Monthly Archives: July 2013




I cut Jo’s hair and then proceeded to give her two hairstyles inspired by African tribes. For the first look I was inspired by the Wodaabe women. I am really looking forward to doing something inspired by the men of the tribe in the future though. The dress Jo is wearing is an Ethiopian wedding dress. Taken from Wikipedia:

The Wodaabe or Bororo are a small subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group. They are traditionally nomadic cattle-herders and traders in the Sahel, with migrations stretching from southern Niger, through northern Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, and the western region of the Central African Republic. The number of Wodaabe was estimated in 1983 to be 45,000. They are known for their beauty (both men and women), elaborate attire and rich cultural ceremonies.

The Wodaabe speak the Fula language and don’t use a written language. In the Fula language, woɗa means “taboo”, and Woɗaaɓe means “people of the taboo”. “Wodaabe” is an Anglicisation of Woɗaaɓe. This is sometimes translated as “those who respect taboos”, a reference to the Wodaabe isolation from broader Fulbe culture, and their contention that they retain “older” traditions than their Fulbe neighbors. In contrast, other Fulbe as well as other ethnic groups sometimes refer to the Wodaabe as “Bororo“, a sometimes pejorative name, translated into English as “Cattle Fulani”, and meaning “those who dwell in cattle camps”.  By the 17th century, the Fula people across West Africa were among the first ethnic groups to embrace Islam, were often leaders of those forces which spread Islam, and have been traditionally proud of the urban, literate, and pious life with which this has been related. Both Wodaabe and other Fulbe see in the Wodaabe the echos of an earlier pastoralist way of life, of which the Wodaabe are proud and of which urban Fulbe are sometimes critical.


A Wodaabe woman (couldn’t find photo credit for this picture).



For the second look, I was inspired by the Himba girls’ (before puberty) hairstyle. The way a Himba person wears their hair has to do with their sex, age and marital status. The neck piece though is a traditional Maasai ornament. Taken from Wikipedia:

The Himba (singular: Omuhimba, plural: Ovahimba) are indigenous peoples of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland) and on the other side of the Kunene River in Angola. There are also few groups left of the Ovatwa, which also belong to the Himba people, but are hunters and gatherers. Himba are mostly a semi-nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak Otjihimba, that is similar to the Herero language.


A young Himba girl (couldn’t find photo credit for this picture).

Marina Stat did the amazing make-up and to be honest, is the one responsible with the idea of doing something inspired by African tribes. She did a lot of research before suggesting we do it. The make-up was inspired by the Mursi and Suri tribes. Taken from Wikipedia:

The Mursi (or Mun as they refer to themselves) are a Nilotic pastoralist ethnic group that inhabits southwestern Ethiopia. They principally reside in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s region, close to the border with South Sudan. According to the 2007 national census, there are 7,500 Mursi, 448 of whom live in urban areas; of the total number, 92.25% live in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR).

Surrounded by mountains between the Omo river and its tributary the Mago, the home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated regions of the country. Their neighbors include the Aari, the Banna, the Bodi, the Kara, the Kwegu, the Nyangatom and the Suri. They are grouped together with the Me’en and Suri by the Ethiopian government under the name Surma.


A Mursi woman (couldn’t find photo credit for this picture).

The term Surma is the Ethiopian government’s collective name for the Suri, Mursi and Me’en groups that inhabit the southwestern part of the country, with a total population of 186,875. All three groups speak languages belonging to the Surmic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Some authors have used the terms “Suri” and “Surma” interchangeably, or for contradictory purposes.

Suri or Shuri is the name of a sedentary pastoral people and its Nilo-Saharan language. They inhabit the Bench Maji Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia as well as parts of neighbouring South Sudan. Some are also found west of Mizan Teferi. Population: 20,622 (1998 est.).

Me’en is the name of a closely related sedentary pastoral people whose language, Me’en, is over 80% cognate with Mursi. They are located in and around Bachuma, and in lowlands to the south, near the Omo river. Population: 151,489 of whom 98.9% live in the SNNPR (2007 census).


A Suri woman (couldn’t find photo credit for this picture).




First let’s talk about Elina’s hair type. She (and her sister, Ioanna T. and the pageboy) have the thickest hair I’ve seen. So I guess it must have been kind of difficult trying to grow out a quiff haircut I gave her in 2010 (the back and the sides were shaved off really short). But she did enjoy it and kept it for years. Anyway, Elina had grown her hair into this assymetrical bob since the hair at the sides and the back hadn’t reached the length of the hair on top and asked for a really short (mouth length) geometric bob which I talked her out of because with this amount of hair, it would mean marrying her straightener (not an option while free-camping). I took a lot of volume off the mid-lengths and ends with my thinning scissors instead and kept the whole asymmetry for the hot months of the summer. I wanted to keep as much length as possible. I used a tiny bit of product on her wet hair to keep the wet look and then did this bulky braid in the front. I’ve written before about how braiding is really not that interesting to me anymore (after seeing 12,000 pictures of braiding on tumblr and pinterest) but what’s a girl with a short bob to do if she can’t pull it up during a heatwave? Plus, the combination of the bob and braiding feels a lot fresher. This is summer chic you can achieve in ten minutes.