February 24, 2010

The Politics of Native Hair

Check out this delightful post by Gyasi Ross on the politics of Native hair.

Ross began his blog after his friend told him this: “I mean, yeah, sure it looks nice short. You look clean cut. But I prefer Indian boys with long hair. There’s just something really, really hot AND ‘cultural’ about Indian boys with long hair.”

Spun from the thoughts on whether or not long hair makes you 'more Native,' Ross begins a new blog series focused on the topic of "I'm Too Sexy For My Hair."

This post is part 1, and he promises to add more in the future to discuss both contemporary issues and historical ones.

Concerned with the perception(s) of hair within our Native societies, he wonders: Is hair more important to Natives than to other ethnicities?

With over 30 comments posted within the first 48 hours, this topic undoubtedly affects us all to some capacity - our relationships with our hair are intimate: our 'dos reflect our genes, our personalities, our contemporary cultural circumstances.

Ross is collecting hair stories. He says, "Specifically, I want to know about the significance/lack of significance of hair to Native people. Please send me your hair stories AND pictures–whether it was a fight that you got into because someone teased you about your hair or it was a man who liked you specifically because of your hair. Or maybe you LOVE your new mohawk. Or possibly you’re just really proud of your mane and want to tell people WHY you grew it out or cut it off. Whatever it is. Please also let me know if I can cite these stories in future writing projects–I think that Indian Country, and OUTSIDE of Indian Country is curious about these stories and photos."

I just wanted to share this photo of my friends at I at the Red Ink (Native American Student Publication) premiere party. We are all proud Indian women, with some very different hairdos.