There have been a lot of confusion concerning the origin of the traditional coral beaded updos worn by numerous Nigerian brides today. A long time ago, there was a prohibition against the indiscriminate use of this royal traditional hairstyle in the Kingdom of Benin. Only the wives of the Benin monarch had the right to wear it because it is a crown. Lately, Benin brides were allowed to wear a replica during their traditional wedding ceremony.
The beauty of the hairdo is evident from its widespread use among modern brides in some parts of Nigeria. However, the misconception that this bridal hairstyle originates from Igbo land is both fallacious and disrespecting. It is an example of Cultural Appropriation. I would never raise an eyebrow at anyone for wearing Okuku hairstyle as long as they give credit to its origin.
Cultural appropriation, often framed as cultural misappropriation, is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture.
Hence, I admonish that every writer who has made this mistake in their online articles should make immediate updates. Our cultural history as a people should be safeguarded.
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Cover Photo by Beautybyghene
Model: Anwuli Ijibike