nameless Braids.

I made small simple videos to show how they are done. Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day!

 

xo, HTHG

Radical Love and Braids.

I firmly believe that love is the most radical act there is. As I braided these 3 friends hair together, I reflected love and hearts:

We are all weaving this web together. Threads of love are the strongest.

With love we can honor our own experiences and hold space for the experiences of others, moving forward as individuals who are indivisibly linked together by this land and this moment in time.

Planting seeds and tending plants is a radical and simple expression of love. 

Flowers want to be picked because it helps them multiply and spread their seed. This is revolutionary for those of us who are flower pickers and live with guilt and shame over it. Thankful for friends who remind us of these simple truths.

It is time for those who know how to speak to learn listen with open hearts, and those who know how to listen to learn to speak with open hearts.

Happy Valentines Day.

Love, HTHG

 

 

 

Finger Painting Haircolor: Curly Prisms

For my curly sisters out there, here is a post about prismatic hair color and curls……I had been wanting to paint rainbows into curly hair for quite a while now. I wanted to see what it would look like to hide some little prisms within the wild texture of natural curls.

During the Summer, I went to a little Island called Lopez to take a Flower Magic essences and arranging workshop. While I was there, I met a flower farmer named Lindsey who taught us how to arrange flowers and make beautiful flower crowns. I remembered how she had mentioned wanting some rainbow color in her gorgeous, thick natural curls.

I posted something on Instagram about wanting to paint some curly rainbows, and she responded. Within a week, she was in the chair getting her hair finger painted with little rainbows and chatting with me about flowers and grandmas and Island life.

My intentions for her haircolor were to add some brightness and some color to her hair in this grayest time of year, to hold her over until her flowers began to bloom. Also, I wanted something that would be subtle enough to grow out without any fuss, and not scare her grandmother.

I wanted to show her some simple color skills to bring to the Island to share with her friends should they ever want rainbows too…..You just never know when someone is going to want a rainbow in their hair! And all you need to do ’em is veggie dye in primary colors ( I use Manic Panic) and bleach ( I use 40 developer generally for lightening bits of natural hair.

Here is how I did it…….I first mixed bleach and 40 volume developer in a plastic bowl, with a large paint brush. Then, I randomly painted the bleach onto individual curls, working and saturating it into the ends and softly feathering the color up the strand for a seamless transition. I let her sit for about 45 minutes with the bleach in her hair, then rinsed and washed her hair. I had her rough-dry it while I finished up Elke’s rainbows (from last week;)

Then, I worked through her hair to find the lighter pieces and then I used my fingers to paint the colors in, blending each shade into the next down the strands of lightened hair. I wasn’t too picky about it. I wanted some rainbows to bleed into her natural hair too, so as to add more dimension and tone. She sat for a half hour or so, and then I rinsed her out. As her hair dried, we marveled at the pretty colors popping into the light. Her hair came alive, even in the less-than-ideal low light of sundown. Can’t wait to see her rainbows in the sun!

Thanks for stopping by! If you are curly, I hope you never feel excluded from the fun of rainbow hair.

xoxo, HTHG

Witch Manifesto by Milla Prince, via The Cauldron

Photo by Demetria Provatas

As a part of our Witches I Love Series, please read this Manifesto from Milla Prince via The Cauldron, a zine written and compiled by Milla and Demetria Provatas, two badass Witches who hail from a small island in the Salish Sea.

Gather Around, Witches

If you love what you read, click over here and purchase your own zine, which you will surely want to keep on your shelf for life. It features poems, writings, art, interviews, recipes and DIY’s to uplift and empower for these times we live in. If there are no more copies of this first issue, please subscribe and/or follow both Milla and Demetria on IG for pre-sale of the second issue.

Check out Milla’s blog and shop here, and Demetria’s here. Thank you to these women who share their hearts with us.

xoxo

Next Page »