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Photo by Shani Crowe

By Aurore Iradukunda

Artist Shani Crowe honours traditional African hair braiding and celebrates black feminine beauty coiffeur in recent hairshow “BRAIDS”. Crowe’s show opened up on April 8 in Chicago, and features 10 black and white portraits of black women in crown-like hairstyles.

Crowe’s technique is both impressive and delicate. The portraits and the women they feature emanate black feminine power and royalness!

In an interview 27 year old Crowe told Fusion :

“Because [braids] are coming out in pop culture and being exploited as a trend in the fashion scene, I think it’s important for me to honor them, before there’s a time when people don’t even remember them as a traditional black art. Plenty of cultures do their own braid styling, but African braiding has its own very long chapter in the history of braiding.”

BRAIDS is a great demonstration of the power and sacredness of traditional African hairstyles and also an attempt at preserving them. In a period where cultural appropriation of black hairstyles has been rampant, BRAIDS is an assertive and powerful medium through which the sacred tradition of African hair braiding is honoured, celebrated and preserved!

You can follow Shani Crowe on Instagram @crowezilla for your daily dose of #blackgirlmagic!


Photo by Shani Crowe Photo by Shani Crowe Photo by Shani Crowe Photo by Shani Crowe Photo by Shani Crowe Photo by Shani Crowe

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  • Aurore Iradukunda

    Aurore Iradukunda


    A student in Molecular Cell Biology and African Studies at McGill University, Aurore was born in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. For her, SAYASPORA means giving space to voices that are too often inaudible. It's about recognizing the power of femininity and seeing it manifest in grandeur.

Want to write for Sayaspora? We’re always looking for new talent!

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