Friday, October 30, 2015

Saritelling: Stories of Nature

When I was about 10 years old, playing in my apartment building lobby, I encountered a neighbor that was not quite like the other kids who lived in the building.  "Not quite" because in my child's mind the whole world was Dominican. I can't remember his name today, but he was an Indian boy who had recently moved in.  We instantly became friends.  The unfamiliarity of this new immigrant inner-city environment bonded us.  Like all kids, we played all kinds of games and went over each other's houses. 

I remember going into his apartment and like for every young child, each new experience is like going through an overgrown maze/puzzle embedded with the sensation of the four senses.  Going over to his house allowed me to see into a new culture, which was not too unlike my own.  Like in my apartment, his mom would spend time in the kitchen.  The spices filled the air in the rooms (I thought of it as an Indian Sazon) the music his mother played sounded melodically rich and reminded me of the boleros or bachatas played at my house.

One day while playing hide-in-seek, I encountered a multitude of colorful clothing. Astounded I looked around and swirl the clothes, while making sure I didn't break anything.  I didn't want to get in trouble.  I loved looking at his mother's clothes, especially the long shawls (sometimes see through) his mom wrapped around her mid-body.   These colors brought me back to my childhood island, but also took me on a journey to experience another black culture.

Indian Women Wearing Individual Saris
Eventually, my friend moved and I never heard from him again, but I never forgot his mother's closet and I yearned to find styles like it.  Years later, I found Little India, right here in NYC! I saw Tunics, skirts and scarves among other clothing styles.  I was particularly drawn by the scarves, since I was already regularly head-wrapping as part of my righteous culture.  From speaking to many wonderful Muslim and Hindu women I met, they taught me about the different types.  I was particularly drawn by the Sari Shawls, exactly like the ones I'd seen in my friend mom's closet, which usually came accompanied with a set of clothing.   I first started purchasing individual Saris and Pashminas.  Eventually, one of the women I met, told me about a technique some women used when their Saris became worn or damaged.  They saved their Saris and eventually sewed them together to make one scarf with these amazing strips of fabric.  Each individual Sari was cut into a strip of a certain width and then they were stitched together creating blends and combinations of colors.  The richness of the colors and the soft texture of the scarves provided a real treasure for the women because now they didn't have to throw away these pieces of cloth/fabrics.

Because of my head-wrapping practice, I endlessly thought about how these pieces of recycled Saris would look as headscarves.  Although the women shared this sewing tradition with me, this particular group of women didn't actually know any seamstresses actively making Sari scarves in the U.S.  So, I made it my mission to learn to make them myself or find them. I started searching online, until I found wholesale Saris available, as well as recycled big pieces of original Saris that could be used to make scarves.  I am still self-teaching how to make them, but I have found sellers on Ebay who sell them at great prices.

What I particularly appreciate about Sari scarves is that with each, there is a collective story waiting to be shared by the woman who ends up with the scarf and wears it.  Each Sari was previously owned by a woman living somewhere in the world, who's energy became embedded into this piece of fabric.  So, when we fuse together parts of different fabrics, an explosion of sorts takes place.  Not only by the left-over trails of thoughts and lived experience of its previous owner, but in how the new owner will internalize these to make new stories both in her designs/styles and her new experiences while wearing the scarf. I have fully embraced the concept and live it out with my own Sari scarves.  With each different design, places I wear it, and people I meet, my Sari scarves became a part of new stories waiting to be shared.

Peacock Crown
The blue Sari used for the "Peacock Crown" above is a luscious soft scarf filled with variations of blue.  The name of the crown was inspired by the feathers of the peacock and how the male erects them to attract attention from its female counterparts.  Using the end tails, after wrapping at an angle, I was able to use the remaining last 1/3 of the scarf to create the erect feathers effect.  Using a thin scrunchie, I tied the scarf and then opened up the ends in a circular rotation.  The strip of sari that has white stripes just added great detail and helped to enhance the "feathers."  This is the new story I created with this crown design.  The ever-ending story of male showing and proving their superiority, strength and other qualities to attract a woman that will chose him as her partner/mate. It's one of the many manifestations of Yin Yang in nature.

Potpourri Crown (1st Sari Variation)
When I looked at the varying shades of yellow with certain orange tones, I felt the cool breeze right as the sun kisses one's skin with its warmth.  This feeling only occurs during Autumn and that was what I first felt when I held the Sari.  In particular, I thought of the dried falling leaves and petals that characterizes this season.  With each falling leaf you are told that nature will be active in other forms that are not readily visible to the naked eye.  The announcement of winter, is the preparation of nature to go "indoors" to keep warm and set up a proper "coat" for protection from the harshness of the cold.  With the Potpourri Crown, I wanted to capture that image of the collection of these dried leaves and spices together in an intertwining style that is the braid. Nature is now indoors, literally, in my home providing fragrance and beauty during a time where it hides it.  This is the cycle of nature. It is everywhere and it serves a purpose where-ever it is present.  The bun at the top of the crown signifies this ability of the earth to recreate itself each time.  This is the new story that this yellow Sari is telling. 
Sprouting Roots Crown (2nd Sari Variation)
This second Sari variation, called "Sprouting Roots" Crown, tells the story of another season: Spring.  Ironically, Spring is not too different from Fall.  It is another season that marks transition. A change to come in the earth's environment. The temperature is pretty much the same, only that instead of cool, you feel the warm air entrapping you while blossoms ranging from white, pink and purple gives signs of the fertility of life.   Spring also signifies that life is becoming visible again.  The weather is accommodating for nature to do what it does outwardly.  This outpouring of life, movement and visibility is the imagery attempted to be captured by this crown.  The top part is the earth uprooting itself and expanding, signifying regrowth.  It's roots are sprouting throughout the back of my head reaching the sides of my shoulders.  The sprouting effect is created by placing the Sari on top of the head, folding the middle of the tails at the top of the forehead and using a scrunchie tying the tails and placing them the side of one of the shoulders.

Grand Canyon Crown (Third Sari Variation)
I've never been to the Grand Canyon and seen it with my own eyes.  But this natural monument, is a wonder to watch even in pictures.  It's intricate rough brown/reddish terrain has a meditative quality to it.  It's design embodies a naturally occurring pyramid. It also gives you information about the past.  Water is an extremely powerful element.  Unlike fire, we can't see it's power immediately, but water is capable of eroding, carving, and changing earth throughout time.  It is the wisdom that water represents which is left behind in this beautiful geological manifestation of our Earth.  This awe-inspiring design is what stayed with me most.  My attempt and capturing just one detail of the grand-canyon and telling the story of the water that once roam and carved many of its pathways, was the purpose of this crown.  The yellow Sari served perfect for this because of its orangy and brownish parts.  The flat but wave-like areas of the crown encapsulates just a minuscule component of the grand-canyon and the prints its water left behind.  To capture this relationship of motion I wrap from the bottom up and then folded the last 1/3 of the tails into the flat component at the top.

Butterscotch Crown
 I've never liked the taste of butterscotch candy.  It was one of those candies given out in Halloween, and that you kept to eat last when all the other fun, good candy ran out. Butterscotch seem to be in a lot of my candy memories as a child.  They were always a component of any candy stack and so upon completion of this crown, I named it Butterscotch.  It captures the feeling of mild excitement I felt upon consuming it.  That's the purpose of the side twist with the beige scarf.  The color and the small twist represents that mildness-that the flavor is not horrible, but it still is uneventful.  What truly gives the crown the butterscotch feel to it, is this smaller Sari (it's not as wide as other Saris because less strips of fabric were sown together), which encompassed a spectrum ranging from coral to peachy colors. The contrast with the Sari and beige solid scarf just called out to me "Butterscotch."

Sandy Beach Crown
Using the same coral-peach colored Sari, I created another crown with an entirely different feel and story to tell.  I used a blue solid scarf to contrast the Sari and then I saw it.  Being at the beach with it's two major components: sand and water.  The peaceful, rejuvenating and playful aspects of the beach are the feelings being portrayed by this crown.  The intertwining twists one representing the water and the other sand, shows us that each are embedded within each other.  The sand is the floor of the beach.  It is soft to the touch, yet with the water it can be molded to provide some sort of structure.  The sand captures that there is more to be seen by the vast mass of the ocean, of its unseen creatures and all its living environment.  The sand invites us to go in and see.  It is also a resting place for the waters that have traveled long and far to reach its shores.  It is a space that we have yet to learn so much about.  This is the incomplete story of the sand and the beach.  To capture it, I left a tail hanging from the solid blue scarf and I diagonally placed the Sari.  I also left a tail out from the sari.  I twisted each and diagonally placed them from one side to another, so that they cross each other.

Each of these crowns represents a story, it evokes narratives that have a complete meaning or are still in development from my own thoughts, experiences and the sari's role in helping me tell them.  Whether it is the feelings that come with each season, my internalization of the Earth's movements, my conscious and unconscious interaction with a picture or childhood memories, the sari is a beautiful scarf whose intricate designs aids in telling these stories.  I wore each crown to different places and encountered many people. Adding these new lived experiences will continue to add depth and meaning to these existing designs and new crown designs that are already saying so much.  It really is Saritelling. 




Thursday, September 24, 2015

Carmen's Golden Crown (Wrapunzel)

The rules and regulations Musa (enlightened being and teacher of ancient times) provided for Northern societies has lived on and provided a strong foundation that still resonates and is seen today.  Such is the case with the culture of Head-wrapping.  In today's society, women from all over the world engage in the practice of head covering.  The reasons are more than religiously bounded.  Health and Fashion are just two of the many other reasons women practice head covering today.

Social media and the web have provided the medium by which women who share this commonality can engage in  meaningful dialogue to share thoughts, styles, techniques and to serve as a support system in a world where Western norms don't accommodate head covering as part of women's lives.

Regardless to society's views and status quo, women from all over are breaking this norm, we are bringing visibility to this practice, cultural aspect, and art.  I created Earth Crowns with this intention.  To provide a look and perspective at a woman and her creations as she head covers every single day as part of her cultural practice.  I am honored that another head-wrapping community, I am a part of, decided to feature me.  Big shout out to Wrapunzel.

Here is the link and title of their write-up:  Carmen's Golden Crown

The video in my YouTube Channel, seen below, features how to do the technique of the Side Bow.


Peace!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Creating High Crowns/Headwraps

"...Then, then it's, then it's the Method Man.  It's like mad different methods to the way I do my shit..." -Method Man on "Can It All Be So Simple"

Lately, I've been experimenting with very light fabrics that are not too heavy on the head.  Summer is still providing us with infinite warmth and abundant sunlight and so my creative energy has shifted to approaching head wrapping with a different state of mind.  I have come to the realization that each season informs the way in which I go about in creating a head-wrap.  With the change in weather comes internal thoughts/ideas that correspond to the state of nature.  Our internal selves (emotions-feelings) become a reflection of the weather.  In turn, our mind state controls the patterns and shifts in weather.  With nature as a guide, each head-wrap will follow a similar pattern of arrangement, but its final design will turn out entirely different from another.  It's an interesting idea of differentiation.  One small tweek, or twirl, or knot will create an entire new look to two crowns made with the same basic outline.  That is the infinity of creation.  Diversity truly is but small changes that may not be visible or apparent at first sight.  This is the beauty of nature herself and in head-wrapping when you observe the creations of a particular head-wrapper you can see what techniques they've been working with or are mastering through their different designs.  Is this jewel what religious head-wrappers that bite and make adapted styles benefit from? Maybe a smaller act in the bigger one entailing the displacement of millions of original people with a historical connection to an ancient city so that they can claim it as their own. It starts as little as claiming authenticity to a style of head-wrap once one of their members (to legitimize it's creation) has adapted it from an original style they copied from a laywoman The pompous historisczing of a people based on exclusivity of religion while their history shows their devilish collective nature by cleverly taking from the original peoples and claiming it as their own innovations. Based on my knowledge I can only conclude that there is nothing original about taking, profiting off the knowledge, teachings and creations of original to claim it as their own. And our people have truly fallen victim to these ideas.

Head-wraps/crowns by the same head-wrapper are differentiated by the small changes in the process of its design.   The placement of tails, for example, or hanging ends of a scarf after that first rotation around the head can be the variant. What gives that head-wrap part of its character is what the head-wrapper decides to do with the tails.   In this case, the summer has allowed me to start thinking about wrapping from the bottom up and focus on the upper part of my head to create new designs and styles.  This means that the foundation of these head-wraps/crowns have been it's high knotting with the variations in the tail manipulation through tucking, coiling and spreading the fabric. In the winter, my method has been to wrap from top to bottom while focusing on giving the head-wrap/crown its character by placing emphasis on the middle sides or bottom of the head.  Below are three different styles of head-wraps/crowns that followed the same pattern of creation, but varied in format because the tails were used differently each time.


 Birds Nesting Crown
The "Birds Nesting Crown" arises out of the decision to fold the scarf/fabric with printed blossoms and birds, in half to bring the sides upward and tie them at the center top of my head.  I worked on the first tail (left side) and brought it towards the right. I made a long coiling and tucked in the ends under the knot. The right tail was looped right on top of the left and tucked into the left side of the knot, where space was available. When I started to stretch and spread out the fabric in a circular backwards and forward motion, it created this wonderful rippled effect on the knotted center, and simultaneously created a nest-like overall shape. This provided the viewer with a sense of the place of origin of the head-wrap/crown. From this center I continued to spread out the fabric and achieved the design I wanted. The end result was a circular voluminous crown predominantly exhibiting on the right side of my head. The denim blue scarf was used to accentuate the top. I brought up the left right tail, which had been tied longer than its left counterpart, already tucked in under the birds scarf, diagonally on the right side. I held the scarf at the center top and then started to twist the remaining part of tail. I placed the twist portion on the left side making sure it outlined the knotted center now protruding more on the left side. The denim blue scarf added great outline and contrast to the overall design of the crown with the lines that the twist provided.

Flower Bud Crown
The "Flower Bud Crown" was the result of experimentation right before heading out. Using an Indian Sari scarf, I positioned the sari from the bottom up and made a knot on the right top side of head. Using the right tail first, I made two continuous loops and tucked under the knot. I proceeded to follow the same process with the left tail. Since the sari is a sturdier fabric, it stayed in placed much better and it created two distinct knotted loops. The remaining part of the tail, as they were not tucked in at the very end, we're brought towards the front to create a center fold. This added extra shape and personality to the crown. Using the solid green scarf, I wanted to create a hugging or holding feeling to the crown, so I brought the left tail to run through the shape of the sari scarf. This worked very well and provided much contrast and support to the sari design. Again, we are able to see lines accentuating the high top.  The green tail gave a hugged effect to the top yellow design it made me think on the lower part of a flower, in particular the pedicle (stalk) and receptacle parts of the stem of the flower. This led me to the name of the crown. It resembles a flower before it blooms. 

Birds by the Stream Crown
The third crown is the first variation of the "Birds Nesting Crown." After tying the Denim blue scarf, the left tail was left hanging for later usage.  Following the same wrapping technique as the other two crowns, the birds scarf was tied by placing it at the bottom of head and bringing the tails up to knot at top.  What followed was a first sided loop towards the right side of head by tucking the ends of tail under the knot. The second tail was re-looped on top of the first one and tucked in another part of the knot where room was available to prevent clumping and dismantling of entire design. I carefully stretched the loops up to create a bit more volume. Using the left over solid blue tail, I moved it over the bun-like shape of the Birds scarf sideways.  This gave the crown a richer shape as it scooped the scarf. The final positioning of the scarves made me come up with the name "Birds by the Stream." The crown design captured a scene in nature when birds are around a stream drinking its water and flapping it with their wings. 

 

In the video found in my YouTube Channel, you get to see the exact variations in details, specifically the treatment of the tails that allowed me to create two very different styles of head-wraps/crowns.  This has truly inspired me to continue working with high styles as I have a preference for them because they are more pronounced, thus, resembling more of an actual crown.  They bring me closer to my roots.  Additionally, working and creating these styles have brought me to a deeper understanding in the process of creation.  The small details are truly what set the mold for the end result.  It is in this way, creation continues to evolve.  





Saturday, August 8, 2015

Denim Crown Series

The art of headwrapping shows us the variety of ways we can express ourselves by the mannerism in which we carry our crowns/headwraps.  By reaching into the unknown (because we don't know what we are about to make, just a rough idea or mental picture) through whatever process a person uses as its medium ( i.e. meditation, standing up in front of the mirror and seeing what develops, choosing the colors of the scarves first, using the type of clothing you will wear on a particular day and using it to inform you on your crown, etc) you are able to then bring forth a unique design that shows the world who you are.  Most importantly, through one's crown creations we can inspire other women who adapt your style to meet their own unique tastes and features.

This past week,  my creative process was triggered by my choice in clothing. I would look at the clothes that I wanted to wear for the day and my crown would take on a shape that was somehow related to my clothing.  Sometimes it would be the colors of the clothing, the designs and patterns on it, or the overall theme that I saw developing.  So I thought, "instead of using a regular scarf or piece of fabric, let me go with something that's in my closet." I looked and there were these old pair of jeans staring me in the face. I decided to do something with these pants. It somehow had to end up on my head.  I remembered seeing some amazing WrapStars on facebook who had done a jeans challenge and since I had not done it, I decided to go ahead and embrace it.  My only twist on the challenge would be that I had to wear jeans-based crowns three out of the seven days of the week. I inspected the old jeans closely and realized that the pair would be too heavy for my head.  These jeans were from the early 2000s and the material are more durable, thicker and sturdier than they are now.  I grabbed a pair of fabric scissors and cut them in half.  I also opened up the half I was using by cutting into it.  I then stared in the mirror and proceeded to work with the material. Below are the three different styles I came up with.

Day 1: Denim Crown #1

To make this crown, I placed the opened jeans on my shoulder and made the tail of the right side longer than the left. Keeping the tails one longer than the other, I brought the jeans up and placed the material on the back of my head first. This would allow me to work with the tails. I then placed the left tail diagonally in the direction of the right side of the head. The right tail covered the left, creating a "V" shape on the top center of my forehead. I continued to wrap the right tail in a tight circular motion making sure it wouldn't fall off. I tucked in the remaining part into the top of the crown. I then took an orange floral scarf and used it as a way to make sure the jeans wouldn't fall off. I tightly wrapped it in a circle around the jeans.

Day 2: Denim Crown #2

I decided to wear a blue skirt this day and so the crown had to reflect that.  For this crown, I tied a royal blue scarf as the base at the bottom of the back of my head.  I tucked the left tail by rotating around in a circle. I left the right tail hanging down on my shoulder for later usage. I placed the jeans from the top down creating an arc or circular downwards shape on the head. I didn't tie the tails in the back, I just cross folded them as they went back up to make a second rotation.  The last piece of the tails I tucked into whatever space was available at the top, but made sure to keep it congruent with the shape, I didn't want to clump the top.  I then took the royal blue tail and wrapped it towards the back top of the crown.  This made two layers of royal blue while the blue jeans were accentuated in the middle.  Doing this gave the jeans a smooth look on the overall crown design.

Day 3: Denim Crown #3

On this third day,  I noticed the previous crowns were better suited for the winter and fall.  I needed to see if I could make a style to wear for the summer.  Knowing that jeans are a heavy material and are good at retaining heat, I had to figure out how to manipulate them to make a fashionable look, but one that could keep you cool.  I used a wig grip to prevent the jeans from falling off. I also used the wig grip so the jeans wouldn't suck up all the moisture as well as natural oils from my scalp and dry it up.   I placed the edges of the jeans that still had the stitched design from when it was sewed and used that line to serve as the lining to the crown.  This lining would go around the front of my head.  I placed the lining almost behind my ears to show some of my hair in the front.  This crown would be wrapped much like the second one.  The tails went down to come back up.  What differed was the process of folding the jean tails.  They were folded inward to allow my hair to poke out through the back.  The small folds made a nice clumpy look.  I purposely wanted to make the crown look lumpy.  This was accentuated by the same orange floral scarf used in the first crown.  Walking outside with this crown worked well.  The breeze was felt in the back of my head where my hair was showing.  I loved the look and the style allowed for cooling.  This was a really good summer crown.  This crown also reinforced the variety of styles in which women have covered for centuries.  Weather patterns play a big role in the way in which women covered and how that relates to their hair.  Do you show hair? If so, how much? How is this determined by the environment of your home and community?  Covering looks different for all women and as long as it remains rooted in their philosophical outlook on why they cover, then temperature should be considered to help them meet their covering goals.  This crown reinforced that for me.  The ability to manipulate my hair so that it can become an actual part of the crown was great.  It reminded me that I need to think that my hair is a living part of me and I should consider it when making my crowns.  The goal shouldn't be to just hide the hair, but rather, how do I cover while incorporating my hair into the crown? And this possible by incorporating it into the crown while not showing it at all. 

I loved rocking the jeans for most of the week.  I truly enjoyed the idea of a theme and I seek to come up with more because it helps with the creative aspects of making crowns/headwraps. 


Monday, August 3, 2015

Earth Crowns: The Culture and Art of HeadWrapping


“Head-gear is a seal of protection for the two temple doors – the crown and third eye chakra. Some cultures realized the spiritual significance of this, while others continued the tradition of head-gear, justifying it as work or fashion-related. Nonetheless, whether or not societies have been conscious of the highest purpose of head-gear, throughout history both men and women have embraced the idea of covering the crown and third eye chakra.”
― The Impeccable Warrior of Light by Peace Mother Geeta Sacred Song
Head wrapping or the adornment of one's head has been a cultural component of our lives since the beginning of time.  Both men and women have engaged in this practice for a multitude of reasons.  In these modern times, women cover their heads for religious regulations, because of a medical condition, for re-appropriation of  feminist concepts, as part of their fashion aesthetic, because their hair is considered ugly, and many other reasons that are both empowering and dis-empowering depending on the context of the person.  However, our spiritual development has been most aligned with this aspect of our lived history.  I am defining spirituality here as the study of oneself by engaging in scientific questioning and mathematical verification.  It is this way that can truly get us to study the inner (SELF) so that we can understand the outer (EARTH-UNIVERSE).  By questioning and verifying we can get to the true answers that we have about all that surrounds us.  For this to be most optimal, we must rid ourselves of mystery and belief.  Belief only leads us to place fault, credit and responsibility to something or someone that is unseen when all that is caused is by the Son of Man, which simply means the reproduction of the mind through the children that we have. The children will bring knowledge, wisdom and understanding that were previously unknown to the family.  In this manner, children enrich the reality of the family and subsequently of the world. 

Panther's Tail Crown (Front Side Zig-Zag Twist)
It is only when we start to look outside of ourselves that we are led into mysterious rationales.  So, the Buddha becomes a God rather than just a figurative representation of enlightenment, a man who has reached an understanding about himself, that he is the true and living God.  Allah becomes a mysterious being/force who we must submit to while the sciences and mathematical computations that lead us to the answers of the Black man being God are erased from the culture and are long forgotten in our Andalusian past. Amplifying this state of confusion are the misappropriations of our teachings by the Greeks who mythologized and erroneously added aspects to our teachings that lead to further mysterious thinking. 

Silver Lake Crown (Looped Side Bow)
Europe needed laws to prevent chaos and dismantling.  Their refusal to bear witness that they should just strive to be righteous individuals while living under the Black Gods (the Black man in leadership positions) of our great civilizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, brought them to destroy us, but that left them with no God.  So, they created their own white god who watched over them from the sky with, of course, the laws and teachings derived from the wisdom that was taken from Africa, Asia and Latin America.  And there is tons of evidence to proof this, as some of the first religious figurines of Christianity were black.  Ishakamusa Barashango, in his book "Afrikan People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide" writes,
"...make very clear what we mean when we refer to the Europeanized Jesus.  In this designation, we are talking about something or someone that is distinctively different from the original Messiah, Jesus ben Joseph, the King of the Jews...Jesus, the Afro-Israelite did live...Jesus was as Black as midnight and dedicated to the cause of independence.  On the other hand, you have the mythological Jesus a co-opted bleached out version of the original, with blond hair, blue eyes, genteel and effeminate" (62-63).
 So, here you have the mystery concept of a white God with the mis-adapted laws of our people and what does it eventually lead to?  Christianity and the Bible. A made up religion that not only would keep some order but give spiritual meaning to whites who couldn't take ownership over their own divinity as they had none, for their nature is in direct contradiction to all that is.  Christianity would also be a tool that could be used to enslave all the indigenous people of the world so that they can forget their own power and ability to propel spirituality without mystery.  Christianity would justify European colonization.  Christianity would propel us to lose the knowledge of our true selves.  And this is what we have today. 

However, a little trip back towards consciousness and you are able to slowly get back the pieces to your true self and history.  By gathering knowledge and extracting the Blackness out of it all, we are able to connect to our current lives to gain wisdom and reach understanding.  The understanding would then allow us to properly apply ourselves to live a culture in accordance to our mind and this would bring forth the power of who we are into an Equality where all Black families are able to exchange/learn from one another and in this sense we are able to reaffirm our true nature as God and Earth to continue building, all whilst destroying that which is not needed, to born our creations which fuel our society.  As Sunez Allah says, “Creator Creates Creation…Creator lives in his own Creation.”  This is our true purpose devoid of desire, fame or glory.  It simply just is and how nice it tastes, how beautiful it looks, because it just is...
 
Frida Crown (Looping Zig-Zag)


Looking for the Black in the Research
For Original women, it entails a process of decolonization (gaining knowledge).  It is said that history is written by the winners.  This literally means the people who have oppressed us.  This is why when we read about colonization we have easier access to the excerpts of diaries by the conquistadores and not the Tainos/Arawaks.  However, this should not stop us in finding the truth.  To do this we simply extract the black out of it all.  This is how I learned Argentina is not truly white but indeed Black and not just because there is evidence now that they literally erasing the African component from the history through mixing and other measures.  This is just a part of it.  It was through tracing the Blackness of the so-called Spaniards and Italians that settled there, as well as learning the indigenous peoples (i.e. Gauchos) of that territory that allowed me to have a complete look at the Blackness of Argentina. This is extracting the Black from the history.  This is knowledge.

When I embarked on re-discovering who I was, of learning what it meant to be the Earth conceptually I also referenced the wisdom of our people, of Black scholars who broke through the Eurocentric framework of pseudo-scholarship to shed light on the unknown aspects of our history.  It ranged from consulting our scholars who focused on ancient history, such as Ivan Van Sertima, Wayne Chandler, to those focused on my immediate history like Silvio Torres-Saillant and Ginetta Candelario.  So there was research out there that was written by Black scholars about our Black history.  This supplemented my history.  This was also the knowledge.

Olive Oil Crown (Frontal Diagonal Half Twist)

Deconstructing Headwrapping in the Bible
I come from a Black cultural reality where Christianity played a big role in the oppression of my people.  Through Christianity we were able to justify European oppression while losing ancient wisdom passed down orally by the elders to certain designated youth that would retain these "secrets."  In the book “I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala,” Rigoberta Menchu has described just how this occurred within her people,
“When you reach the age of ten, your family and the whole community holds a meeting.  It’s very important.  There’s a ceremony as if we were praying to God.  The discussion is very important because, as I said, it initiated me into adult life…I’m no longer a child. I become a woman.  So in front of my parents, in front of my brothers and sisters, I promised to do many thing for the community…I felt responsible for many things and my mother let us into many secrets, telling us to try and do things the way she had” (49).
Then the couple who are getting married…make a new pledge to honour the Indian race.  They say it is the duty of each one of us to reproduce the earth and the traditions of our ancestors, who were humble…After that they ask for forgiveness from their parents and for help with bringing their children up in Indian ways, remembering their traditions, and always remaining true to their race no matter how much trouble sadness and hunger they endure.  And the parents answer: ‘Generations and generations will pass but we will always be Indians.  It is our duty as parents to keep our secrets safe generation after generation, to prevent the ladinos learning anything of our ancestor’s ways’…The White Man who came to our country. We must not trust them, white men are all thieves. We must keep our secrets from them” (67-69).
Christianity trickled down through all sectors of society and while it was the official religion of the colonizers, it was a bit more gray for the African and indigenous people.  At first, it was just used to mask the true religion being practiced (i.e. Vodoun), but later its ideals became ingrained into the fabric of the philosophical framework of the lives of our Black and Brown people.  Therefore, everything is validated through the principles and teachings the Bible has, but the strength of these principles in people's lives varied depending on their place and role in society.  In this case, when self-proclaimed Caribbean Christian women, of Brown and Yellow shades, express their racist ideas as it pertains to Africanism and head covering, they have forgotten a very important passage of their holy book. 

Corinthians Chapter 11, Verse 2-10 states,
"Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.  3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man and the head of Christ is God.  4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered dishonors his head.  5. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.  6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn.  But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head..."
As one is supposed to belief in the Bible on face value, the ideas in the above passage are quite mysterious.  I do not believe in anything yet each line fact checked and analyzed without belief it comes into perspective.  The chapter starts off by God talking but not a mystery God; rather, it is the Black man telling white civilization to remember what he has taught them.  It is not new for many Black men and people to have come up to Europe to help advance and aid their civilization(s).  There are many examples throughout history, most currently the Moorish Empire of 700+ years in Spain and Southern Italy. This means that head wrapping was taught to Europeans, specifically the women and upon the making of their Bible, this aspect is incorporated.  In this chapter the reference to Christ is simply just a convoluted way of saying God.  Christ is used here to retain the mysterious aspect of God.  By erasing Christ, you are simply left with God and God is that Black man that taught about the role of head covering as it relates to man and woman.  Woman's nature is towards the world and we can prove this by examining her role throughout centuries in our societies.  She is the nurturer, fueled wisely by her emotions and is intimately connected to the land.  Man's nature is towards the mind, a logical thinker, and the propeller of all reality.  So, when a woman covers her head she is honoring, as well as centering the spiritual-energy that is the mind.  She is also symbolically showing her connection to the infinite aspect of the unknown of the mind as she is an independent thinker and is the complementary (not separate) aspect to God.  By covering once she's met her God, she is saying that her mind is now intimately connected to another.  Energy is real and we absorb energy.  When a woman decides to be with one man she is denying the possibility of retaining energy from any other man.  For those other energies, as positive as they might be, don't reflect the aim of her man/God for her family.  Only if God allows it can she then open herself to receive approved energy from other men.  The head wrap then symbolizes that all ideas, thoughts, and way of life of her family are a reflection of the teachings of her man, and how her own ideas are retained for furthering and enriching life for her family. The head wrap centers her energy and shows her role as the propeller of life.

Of course, none of this is mentioned in the Bible, the church as well as other sects of Christianity that interpret chapters to meet their own aims in manipulating the truth and uphold the idea that God is a mysterious being and/or force that governs our reality.  But what I have written is not up to interpretation, for it is based on the timeless universal laws of the Black man and woman and how that correlates with our nature as Man and Woman, Creator and Creation, God and Earth.  Although books clue us into this metaphysical component of our ancient history, it doesn't outright say or further explore it because the great respected scholars that have uncovered our ancient rich history are actually religious.  It doesn't discredit their work in showing and proving that indeed all of civilizations come from a Black foundation, but it hinders the understanding of the knowledge and wisdom the people of that time dealt with.  
 
Ranchera Crown (Horizontal Sided Zig-Zag Twists)

Headwrapping in Antiquity
What is undeniable is that head coverings are older than the European religions of Judaism and Christianity.  In ancient Nubia & Egypt, ancient Latin America and ancient Asia you find head coverings all of kinds and for different purposes.  Within the indigenous Mayan tribes it is precisely their clothing and head covering that allows people to distinguish one tribe from another. These elaborate styles of headwraps all had a meaning, a time to wear them and sometimes it denoted your role in society. Headwrapping also varied by region (like today) depending on the weather patterns of that region.  Attracted by the elaborate hair wraps, Europeans sought to mimic and make adapted styles of hair covering like hats and wraps. They had already copied and tried to recreate hairstyles from the South, but these were only possible with the addition of weaves and instruments that could curl up their hair as best as possible.  Ancient African and Asian women served as the models for the creation of a head covering culture in Europe.

However, the underlying understanding guiding head covering in the culture of our people is our role and our mathematical laws that govern nature.  For example, adding on to a classic build, the Planet Earth travels at as a speed of 1,037 1/3 miles per hour.  When we break down the miles by using the principles of Supreme Mathematics and Alphabet we are able to extract the principles this number is trying to show us. Therefore, when we take 1,037 1/3 and break it down into its singular dimension of 1, 0, 3, 7 and the fraction into 13, we start to understand that 1 is man, 0 is woman, 3 understanding, 7 is God who is 13 Master and Controller.  This means that the speed of the Earth is controlled by the mind of the original Black man.  It is his determined regulation of the universe that allows for the steady speed of the Earth to travel.  Our role is infinite.  We let the knowledge pass through us to get to the understanding that God controls the universe.

What we were naturally living out in ancient times become set or rules and laws for European societies and religious groups.  These European religious groups use our teachings as a way to continue to propel their societies without chaos and disaster.  This natural way of living was implemented as rules because without them European society would again crumble.  These rules become bonded by religion.  Head covering, therefore, becomes a requisite for women to honor their God who they see as not existing on Earth, but rather outside of it.  Illiteracy in Europe was widespread and only the high priests of the Christian religion, who actually wore hoods as head coverings, had access to reading materials.  Head covering also created a division between religious women and pagans, who are seen as savage and uncivilized because they reject the notion of organized religion or who head cover, but see religion as limiting in their rights as women who can do whatever they want. They head cover in the name of feminism.  In this sense, religious covered women are holy and civilized, thus superior.   

Daisy Crown (Looped High Twist)
3/4ths & Headwrapping in Modern Society
For the religious African American or Latina woman today, the contradiction of being religious and not covered is real and it further reinforces that this religion is not the natural way of life for our people.  So, Corinthians is revealing and liberating in that we are able to see that Christianity has been a tool to keep us enslaved.  The church doesn't teach such a pivotal aspect to women's nature and role in society.  We can be uncovered and have sex with many men, giving our energy freely to men that will just put it to waste, receive energy from confused and traumatized men, yet we can go to church every Sunday seeking forgiveness from a God that we can't ever see.  This is truly a mis-education of what culture and freedom represents for our people.  What we need to realize is that what we call religion is actually our philosophical backbone that dictates our way of life.  Realizing our Earthly nature and our true relationship with God can bring us into a culture of head wrapping that is in accordance to that reality. 

"1. Why isn't the devil settled in the best part of the planet earth? (1:1-14)"
The planet Earth has best and worst parts.  Geographically this refers to areas where the land is most fertile and diverse crops grow all year long vs colder areas where the land must be harvested according to the season, where crops grow best in a corresponding season.  Best and worst parts also refer to how the Original man is able to use the Earth not only in cultivation, but in the growth of society.  The worst parts of the Earth have been those that are industrialized, where savagery runs rampant and people lose connection to the land. Deforestation, mining, damming rivers, animal hunting, all contribute to making worst parts of our Earth.  Being that the Earth belongs to the Original man he is able to make best parts out of the Earth whenever he decides to settle.  White society has shown the opposite, able to make a best part into a worst part and some of our people have started to do the same in their attempt to mimic European models (i.e. Chinese and Japanese).  This shows that the Original man has the capacity to make best and worst parts.  There were times where the Original man chose the best part of the Earth for himself, and knowing/seeing the nature of the grafted to be wicked they were designated to the worst parts because the Original man did not fix it up for them to inhabit.  They would have to try and learn it themselves.  But that's when Musa came to teach them.  In a relationship, when God teaches a woman to live in accordance to her nature, the true and living Earth, he is making his best part.   Therefore, when a woman covers her head, as well as the sexualized parts of her body, she is saving the best part (her mind, her reproductive organs) for God to continue to fertilize, shape and mold for the deepening of the black mind through the children.  It is a privilege for someone to see those best parts and only the maker and the owner (your partner) can see that. 

Dressing in 3/4ths, where the head covering is an important component symbolizes and keeps us connected to our true nature of Earth, as the planet is covered in 3/4ths water.  Head covering then shows us the way which we come to understand God.  Through the symbolism of water as wisdom (the brain is actually made up 75% water), the head wrap accentuates the concept of wisdom because it is an actual application of our way of life.  Meaning the headwrap itself represents wisdom as it covers our heads-already covered by water-traditionally symbolic to wisdom. 

Ocean of Silver Petals Crown (Horizontal Half Twist)

The Art of Head Wrapping
Head-wrapping is an art because it accentuates the beauty and femininity of a woman.  This art is the result of the expression of the feminine divine the counterpart to God.  Each individual crown brings out the inner being of the woman who has created it and used it to adorn and cover her head. 

Western media has focused on the covering of Muslim women and portrayed it in a negative light, sending the message that Muslim women are oppressed through what they wear.  This is farthest from the truth.  Women who have not adapted Westernized ways of dressing, love their hijab and embrace it fully. They know the beauty embedded in the head garments and how that adds a new dimension in their development as women.  Just like birth adds a new level of wisdom, head wrapping brings you into a new state of understanding yourself as a women through the concept of beauty. 

Not only do you have the media's negative propaganda against Muslim women's head garments but also a part of the American ideological fabric is the existing racist ideas that anything African is backwards and primitive which includes head-wrapping.  So, while you see African women wearing their beautiful fabrics in everyday life, mainstream American society looks down upon it.  These racist dominant thoughts exist as a way to discredit ancient wisdom on beauty and womanhood, so that they can portray the white feminist stance on women's liberation through dressing.  Western expressions of beauty entails showing one's hair and body, and you find proof of this in earlier times with a law in 1800s Louisiana, while the majority of women of color are still enslaved, women were prohibited from exhibiting their natural hair in public.  The white man has always lusted for the Original woman and particularly her hair he found exotic and intoxicating. This was a threat to self-imposed superiority of the white woman.  Of course, there were other sectors of white people who thought of black hair as ugly and unruly and wanted them to just hide it away.  As a result, Black and Brown women were forced to wear head-wraps.  What resulted, however, was unprecedented.  Turns out women came up with these elaborate styles of head wrapping that arguably made them look prettier and enhanced aspects of their facial features that truly brought out their femininity. This must have angered white women whose model of beauty was based on showing more. 


Garden Crown (Frontal Side Beret)

What this teaches is that head-wrapping is an art as not all women can wear one head-wrap the same.  Beauty, like flowers, is diverse and women carry and exhibit beauty uniquely.  While head-wrapping is the cultural expression of our universal nature as Earth, it is an artistic representation of our unique physical beauty.   From my own personal experience, I've come to realize there are two major components for head-wrapping.  The first one is what it represents and how it can be related to the world.  The second one is the technicalities in how you made the head-wrap.  The first one reveals the understanding, so for me it encapsulates aspects of the Earth herself.  I might make a wrap that looks or captures the essence of a lake when it's frozen, or a garden, or a time of day like a sunset, so that's what it's named.  It's named after that aspect of the Earth that it most resembles and captures.  The way in which I made the head-wrap, like how I folded, or looped or zig-zagged parts of the fabric or scarf used in the head-wrap is what entails the second component. This is the technical aspect.  In today's age, since we are reclaiming and re-learning the knowledge we have lost, the technical aspect is important because it is important to understand how you made a particular design.  However, Black people create infinitely, so there are still methods of creating crown/head-wraps that have not been explored yet.  It's interesting because the only time I've seen things get labelled and categorized to uselessness is in westernized society.  It makes sense since so little has been innovated in society they need to know, step by step, how something is made. Their need to replicate is great so they can make something off an existing foundation.

Supremely, the art of head-wrapping is 1) The Concept/Theme of the Crown and 2) How you made the Crown. When combined, you are exhibiting to the world an aspect of who you are through the act of covering, accentuating your being to show your unique beauty.  Head-wrapping truly is an individual art embedded in the cultural practice. 
 
Orange Sunset Crown (Diagonal Wide Looping)

YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/c/EarthIzayaa

Cited Works

Barashango, Ishakamusa.  Afrikan People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide Book IWashington, DC: Dynasty Publishing Company,  1979.  Print.

The Holy Bible, King James Version.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: World Publishing, 1986.  Print.

Burgos-Debray, Elisabeth (edited).  I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala.  London & New York: Verson, 1998.  Print.

Lost Found Muslim Lesson #1 (1-14).  120 Degrees.  New York, Allah School in Mecca.  Print.

Lost Found Muslim Lesson #2 (1-40).  120 Degrees.  New York, Allah School in Mecca. Print. 


 
DESIGN BY THE BLOG DECORATOR