hand made hair braid

{ok obviously hair braids are handmade - I was going to title the post "hair-made" but that's just lame. }

ANYWAY, I met up with Nene Humphrey this week to discuss an art installation she's doing at Kutztown University this spring. She'll be working with students, staff and whoever else wants to participate (sign up here!) to create a large sculptural sound installation. I still have no idea what to expect - kinda fun in that way. Here's a small sample of her some of her work:

The upcoming installation is based on the practice of 19th century Victorian mourning braids. what?? that's what I said. I think we'll all be making the braids ... I had no idea about this practice - apparently when a loved one died they would take the hair and make mourning jewelry out of it. like this:

These kind of freak me out but they are quite beautiful when you look up close. I think it's so bizarre that hair continues to grow after you've passed on - that's kind of intense to think about. This brings to mind all the hair rituals involved with death - shaving heads, cutting braids, growing beards, shaving beards, since when did hair have so much symbolism? and mostly with men ...
weird. I could never get that Amish ritual straight - you shave your beard until you get married? but mustaches are bad? But Mennonites never have facial hair? can they even grow it? do they shave every morning before milking the cows? at 4 am? I'm confused.

When I think of hair braiding I instantly think of Yulia, I can't help it:

Yulia Tymoshenko is the prime minister of the Ukraine and frankly she makes me nervous. Anytime "oligarch", "KGB", "natural gas imports" and "engineer-economist in a machine building plant in Dnipropetrovsk" are used in one's wikipedia entry my mind conjures up all sorts of devious images. But I think we can all agree that her fashion sense is waaaaay far out. Can you imagine Hillary dressing like this? dang. She kind of rules for that.

FIEEEEEEERCE. Are you getting some Martha Stewart vibes? me too.

that would be amazing if they were secretly related - I somehow wouldn't be surprised.


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Jen said...

Impressive! The first images didn't show, but I love the ones of Yulia Tymoshenko!

Retro Threadz * Mary said...

those are so pretty, I love the braids