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Why WoC in the 1800s Hair Worn Out Was Banned

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 1:24pm

by Cassandre of cassandrebeccai.com

tignon woman of color

Woman in Tignon credit

“Did you know that in late 18th century Louisiana, black and multiracial women were ordered to cover their hair in public?” My sister asked me.

“WOW. Really?” I replied.

I had to admit, I probably have heard of this in one of my black studies classes in undergrad, but who remembers everything you’ve been taught anyway? Besides, this information all of the sudden seemed so much more relevant and I was absolutely intrigued.

It wasn’t unusual for me to feel myself gaining brain cells while in conversation with my sisters, but by the time I caught my racing thoughts so I could ask her some questions, it was time to take care of my baby girl. I knew, however that this was a topic worth visiting again.

With a little digging I found that there was in fact a “law” of sorts that demanded women of color in Louisiana to cover their hair with a fabric cloth starting in 1789 as a part of what was called the Bando du buen gobierno (Edict for Good Government).  What these rules were meant to do was try to curtail the growing influence of the free black population and keep the social order of the time. The edict included sections specifically about the changing of certain “unacceptable” behaviors of the free black women in the colony including putting an end to what he and others believed to be the overly ostentatious hairstyles of these ladies which drew the attention of white men, and the jealousy of white women. These rules are called the “Tignon Laws” A tignon (pronounced “tiyon”) is a headdress.

woman of color tignon 2

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Apparently, women of color were wearing their hair in such fabulous ways, adding jewels and feathers to their high hairdos and walking around with such beauty and pride that it was obscuring their status. This was very threatening to the social stability (read: white population) of the area at the time. The law was meant to distinguish women of color from their white counterparts and to minimize their beauty.

Black and multi racial women began to adopt the tignon, but not without a little ingenuity. Many tied the tignon in elaborate ways and used beautiful fabrics and other additions to the headdress to make them appealing. In the end, what was meant to draw less attention to them made these ladies even more beautiful and alluring.

This bit of history only makes me feel even more proud about wearing my natural hair out or in pretty head wraps.

My take away: We should realize and embrace the inherit beauty of our blackness and all that makes us unique, especially our hair. Even history teaches us it’s all so notably beautiful!


http://blackgirllonghair.com/2014/07/shocking-history-why-women-of-color-in-the-1800s-were-banned-from-wearing-their-hair-in-public/

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Alias_Avi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 1:29pm
I literally just read this on BGLH

Very interesting.... I also feel like I knew this already

Interesting that they were told to cover it b/c their hairstyles threatened the supremacy of White female beauty
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 2:05pm
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

I literally just read this on BGLH

Very interesting.... I also feel like I knew this already

Interesting that they were told to cover it b/c their hairstyles threatened the supremacy of White female beauty


as i was posting i was thinking that i think i read this on bhmLOL
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HaitianLuv View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HaitianLuv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 2:55pm
get girl lmao. Tie that hair up in a elaborate multicolored shiny bedazzled head wrapLOL.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote creole booty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 3:02pm
I knew it was going to say that we figured out how to still make the look beautiful. We can't help that we're creative and beautiful.
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keepgrowing View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote keepgrowing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 3:04pm
Wow I never learned this and very interesting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lilaca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 3:31pm
interesting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carolina cutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 5:16pm
Very interesting! The stuff they don't want you to know about crazy yt folk.

lol I want to say something smart but nah. I'll be good in your thread tatee.Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote liesnalibis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 5:56pm
I read about this in The Feast of All Saints. From my understanding this was really aimed at mixed women/women with long "good" hair during the days of slavery where there were some well off free mixed people who were freed by their fathers etc. Quadroons etc were called fancy girls and whites felt their beauty was competing with the white women's and they weren't having that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NailtechDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2014 at 9:45pm
I've heard this before.  I also heard that women slaves were shaved bald...I assume for the same reason.  I wonder if it was just women with lose texture hair though.  I would think that they felt threatened by women with thick 4a/b hair  too---there are so many beautiful styles you can do with our hair.  White women may have easy to manage hair...but I've never met one with hair that I was envious of.    The majority of them have limp, stringy hair.  
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