So I don’t know if you remember how last year I was raving about this head wrap company that I found at fanmdjanm.com. I was especially jazzed to see that they had these cool, funky video tutorials on different ways to wrap the fabric on their site. That had me really excited. It made me feel like this was something I might actually be able to do. My bff, Vanessa and I used to wear African fabrics on our heads in High School but I never really learned how to do anything fancy and I never really wrapped my whole head.
The one other time I can remember rocking a head wrap was in my mid- 20s. One day when I just got it into my head that it would be cool to wrap my head in a white fabric that I had to go this poetry reading my white ex-boyfriend invited me to. I had my hair out natural then after having cut my second set of locs and I thought I looked really cute. Well we were sitting at a bar that night and he looked at me smiling a smile that I had come to know as a snarky kind of “what’s this?” smile and then he called me a Nubian Princess but not in the way that brothas in Harlem on 125th Street do. I think he meant it kind of as a joke because he couldn’t take it seriously. He wasn’t familiar with this part of me. I was annoyed and offended and generally put out for the rest of the evening and never wore a head wrap in public again.
Well I finally ordered my head wrap fabric from Fanm Djanm (which means strong woman in Haitian Creole) last week and I can’t wait to see it. That’s it just above. It’s called “Ill Thrill” and I like it because it feels like the pattern than can transition easily from a formal or work (because I do intend to rock it at work) as well as a recreational setting and can be paired with a range of different outfits. I just love the shade of orange which has been a color that started rocking my visual world last year.
Orange started speaking to me loudly saying, “HEY!!!! Come and play with me! Everything is cool! I’m bold and can’t be ignored but I’m also very friendly and happy and I want you to come take a closer look. I want to sooth you and excite you at the same time.” It’s hard for me to look at orange and feel anything but a kind of blind joy for no reason. It also emanates a glowing, loving warmth. Few colors do all of those things to me at once. It was one Fall Season a few years ago while I was taking pictures outdoors that the color orange started to emerge for me with a deep significance I had never noticed before. I couldn’t believe I had been alive for so long without ever appreciating the golds, yellows and bronzes of sunsets and Fall foliage. Now, I can’t pass these colors in nature without being driven to distraction.
Color is wonderful and traditionally, many African fabrics have been full of color and ornate patterns but I haven’t always felt comfortable appropriating the looks I see worn by African hair braiders up and down Harlem standing at street corners in beautiful dresses that they wear all the time. But that’s just Western thinking getting in the way of what I feel drawn to and what I’m entitled to connect with by way of my ancestral roots.
If Erykah Badu can do it, so can I right?
So YAAAAY head wraps!
it’s about to be on…on my head!