When I ran across this article on BGLH’s site, I felt these images of African beauty were so captivating, I had to share. The photos display how well-to-do African women from the Ivory Coast styled their hair and adorned themselves in the early 1900s. These photos make me proud of our history and culture. It’s interesting that they kept their hair in updos, because these days I find myself wearing mostly updos. The original post can be found at Adire African Textiles.
According the website, these images are from two series of postcards produced between 1900 and 1910 by the photographer F.W.H Arkhurst in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast. Arkhurst, a member of the Nzima ethnic group born in the Gold Coast , was a timber exporter who lived in Assinie and later in Grand Bassam. His studio photographs capture perfectly the then fashionable style of women’s dress along the African coast from the Niger Delta to the Ivory Coast as families grew prosperous from trading opportunities in the expanding colonial economies. Hair was swept high and adorned with gold jewellery or wrapped in cloth, tailored dress was of imported cotton prints, often with a shawl or wrap of locally woven fabrics.
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