Colombian Slaves Used Hair Braiding to Escape


Colombian slavery dates back to the 16th century when most of the slaves were brought to the areas by the Spaniards. A vast majority of those slaves settled near the coastal area of the region where the sugar plantations were operating. But, many of those slaves managed to escape and relocate to geographically remote locations that many people thought were inhabitable. However, the freed slaves managed to make something out of nothing, building communities and thriving in those areas. It is said that hair braiding was widely credited for helping slaves escape. At the time, women would braid a hairstyle known as “departes” to signal that they wanted to escape.

During an interview with the publication, Ziomara, Asprilla Garcia shared details about the extensive Colombian history of hair braiding. She started by sharing details about her humble beginnings when her mother taught her to braid hair at the age of 8.

The curved braids would represent the roads they would [use to] escape,” Asprilla Garcia said. “In the braids, they also kept gold and hid seeds which, in the long run, helped them survive after they escaped. CLICK TO SEE ORIGINAL POST

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