Fulani Braid Love: From Tradition to Festival-Ready
Have you been swooning over the hottest Alicia Keys braids? Us too! But we’re going to stop you right there and insist you call them what they really are – Fulani braids. Otherwise called festival braids, tribal braids or braids with beads, this style of braiding is identified by it’s distinct braiding patterns. Like many fashion items and styles we see at festivals, Fulani braids have been adapted from tradition for contemporary expression.
You see, the nomadic Fulani Tribe of West Africa treat braiding as an art form, a ritual and social activity, handed down from generation to generation. That a fashion can celebrate such a meaningful custom is one of the main reasons why we love Fulani braids.
The other reason why we love Fulani braids? Their feminine and intricate beauty of course! Let’s look at the key elements:
· A braided cornrow running down the center of the head from front to back
· A cornrow braided from back to front on each side of the head, so that it hangs in front of each ear
· A braid wrapped around the head’s perimeter – which can be updated in many ways, although often appears crown-like
· Beads, amber, cowry shells or clips placed throughout the braids, including on the ends
There are many ways you can adapt the different elements of traditional Fulani braids for your style. A popular version today is to leave just the braid tails down in front of the ears and to twist the rest of the braids up into a large bun at the back of the head, or several smaller ones across the head, like a crown. Incorporate some colored hair through the braids for a look guaranteed to stop traffic!
It’s clear why we love Fulani braids. A strong cultural fashion we can comfortably wear for a regal result that bursts with personality.