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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Hair Styles That Celebrate Freedom: Colombian Women Remember The End of Slavery with Contest to Create the Most Intricate and Colourful Braids

Dailymail.com writes: 

There are very few hairdressing contests in the world that are as imaginative, or as steeped in culture and history as this one in Colombia.
Everything from reels of colourful ribbon, to appliqué flowers and even wooden buttons, were incorporated into the striking hairstyles of the women and girls who turned up for the 11th Afro-hairdressers contest in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, this weekend.
But while the intricate braidwork appeared colourful and vibrant, they held a poignant significance for those in attendance at the competition, named 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope).
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Women and girls of all ages turned up for the 11th Afro-hairdressers contest in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
The contest, 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) has a poignant significance for those in attendance and having their hair braided
The contest, 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) has a poignant significance for those in attendance and having their hair braided
Although the competition may only be in its 11th year, the tradition of braiding has been around for centuries in Colombia, and even longer still in Africa.  
Enslaved Africans first started arriving in Colombia in the 16th century, brought there by Spaniards who colonised the area. 
Reels of colourful ribbon, to appliqué flowers and even wooden buttons are incorporated into the intricate hairstyles
Reels of colourful ribbon, to appliqué flowers and even wooden buttons are incorporated into the intricate hairstyles
The braiding festival are in celebration of the abolition of slavery in 1851, and honour Afro-Colombian traditions
The braiding festival are in celebration of the abolition of slavery in 1851, and honour Afro-Colombian traditions 


A young girl has had her hair braided in a complex pattern
A girl models for the competition at the annual Afro-Columbian festival
A young girl has had her hair braided in a complex pattern as she models for the competition
The braids were often also used to relay messages between slaves, signalling that they were going to escape, or even used to keep gold and seeds to help them survive after they would run away. 
While slavery was abolished in Colombia on May 21, 1851, many were still mistreated and forced to forgo African traditions, such as braiding. 
Now, the hairdressing festival comes as part of the yearly celebrations to celebrate the abolition.
One young woman in attendance has had sea shells incorporated into her hair twists
One young woman in attendance has had sea shells incorporated into her hair twists
Another attendee of the contest has had a bundle of intricate hair twists as well as complicated adjoining hair rings
Another attendee of the contest has had a bundle of intricate hair twists as well as complicated adjoining hair rings
The category of children's hairstyles sees an abundance of colourful and fun hairbraids
The category of children's hairstyles sees an abundance of colourful and fun hairbraids
It also seeks to rescue the customs, identity and African culture of the country.
The celebratory competition has three different categories: men's braids, women's braids and children's hairstyles.
Striking hairstyles include difficult patterns interwoven with colourful accessories or twisted into almost unbelievable formations.
The contest even includes a 'Hair Marathon', where members of the public, who haven't entered into the competition, are able to have their hair braided as well. A young girl sports earrings that even appear to have hair braided around the silver
A young girl sports earrings that even appear to have hair braided around the silver
An attendee holds a section of her hair back as a woman works on another part of her hair
An attendee holds a section of her hair back as a woman works on another part of her hair
Women and young girls of all ages turned up for the 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) competition in Colombia
Women and young girls of all ages turned up for the 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) competition in Colombia
One onlooker takes images of all the vibrant hairstyles at the 11th annual Afro-Colombian contest
One onlooker takes images of all the vibrant hairstyles at the 11th annual Afro-Colombian contest
A little girl models her colourful hairstyle in front of judges at the Cali contest
A little girl models her colourful hairstyle in front of judges at the Cali contest

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3086043/The-styles-celebrate-freedom-Intricate-braids-woven-Colombian-hairdressing-contest.html#ixzz3aveGQgCX  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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