[LISTEN] The history behind the headwrap

Eusebius McKaiser talks to Hlonipha Mokoena, an associate professor at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, about the history of the headwrap or 'doek'.

While it is now very much part of African culture, the headwrap was originally forced upon women, suggests Eusebius.

This is more especially in slave societies.

Hlonipha Mokoena, Associate professor at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research

Mokoena says historically it was not the slave masters who insisted on black women covering their hair - but rather the slave mistresses.

Because they said black women's hair confuses white men - so you have to keep it under wraps.

Hlonipha Mokoena, Associate professor at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research

She explains that in slave societies, female slaves were 'all shades of brown with many different hair textures'. And white women felt that when they walked with their slave, men could become confused as to who was the salve and who was the mistress, hence forcing these women to cover their hair.

In other words, white women at that time were concerned about their men being attracted to these slaves.

So the regulators, in that case, were white women.

Hlonipha Mokoena, Associate professor at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research

Does this mean that the headwrap may be viewed as a symbol of oppression?

Mokoena says not, as later the headwrap was appropriated by black women to mean something else.

She also explains that the cloth used for warps was bartered for slaves from India and other countries. And, in America itself, slaves were the producers of the cotton that was used to make cloth.

Take a listen to this fascinating discussion about headwraps and how this is also found in other cultures such as religious groups:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
How the IDC helped this entrepreneur get his water-saving invention in SA stores

How the IDC helped this entrepreneur get his water-saving invention in SA stores

From developing prototypes in his gran's garage to partnering with a huge global retailer. Paseka Lesolang shares his story.

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

A caller on the Eusebius McKaiser Show, Zeenat says she was called a derogatory word for Indian on Heritage Day.

Did Ramaphosa announce a 'cupcake' of a stimulus package? Experts debate...

Did Ramaphosa announce a 'cupcake' of a stimulus package? Experts debate...

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates an economics debate with a panel of economists. about how the state should respond to the recession.

What are you leaving behind? Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane on family legacy

What are you leaving behind? Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane on family legacy

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane discusses the power of family legacies and the heritage that many individual's pass down.

[LISTEN] 'Molewa was an activist in her own quiet way'

[LISTEN] 'Molewa was an activist in her own quiet way'

Environmental Affairs spokesperson Albi Modise pays tribute to Minister Edna Molewa who passed away on Saturday morning.

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Pallo Jordan says leaked Mbeki paper on land is 'unfortunate'

[LISTEN] Pallo Jordan says leaked Mbeki paper on land is 'unfortunate'

The leaked 30 paper, seemingly from the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, has been met with mixed reaction.

SA braces for horrific fuel price increases as oil hits 4-year high

SA braces for horrific fuel price increases as oil hits 4-year high

It's monstrous! The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the Automobile Association of South Africa's Layton Beard.

Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

The man allegedly attacked the six-year-old inside a toilet cubicle at a Dros franchise in Pretoria on Saturday.

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

A caller on the Eusebius McKaiser Show, Zeenat says she was called a derogatory word for Indian on Heritage Day.

'This leaked document is calling a spade a spade'

'This leaked document is calling a spade a spade'

Breakfast Show Host Bongani Bngwa shares his views on the leaked report from the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.

[WATCH] Vietnam's The Bachelor uproar as female contestants run away together

[WATCH] Vietnam's The Bachelor uproar as female contestants run away together

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.