Saturday, September 21, 2013

Color, Caste and Class in Martinique

One of the methods of keeping the races distinct, even after the abolition of slavery, was to require that African-descended women cover their hair in public.  Leave it to black women to take a sign of legal and social subjugation and turn it into art.  The turbans are still an expressive and vital part of Martinican women’s dress, especially for special occasions, as several websites attest. Bright materials are intricately woven around the head, employing an entire vocabulary of meanings that convey not only status and occupation, but also romantic availability.

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