Okuku Hairdo (Benin Women’s Traditional Hairstyle)

My research finding on the traditional royal Bini hairdo ‘Okuku’.


“Okuku” hairdo is a symbolic and popular hairdo of the Benin people of Nigeria. This beaded hairstyle is mainly worn by the Oba (King) wives in the palace. “Okuku” hairdo can be dated back to the time of “Ogiso” meaning the “Sky Kings”in the Great kingdom of Benin. Women in the Oba palace were mediated to wear this hairstyle, and they wear different styles based on their titles in the harem. The queen who gave birth to the first male child -the mother of the crown prince- wears unique style. This is to differentiate her from the other wives because, she is the most special woman in the harem. However, any woman outside the royal harem can also wear this beaded hairstyle but, the styles of the Oba wives in the palace are very different from those worn by ordinary Nigerian women across the globe. The special designs of the…

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