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Afro-Colombians Celebrate Black Hair Excellence In Annual Braiding Contest

For the African diaspora, there are many things to celebrate; our hairstyles serve as a crowning glory rooted in culture. Around the world, Black hair is an expression of history and art. Colombia’s annual “Tejiendo Esperanzas” (Weaving Hopes) celebration takes the reverence for this aspect of the Black experience to another level. Weaving Hopes is one of many efforts to rescue the customs, identity, and African culture of the country. In its 18th year, the festival is traditionally held on May 21st, the day slavery was abolished in Colombia in 1851. From colorful adornments to intricate patterns, the contest welcomes hairdressers of the region to participate in categories that celebrate natural, synthetic, men’s, and children’s braid styles. A “Hair Marathon” is another element of the festivities, where members of the public, who are not in the competition, are able to have their hair braided as well, as documented by Daily Mail.