J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere
Hairstyles are often complex signifiers of identity and social status, particularly for the Yoruba people. They can indicate a woman’s age, her occupation, and, in some contexts, her religious or political power. Many hairdos are also tied to specific ceremonies, such as a wedding or the naming ceremony of a child. Working over three decades, J. D. ’Okhai Ojeikere undertook a photographic series systematically documenting the rich variety of Nigerian hairstyles. He sought to capture the diversity and beauty of the hairdos he witnessed in the streets of cities and villages, in marketplaces and offices, and at parties, celebrations, and festivals around the country. Most of the photographs, like Fro Fro and Suku Sinero Kiko, were taken from behind, revealing and emphasizing the abstract and sculptural aspects of the hairdos.
Gelatin silver photograph
1970 (printed 2010)
Sheet: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Image: 13 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. (34.9 x 34.3 cm)
Stamped in black in lower right recto
Signed, dated and numbered in ink, lower right recto
This item is not on view
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Mandel, by exchange
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