Origins of The Afro Comb Exhibition – The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

Origins of the Afro Comb: 6,000 years of culture, politics and identity

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 Hello, How are you today?

I have been to the Afro comb Exhibition twice and I hope to go again before it finishes on Sunday 3 November 2013.

The first time I went, I went on a day trip organised by UK Hair Blogger Crystal Afro. Unfortunately my  camera battery was dead on that day but please take a look at Crystal’s photos here.

The second time I visited the exhibition I went with my cousin. This time I made sure my camera was in full working order!

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The exhibition is FREE and is still on until Sunday 3rd Nov 2013.

Cambridge is a beautiful city and well worth a visit. On Crystal’s trip we were also introduced to Tina Lasisi, Tina is a university of Cambridge Student and she is doing an amazing study on African Hair Diversity, you can read more about the study here and here. I donated my hair to Tina for her research and if you have time please also donate some of yours too, as you can see the amount of hair Tina needs is not much at all.

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The next date Tina is collecting hair in London is FRIDAY 11TH OCTOBER 2013.

As well as the Afro comb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Musuem, there was also a connected art installation at the nearby Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology,

My Hair: Black Hair Culture, Style and Politics by artist and writer Michael McMillan.

The installation showed part of the development of the global black hair industry, including posters and images of different hair styles and produts. In addtion there were accurate displays of the ‘Cottage Salon’ in the Home, The Barber Shop and The Hairdressing Salon.

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Although I really enjoyed the “My Hair” installation there were two things that I really didn’t like:

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This was just nonsense, we’ve been canerowing our hair for thousands of years, without needing “permission” from any body.  Maybe Bo Derek gave permission for more Non-Black people to canerow their hair… I can’t bring myself to use the word “cornrow” sorry, I’ve been saying canerow for so long I’m not going to change now. (In relation to hair, cornrow and canerow are the same style of braiding.)            Image This Wig was just awful, it was crispy and hard like the rough side of your plastic/nylon washing-up sponge. No natural Afro hair feels anything like this wig, I know it was a synthetic wig so it wouldn’t feel right but I only know this because I have Afro hair myself and have many family members and friends with Afro hair. However if I was of a different ethnicity and I felt this wig I might believe that Afro hair actually felt like that. If the point of the wig was to demonstrate how Afro hair feels then it was a huge fail. If that wasn’t the point of the wig then why was it there at all?

The “My Hair” installation ended on 28th September 2013.

 Thanks for reading.

Luv

Sian

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Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo

Hello My Cakers,  Bakers and Beauties!

This is just a short post to bring your attention to this book:Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo

This was an interesting read, the premise is that the Transatlantic Slave Trade has been reversed and Africans have enslaved Europeans,  young Doris Scagglethorpe (known by her slave name of Omorenomwara) must attempt to escape from her cruel master if she hopes to ever see her family again.

It’s not clear to me when the novel is supposed to be set as it seems like it is different periods in History in the different geographical locations,  don’t let that put you off though, because it is still an interesting read and well worth borrowing from your local library, The author herself is of duel parentage -Nigerian and British.

Luv

Sian

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Birthday Celebrations Part 2, Africa Comes to Spitalfields (photo heavy)

Hi Everyone!

On May 27th Spitalfields Market hosted an event called Africa at Spitalfields.

Here is the description from their website:

Come and join London’s biggest shopping experience inspired by Africa Join us on the last Bank Holiday Monday in May, as we transform Spitalfields Traders Market to bring you Africa at Spitalfields, a new shopping experience, celebrating the vibrant African culture and showcasing the talents from Africa and the Diaspora in the UK. The day is to include an array of stalls of African Music, Film, Fashion, Interiors, Street Food, Art, crafts and Literature. You’ll be greeted by the aroma of sweet smelling African street food, traditional African dancers, the distinctive sounds of Djembe drummers and you can try braiding and face painting for the kids or big kids. More than a conventional market, Africa at Spitalfields is an interactive shopping experience about bringing together the community young, old, families, students & adults, and is a perfect environment for stall holders and those that that have a general interest to connect with one another. Feed your curiosity, your eyes and your taste buds…Get Involved, Get Inspired. Free entry for all and everyone is welcome!

Twitter: @Aatspitalfields

http://www.facebook.com/africaatspitalfields

info@africaatspitalfields.co.uk

This was right up my street, almost literally as Spitalfields is just a mere stroll across London Bridge for me. The weather was lovely again so hubby and I grabbed our water, camera and trendy Hessian shopping bags and we were off…

We entered the market on the “wrong” side but the sound of the Djembe drums called us to the right section of the market.

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There were many children also invited from the audience to play the drums but I’m not keen on posting photos of other people’s children on the internet.

I spoke to every single stall holder at the market, but in this case pictures are much better than words. To make it easy for you to tell when I have moved onto another stall I will separate the groups of photos with a line like this:

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ImageHubby bought me little birthday presents from each stall, where I fancied something, I got these from J.M Prempeh:

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I bought a lovely doll for my Nephew Widget, we do not believe in gender stereotypes in my family , my sister specifically wanted a female doll for her son to represent his female relatives and to teach him that he must look after this special doll, and treat it with respect because he should treat all women with respect and look out for his Mum, Aunty & Grandma etc.

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I bought some Black Soap from this stall,

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I bought the blue top (on the right)

The Stall holder was very patient with me, there she is on the far left.

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Lunch Break!

We had lunch at Las Iguanas, BOGOF cocktails, 5 Tapas dishes and sweet Potato Fries.

While we were waiting for the food to come DH took photos of me pulling faces,

sometimes you have to just let go and have fun!

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I bought the last “cultural hamper” from this lady,  it contains 4 Plantains, 1 mature coconut and 1 Sharon fruit all for £5.00 plus I can reuse the packaging, bargain!

I think cultural hampers are a fantastic idea and I wish I’d thought of it!

Only one problem, I have no idea what to do with a mature coconut!

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From the other side of the market we bought this, I’m actually going to use the board as a spoon rest, I think that Olive wood is beautiful and if the board holds up against staining I’m going to buy more Olive wood products especially kitchen items.

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It was a really great day and I hope they have this event again!

Thanks for looking everyone!

Luv Sian

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