Fashion & Style

How Medina Dugger Is Celebrating The Art Of Nigerian Hair Through Her Chroma Photo Series

   

Californian, Lagos-based photographer and independent curator, Medina Dugger is celebrating traditional Nigerian hairstyles through her Chroma photo series.

The photographer explained that the photo series is inspired by the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, who photographed over a thousand different hair styles in his lifetime.

With the availability of yarn colorful hair extensions in markets, Medina detailed how the hair culture in Nigeria has evolved over the years.

She said,

“The methods and variations have been influenced by social/cultural patterns, historical events, and globalization. Hairdos range from being purely decorative to conveying deeper, more symbolic understandings, revealing social status, age and tribal/family traditions.”

SEE ALSO: 7 Hair Myths That Are Keeping Nigerian Women From Growing Long Hair

She explained that the hairstyles that the late photographer took in those days in black and white, has become popular again after the independence of Nigeria.

“Chroma: An Ode to J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, is a celebration of traditional and contemporary braiding methods. The series takes more of a conceptual approach to Ojeikere’s documentary style and recontextualizes some of Ojeikere’s (and other) hairstyles to highlight current and imagined hair designs, celebrating the art of Nigerian hair culture.”

Chroma: An Ode to J.D. Okhai Ojeikere (on-going) series that celebrates hair styles in Nigeria through a fanciful, contemporary lens. The images are inspired by hair color trends and by the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, who photographed over a thousand different hair styles in his lifetime. ​ African hair braiding methods date back thousands of years and Nigerian hair culture is a rich and often extensive process which begins in childhood. The methods and variations are influenced by social/cultural patterns, historical events and globalization. Hairdos range from being purely decorative to conveying deeper, more symbolic understandings, revealing social status, age and tribal/family traditions. ​ Ojeikere's approach was documentary in nature as he took inventory of hundreds of hair styles and amassed an enormous index spanning over 40 years. He began photographing hairstyles in black and white, following the re-emergence of traditional hairstyles which became popular again following Nigeria’s independence. Prior to de-colonization, wigs and hair straightening had become a commonplace practice, especially in urban areas of the country. ​ The availability of colorful hair extensions and wools in local markets today has led to unique variations on threading and braiding techniques. Chroma is a celebration of traditional and contemporary braiding methods. The series recontextualizes some of Ojeikere’s and other hairstyles to highlight current and imagined hair designs, celebrating the art of Nigerian hair culture. #hairthreading #hairculture #lagos #nigeria #jdokhaiojeikere #ojeikere #portraitawards #portraiture #portraitphotography

A post shared by Medina Dugger (@medinadugger) on

#Repost @francoisbeaurain ・・・ Chromatin #4 Chromatin is a variation of #medinadugger 's Chroma photo project which celebrates women’s hair styles in Nigeria and finds its inspiration in hair colour trends in Lagos and by the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere. In biology, chromatin designates the macromolecule in which DNA is packed and it is known to adopt complex and repetitive geometry. This macromolecule was named this way for its ability to fix dyes. Chromatin explores and gives a new perspective of the relationship between design and colours in contemporary braiding methods underlying the importance of geometric and fractal patterns in African culture. Gif created by #francoisbeaurain #lagos #nigeria #ojeikere #gif #hairculture #hairdesigns #hairbraiding #gears #repetition #africa #cocreation #artcollaboration

A post shared by Medina Dugger (@medinadugger) on

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