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London African Culture Event

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HEAD WRAP WORKSHOP

At LACE I will be demonstrating creative simple elegant styles to which you will be able to acquire the basic techniques of head wrapping so that you can be inspired to create a cultural outlook to compliment your attire and crowning glory.  

The workshop is tailored to novice or beginners and will run from 11am-12pm and 3pm-4pm for just £8 where £3 will be donated to a charity in Ghana.  Bookings for the workshop can be taken in advance which will also include access to the exhibitors. For further info please contact info@thecalabashhub.com

As a Ghanaian I am fortunate to travel to the markets to purchase vibrant Adinkra printed material, batik bags and accessories which can be purchased throughout the day at LACE.

For more information about other activities taking place at LACE check out: http://www.londonafricaculturalevent.com
LACE logo

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Its a Weekend Wrap

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND
I was invited to demonstrate head wrapping at 2 events in May

 

 NATURAL NOVEMBER (in May)
For Natural November 2014 I applied to be an exhibitor but thereafter was fortunate to be asked again to deliver a Head Wrap workshop where I agreed to demonstrate  5 styles. I spoke on her radio show about my fascination with head wraps and collection of material mostly purchased from Ghana which I sell at market events and can also be purchased in Calabash of Culture shop in Sydenham.

At the event I there were many volunteers from the audience with different hair styles and length, so I had to think quickly which style and coloured material would look best on them. But I did ask Pebbles (exhibitor who designs, sells clothes, adornments) if she would volunteer only because she has a very low cut hairstyle and I wanted to show the audience that you didn’t  need hair to create a Nefertiti style. I explained that it was due to the length of cloth and the technique of wrapping.
hw gp NNmay

At the event I had many satisfied customers who purchased Akinkra print material.nn customer


OPEN THE GATE @ SPITALFIELDS MARKET

The next day I was at Spitalfields Market as part of ‘Open The Gate’  Bank Holiday Festival ( 5th May).OTG anniversary spitalfields

I was asked to create some elaborate and simple styles on the models as well as demonstrations on the stage to the audience. On a model I used pale blue starched material to create a Gele look and used yellow printed long fabric and pins to create a fro hawk.hw blue gele
yellow bird
fee headwrap simple headband
As part of the stage demonstration I had 15 mins to perform Head Wrapping on audience members. I had generated a lot of interest for my future head wrap workshops.

otg bh child hw

young hw volunteer
It was a joyous Bank Holiday weekend where I met friends,  new customers, sold a lot of goods from my stall and enjoyed the culture from One Drum, fashion show and at the end of the day was entertained and danced to the Anna Mudeka Band. Check out the Highlights

bless – Sister E

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Re-Introducing Oshun

The exhibition is taking place Mon 7th – 17th  in October 2013 at the Guest Projects Africa – a artist space in Hackney. Prior to 17th October there will be a programme of activities which include live art, dance, storytelling, head wrapping and academic talks. The exhibition closes with a live evening performance at the Lyric Hammersmith on 17th October – Tickets only £5. Check out the facebook page for more info.

reintroducing Oshun

Re-Introducing Oshun is an interdisciplinary exhibition that re-images black women’s bodies as sacred places of beauty, intimacy and love through the Yoruba deity, Oshun. Featuring an all female collective working within the mediums of movement, visual arts and poetry, Re-Introducing Oshun, demystifies the omnipresent gaze placed on black women’s body by “creating images of black women that look, talk, feel and love like us and in doing so presenting our own truths”.

I was fortunate to meet with Janine in 2012 when she interviewed me at my home to  find out about my perception and view about beauty. In Feb 2013 we met again when she informed me more about her exciting project. Janine Francios has many talents which includes an emerging writer/creative producer and Director/Thinker and also a community worker.  - www.janinefrancois.com

janine and me

The aims are to envision what the deity Oshun would be represented as if she were to take form of a human body based upon stories used to describe the deity. He explained how Oshun (the Orisha of Love) is a Yoruba Goddess of the river and reigned over love and intimacy. There are many stories featuring Oshun and we were told of the story when Oshun departed from Africa through the slave trade to the Americas and thus incorporated in Brazilian, Cuban and Haiti traditions and ceremonies. The storyteller is standing in a circle  surrounded by amber petal shapes - a colour associated with Oshun.

story teller

I was invited to take part with a head wrapping workshop. this time the men where asking me more questions about head wraps. I was tidying the table and saw a black scarf which I new wasn’t mine. one of the men said that it is his. His name is Abdul and singer songwriter. I immediately told him to sit down so I could wrap his bald head – He couldn’t believe how different he looked and felt - as it was cold outside he decided to keep it on for his journey home. Thank you to Sister Pru who assisted during the workshop and all the participants.

head scarf wrap

Before leaving the exhibition we had a conversation about images, beauty, goddesses and deities. How historical context is important to describe our imagery of black beauty in a positive light.  I will definitely be researching further as I have always been intrigued about the purpose of their spirituality within a black woman. The photographic images were embedded onto silk material and hung throughout the space. We loved the body-paint artwork on the images by artist Esther Melbourne and wished to have a large silk image of an Orisha hanging in our bedrooms.

Pru

I also found out that there will be a photographic exhibition – The Orisha Experience – commencing 24th October 6pm-9pm and thereafter daily 11am-6pm until Nov 1st , CRE8 Gallery, 80 Eastway Hackney Wick,  E9 5JH from 6-9pm

orisha experience

 Check out promo video – What makes you feel beautiful?

                                       

 

 blessings – Sister E

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WITJ Natural Hair & Beauty Show

I attended the Women In The Jungle Natural Hair & Beauty Show on Saturday 24th August at the Grange Hotel in London – hosted by Wunmi  http://womaninthejungle.com/ . A celebration of naturally textured hair and beauty. The event started at 11:30am but I arrived about 1pm so I missed the opening act by singer Kadija Kamara.

                 witj leaflet   wunmi

Most of the vendors were situated in the very nice wide spaced hallway.  It was nice to catch up with Akua of Shea Butter Cottange, Trini of Mane Divas, Got to Be Natural team, Sharron of Shea Decandance. Due to chatting and catching up with everyone in the hallway it took me a least 45mins before I entered the main room.

panel

The room was packed with natural sisters with very articulated styles. On stage in the main room were hair & skin care presentations, panel discussion, hair and beauty demos, caring and styling.

Hair 101 by Noir Essence
Eat your way to healthy hair, skin & nails – Danielle Pond of Pure Juice Cleanse

Afro Comb Exhibition - Crystal of United Kinkdom Blog
Secrets of the Afro Comb – Kandace Kimbiri

Problem with Natural Hair - Valley Fontane


There were several Style stations within the hallway arranged at different times throughout the day applying Makeup, natural hair & locs styling
The-WITJ-Show-Huntress-Locs

Helen of Huntress Locs.

curly by nature

I was grateful to be asked to be part of the event by demonstrating head wrapping at the style station. I borrowed my Nigerian friends fabric which is called Aso Oke  (pronounced ah-SHAW-okay) and Damask. These materials are woven or made of silk or cotton material and are worn by Nigerians.  Some of the material I was given were very hard as they were new and starchy.

red gele 1

 At the head wrap style station I managed to sculpture a model with a typical Gele style using  a red Aso Oke  and the other model I created something opposite and tall using the gold Aso Oke.

goldent gele 1

Its not easy if you’re a beginner because of the stiffness and I mainly use batik cotton material which is easy to tie. As people watched all I could hear was WOW you can tie Gele. But I said I’m from Ghana and don’t tie Gele – but luck was on my side and I was happy with the results which hit the finale fashion show.
fashion show

It rained all day, but we left with smiles on our faces.

WITJ show

Bless – Sister E

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Nubia Pamper Day

NUBIA PAMPER DAY

On Sat 21st October I was invited by Michelle Yaa the creator of Nubia Pamper Day to style the guests with a chosen Head Wrap. After a long trek on the train to Colliers Wood which I have never been to before, I finally arrived at Johmard Community Centre to be greeted by Yaa. 

As I entered the main hall I was wowed by the transformation they had created, as all areas were utilised and decorated with sign cards, pictures, candles and fabric. The room was separated into different treatment areas: foot spa, facial, manicure, make up and head wrap/dress. There was even a side room with a massage table surrounded with candles and pictures on the wall. Each attendee was given a relaxation pack which consisted of a towel dress, hand & face towel, slippers and a nail kit.

                     

 

                     

The treatments available on the day was Pretty fingers manicure. Soothing Hands Massage. Dreamy facial. Delicate Hands Head Massage. Nubiance Make Over. Adorning the Empress Head wrap. Feet Softening Soda Soak. A bargain Black History Month celebration special price £35 for 2 treatments plus food and a raffle ticket. There were extra treatments at additional reasonable costs which included Pampered Foot Pedicure, Re-energising Foot Massage or Neck Back & Shoulder Massage.

 

We were given a short talk from Yaa about the day and thereafter meditated to relax our mind and soul to prepare us for the rest of the day. Yaa also makes her own natural skin and hair care products which were on sale during the day.

 We had a delicious lunch prepared by Yaa and other Nubia Pamper Sisters. This was a proper home cooked colourful vegetarian lunch African Caribbean style. All I can say is my taste buds and stomach were well satisfied and full. This was not a good idea to be stuffed as I was called to do a Head Wrap demonstration –  it would have been better if I had to do a ‘belly wrap’ instead.  

There were several sisters who chose Head Wrap as one of their treatments. The atmosphere throughout the day was really nice and relaxed having conversations with all the guests. I was called to have my first treatment which was a facial and I thoroughly enjoyed this as I always do this myself with my Kitchen Treasures. I was so relaxed that I did not want to come off from the massage table. In between Head Wrapping the guests I browsed through a selection of health and beauty books which were randomly spread over a table.

 

I also had a soda foot soak whilst jisting with my friend, and we even tried to persuade the male photographer to pamper us, but that did not work.  I met 3 wonderful sisters who gave me joke all day – they each had their Head Wrapped by me and left the event as Nubia Empresses.

 The time went really quickly when you’re having fun and at the end of the evening we were all relaxed and glowing.

blessings - Sister E

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Holiday Head Wrap Moments

HOLIDAY HEAD WRAP MOMENTS

During my holiday in June to St Martin I regular went to the town Marigot local shops and whilst browsing I came across bundles of material. I wanted to buy the traditional print called madras fabric which slightly represents a kente pattern.

 The origins of the Madras lie in the pre-emancipation days of former colonised French Caribbean islands. Beginning in the late 17th century, African slaves on the island were forced to wear plain clothes but during Sundays and special festival occasions they could normally wear what they desired and used the little earned monies to buy colourful cloth. The traditional clothing of theses islands consists of head wraps, long frilly dresses and certain clothes called the Creole dress.

 

In the shop there were many madras fabrics to choose from. I also could not resist buying some other fabrics to add to my Head Wrap collection. The price was reasonable only 3 Euro per metre.

I was also met with Oh la la – this was a first because usually in London I get ‘Gwan my African Empress or Nubian Sistah’ – well I was on a French speaking Island ( read my ‘Holiday – Lets Celebrate’ blog post)

Yellow Mellow on the veranda – one bantu knot

 

 Green Scene on the rocks – on the rocks at the ruins of St Louis Fort

Light White on the beach – I used my sorong to do twirl two bantu knots

 With my wonderful head wrap moments – I only wish that I had purchased more material

aaaaaah Next time!

Sister E

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Head Wrap Workshop

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Midlands Meet Up – Review

Gisting all the way to Birmingham with Lola Curls made the journey pass quickly. On reaching Birmingham New Street outside the station we bumped into Rachelle and Charlene from The Goody Box.  With the sunshine beaming over us we headed towards The Custard Factory.

The event was opened by organiser Lorien and her friend who announced the first act Mr Roy McFarlene who wowed us with a poem packed with words of beauty. The agenda was packed with a variety of guest speakers who’s presentations were about hair care, transitioning, nutrition, including demonstrations on make up application and hair styling.

It was nice to see so many new and known faces – Belinda, Africa Brown, Tope, Rose, Kadian,Crystal and Sonia. I would like to commend Sonia of Evelyn Products on her achievement and determination to get her products in Boots stores as of Feb 2013.

I was asked to demonstrate head wrapping. I did not have a mirror but I was lucky to find an artist shop a few doors from the venue that kindly provided me with a mirror. I like to thank all the volunteers who were pleased with their final head wrapping creation.

 

The funniest time towards the end of the meetup was when we were sitting with 2 women from theMidlands( I can’t remember your names) who at first sat patiently waiting for their numbers to be called. Luckily many people were not available to collect their prize, but finally number 45 was called. So sorry for raffle ticket number 44 – but thanks for buying the Shea Butter, which all I had on the table had sold – thanks to Lola, so I did not have to carry an extra bag back to London.

                                                                   

A nice meetup with pleasant natural sisters which was ended with a performance by Justene an up and coming songstress.  We left the midlands with the sun still shinning as we headed back to London.

Sister E – The Calabash Hub

 

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HEADWRAP WORKSHOP

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HEAD WRAP WORKSHOP review

HEAD WRAP WORKSHOP

I would like to congratulate all the sisters who came to the Traditional Head Wrap session on Saturday March 26th. There was a mix of sisters from beginners and some who had worn headwraps before but wanted to be able to create different styles.

HISTORY – I felt it was important to begin the workshop with a short presentation about the history of head dressing. The history of Africa holds the significance of the African head wrap.

African head wraps have been part of African culture for centuries worn by queens in Ancient Egypt and Nubia and continued to be worn today in order to preserve heritage. African cultures used head wraps so that men could show off their wealth and the level of their social status and so that women could prove that they were prosperous and spiritual. Famous artists in the 1700’s, have painted African slaves wearing head wraps that appear high on their foreheads and above their ears.  Although the structure no longer applies for women to formally cover their heads for any reason.  Head Wraps worn at special events have now become a fashion statement for the Black woman, claiming its place within the history of the African Diaspora. It is one of the few piece of dress, which spans the pre-slavery period, and the evolving of African people to the present day.

DEMONSTRATION – African head wraps come in many bright bold colours that animate the face and are often made of luxurious material and designed in intricate patterns. Some African women continue to wear head wraps to boast their spiritual strength. I brought to the workshop a vast colourful collection of material that I have mainly bought from Ghana and purchased material from markets and fabric shops in the UK.

CROWNING BEAUTY  – At the start of the workshop I used some lightweight cotton scarf’s to demonstrate some basic and quick steps to produce some simple styles that don’t look boring.  Thereafter using different length and widths of African printed material to create turban styles at different heights’ and variety of shape without pins to complement the face. After several hours the sisters became used to practicing all the head coverings I demonstrated. I was overwhelmed with the eagerness and persistence everyone portrayed in order to wrap their crowning glory with elegant pieces of fabric. At the end of the session the African queens paraded to the photographic area, were Bro therKosher the studio owner directed our posture in order to take a stunning picture of our crowning glory. (thanks to Michelle of www.naturallynubian01.blogspot.com who assisted with co-ordinating the workshop)

 GELE FABULOSITY“Gele” refers to the Yoruba word for the head wrap commonly associated with Nigeria and West Africa. Both common women and royal queens wore the gele in ancient times, but queens had wraps made of finer material, such as damask — often used for special occasions and worn with a shawl — and colorful aso-oke, material made of silk.  (“ichafu” in Ibo). The wonderful Bunmi of Gele Fabulosity worked wonders creating extravagant styles using exotic colours of  Gele, Aso Oke and Damaske. Her creations wowed us all with finishing touches to make everyone look absolutely stunning.

PURCHASES – It does not have to be expensive, just go to your local material shop or market and buy lightweight cotton fabrics affordable at £1-2 per metre. You just need to know how to be creative, what suits you and practice. For additional decorations add flowers, jewellery. For those who would like the African print fabric or wax print with Adinkra symbols then don’t hesitate to contact.

WORKSHOPS – If you and your friends want to stand out in a crowd, have a piece of cloth you don’t know what to do with, want to learn the basic and Nubian styles, then why not request a Head Wrap workshop. Contact Sister E: info@thecalabashhub.com   07940 186268

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