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This African Braiding Technique Was Created By Our Ancestors To Help Prevent Hunger During Slavery

This unique method involved hiding dry food in the braids for survival and gives an entirely new meaning to the term 'protective style.'
Braids – our common go-to protective style – represent our heritage and the survival of our ancestors. Obsessed with all things beauty? Click here to get your tickets for the first-ever ESSENCE Beauty Carnival tour! In a recent video post, Instagram user @knowyourcaribbean sheds light on a little-known braiding technique that adds to the narrative of why we opt to wear our braids and wear them proudly. Uncovering our ancestor’s technique of braiding rice and seeds into their hair caused a series of emotions, but watching the video clip above also strikes a sense of gratefulness. It’s an affirming feeling to know that our thick hair texture is both purposeful and beautiful, isn’t it? There is no doubt that the women who came generations before us were notably innovative in many ways; a testament to both their phenomenal will power and their unbreakable spirits that survived the most terrifying of times in our history.  To know of their hard times – such as being taken away from their home, separated from their families, enslaved – is heart-wrenching, but to know all that they did to prevail is encouraging. We hope this heightened your love for your hair, like it did for us.