Hair in African Art and Culture

by Roy Sieber & Frank Herreman


In the West, hairstyle choices range from the purely functional to the complex fashion statement. This books shows how in the African continent their significance is far greater. Hair can be an indicator of age, authority, social status and religious affiliation as well as part of a long tradition of aesthetic adornment or a strictly contemporary style statement. In some cultures, hair itself is used as a potent substance with supernatural powers. The significance of hair in African art and life through the centuries is explored in this book through photographs, masks and figures, combs, hairpins, beads, headrests and painted barber shop signs.

Updated, on November 21, 2021, with Free PDF provided by The Africa Center (previously known as Museum for African Art).

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