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Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:32 AM

First Afro?

this 1880's beauty (and others like her, no doubt) were the pre-incarnations of the angela davises, assata shakurs, and other 70's rebel-divas who taught us, by example, that our natural hair was not only beautiful, BUT POWERFUL!


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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:44 AM

1. I always envied hair that would roll up instead of slither into lank strings

like my fine, limp mop does. I once expressed that to a coworker with beautiful hair kept natural and got a lecture on what a pain in the ass bed head is when it's grown out at all. Then we commiserated on how none of us ever got the hair we wanted. A few curls would've been nice, I could have dealt with the color if it had only made an effort to be anything but limp and stringy.

I'd seen a few dirty postcards of the 1890s African Venus, usually some gal with a real bubble booty on her, how tastes have changed among rich, pervy old white guys. This is the first one I've seen who has been beautifully dressed, very refreshing.

Her hair looks as soft as a cloud.

Mine is getting stringy. It's time to go in and get it cut ultra short again. If they could make "permanents" permanent, I might consider a 'fro. Keep it out of my eyes, anyway.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:52 AM

2. Warpy, wet it, braid it into ALOT of smalle braid and then, roll it in the smallest curlers

you can find. allow it to dry, whether air or in a dryer. When dry, take down the braids and finger comb. That'll give you the SAME effect as a permanent without the chemicals. I'm black and the my "afro" falls flat in the top ALL the time but when I braid and curl it, it'll hold MUCH better than if I try to go natural. BTW, this lady ISN'T African. She's Circassian. They were WELL known for their african like beauty.

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:56 AM

3. That lasts for about 20 minutes here in the desert

and under 10 minutes if it's anyplace humid.

Straight hair wants to be straight. And stringy.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 03:24 AM

4. In your case, use a STRONG but flexible setting gel. I have a friend who has straight ASIAN

hair and when she does what I told about USING A STRONG GEL, it stays for about 3 days in Dothan Georgia.

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 03:42 PM

10. My hair isn't that coarse, unfortunately

I remember a Whoopie Goldberg character some years ago, a heartbreaking little girl with Daddy's shirt over her head, talking about her long, flowing blonde hair. I have the feeling that little girl was someone she pulled up out of her own childhood.

Again, none of us gets the hair we want. Mine was in style for maybe a nanosecond in the late 60s. After that, I've kept it chopped short if I've had the money because that's the only thing that keeps it from being stringy and landing in my eyes.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 03:56 PM

11. Yes, you probably right. Have you looked into getting a brazilian keratin treatment? It bonds

keratin to your hair shaft and although it straightens it, it also makes each strand thicker and I wonder if, conversely t would have the effect of allowing you to wear curls?

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 05:34 AM

6. popular history: P.T. Barnum's "Circassian Beauties"

(This was in the context of the very real and contemporary Circassian Genocide 1864-1867, btw)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circassian_beauties#19th_century_sideshow_attraction
The combination of the popular issues of slavery, the Orient, racial ideology, and sexual titillation gave the reports of Circassian women sufficient notoriety at the time that the circus leader P. T. Barnum decided to capitalize on this interest. He displayed a "Circassian Beauty" at his American Museum in 1865. Barnum's Circassian beauties were young women with tall, teased hairstyles, rather like the Afro style of the 1970s. Actual Circassian hairstyles bore no resemblance to Barnum's fantasy. Barnum's first "Circassian" was marketed under the name "Zalumma Agra" and was exhibited at his American Museum in New York from 1864. Barnum had written to John Greenwood, his agent in Europe, asking him to purchase a beautiful Circassian girl to exhibit, or at least to hire a girl who could "pass for" one. However, it seems that "Zalumma Agra" was probably a local girl hired by the show, as were later "Circassians". Barnum also produced a booklet about another of his Circassians, Zoe Meleke, who was portrayed as an ideally beautiful and refined woman who had escaped a life of sexual slavery.

The portrayal of a white woman as a rescued slave at the time of the American Civil War played on the racial connotations of slavery at the time. It has been argued that the distinctive hairstyle affiliates the side-show Circassian with African identity, and thus, resonates oddly yet resoundingly with the rest of her identifying significations: her racial purity, her sexual enslavement, her position as colonial subject; her beauty. The Circassian blended elements of white Victorian True Womanhood with traits of the enslaved African American woman in one curiosity.

The trend spread, with supposedly Circassian women featured in dime museums and travelling medicine shows, sometimes known as "Moss-haired girls". They were typically identified by the distinctive hairstyle, which was held in place by the use of beer. They also often performed in pseudo-oriental costume. Many postcards of Circassians also circulated. Though Barnum's original women were portrayed as proud and genteel, later images of Circassians often emphasised erotic poses and revealing costumes. As the original fad faded, the "Circassians" started to add to their appeal by performing traditional circus tricks such as sword swallowing.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 09:48 AM

8. This is quite interesting to me, thanks. I, and most of the women in my family have

always complained about our hair, We are of Italian descent and have basically "big hair" If we didn't curl or straighten it, it would look eerily similar (very thick, very curly) to the one in your pic. It has me wondering what kind of hanky panky may have been going on in past generations lol

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Response to eShirl (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:12 PM

9. Interesting.....

Although, it appears that the gal in the photo in the original post appears to have African American features much more than the one depicted in Wiki.....

What I found in that Wiki entry on Circassian women: "By the early nineteenth century, Circassians were associated with theories of racial hierarchy, which elevated the Caucasus region as the source of the purest examples of the "white race", which was named the Caucasian race after the area by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. Blumenbach theorised that the Circassians were the closest to God's original model of humanity, and thus "the purest and most beautiful whites were the Circassians". This fuelled the idea of female Circassian beauty.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circassian_beauties

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Response to FrenchieCat (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 05:18 PM

13. oh, I agree about the OP photo

It seems so weird to me, knowing what science has discovered in the last couple centuries: the ideas of Blumenbach and others of his time, that the original humans we're all descended from would be white people in the Caucasus mountains.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 07:41 PM

15. Again... wow! I have never heard of this

Some of this sounds rather disturbing and alot of it makes no sense to me at all. But this is interesting nonetheless. Thanks for posting that.

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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 03:40 AM

5. that is super cool!

I loved Afros back in the day (LOL, the 70's) and wish for them - and long hair in general for young guys, to make a comeback!

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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:58 AM

7. far out

I wonder if she had some kind of Victorian pick? Love to find that at the flea market.

Cool pic!

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Response to bigtree (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 04:30 PM

12. There are many...

hair ornements that could possibly be used as picks. After all, what was the afro pick of the 60's and 70's but an angel food cake cutter put to another use.

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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 07:38 PM

14. Wow!! That is the coolest thing I've seen this year!

I LOVE that! And oh, I can just imagine the stares and whispers she must have gotten everytime she had to venture to the "other" side of town!

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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:12 PM

16. I would love to just have that much hair on my head

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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:23 AM

17. Beautiful!

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Response to FrenchieCat (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:38 PM

18. Absolutely

Fascinating post!

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