Cornrows History

In articles by Natalie Lynn Hyndman

This braided hairstyle has been around many many years, there is historical proof found in Stone Age paintings from the Tassili Plateau in the Sahara with women wearing this braid style hair from 3000 BC.
But many don’t know the deep and important history connected to this hairdo, around the 16th century when Africans were enslaved by the Spaniards in South America they used the intricate patterns of these braids as messages among themselves and as escape maps with directions of the plantations.
This brilliant way of using hair as a tool of freedom saved many lives and was first thought up by Benkos Biho who was a king in Africa and sold off into slavery in Colombia.
He would have fellow slave women, who could roam around slightly freer than slave men look for, remember and then create these exit maps into each other’s hair. 
Cornrow braids are not only beautiful hairstyles but in past history, salvation.