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ACSU holds Head-wrap event

Eyram Koblah ’19 (left) during ACSU’s Head-Wrap Wrap workshop. Photo by Mahira Faran

By Seth Taylor

Grinnell hosts a wide array of multicultural groups on campus, representing people and practices from every corner of the world. One such group is the African Caribbean Student Union (ACSU), and on Wednesday, ACSU hosted the Head-wrap Wrap.

The Head-wrap Wrap was an event designed to educate those in attendance about the history and significance of head-wraps. It also served as a small workshop, offering ideas for different styles and tutorials on how best to wear them.

Angela Frimpong ’20, a member of ACSU from Ghana, organized and hosted the event with fellow student Zama Buthelezi ’21. The idea originated after students began asking her about head-wraps. She didn’t know all the answers, so she brought the questions to ACSU, and from there the Head-wrap Wrap was born.

For Frimpong, living in Ghana, head-wraps are an everyday part of life. They can be worn as professional clothing, as an expression of personal style or as a practical tool to protect hair from the scorching sun. Frimpong’s grandmother used to sell head-wraps at the local market, and her mother wore them for work and fashion.

Frimpong believes that it is less common for young people to wear head-wraps.

“It’s a cultural thing,” Frimpong said. “The more you grow the more you don’t want to see the [messy hair].”

Frimpong noted that head-wraps can be a functional, fashionable choice for the workplace.

“People my age don’t really wear head-wraps to be honest, because there are so many hairstyles and you want to flaunt your hairstyle.”

For Frimpong, the young people who choose to wear head-wraps are making them a part of their style, expanding the traditional look and adding their own personal touches since, as of now, “[head-wraps] are trending.”

The colors, prints and styles of head wraps vary widely. Some prints have special meanings, and there are different color schemes for different occasions.

“It’s the colors that denote where you’re going to wear them. More colorful colors for every day or special events or festivals [and] weddings, and darker colors for funerals or sad things that happen,” Frimpong said.

Frimpong hopes that this event, and others like it, will bring even more diversity of culture to Grinnell.

“For me personally, seeing someone wear head-wraps after they’ve been to the event, particularly the style we use or using the same print that we use, would really remind me of home, and it would make me feel more part of this community,” she said.

The event was held as part of a series of week-long events in celebration of ACSU week, which was held from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17.

Eyram Koblah ’19 (left) during ACSU’s Head-Wrap Wrap workshop.
Photo by Mahira Faran
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