Because of the naptural movement and neo-soul fashion, we’ve seen a resurgence of the headdress. It dates back to the colonial period (Ancien Régime).

Maré Tèt” or tignon surfaced in 1785, following the sumptuary laws established by the governor of Louisiana, Esteban Rodriguez Mirò. This tignon, an expression that means nappy (which negatively describes the hair of black women), was imposed to enforce social order that was “disturbed” by the “ostentatious” hairdo of black women. Let’s keep in mind that some of those black women were the mistresses of white men, and were consequently considered husband thieves by their legitimate wives. 

As a result, the tignon laws demanded that black women hide their hair with a fabric called ‘le bando du buen gobierno’ or risk getting their heads shaved or being burnt with acid.

As a result, the tignon laws demanded that black women hide their hair with a fabric called “le bando du buen gobierno” or risk getting their heads shaved or being burnt with acid. To divert that social marker, these ladies dressed up the stigma by tying the scarf in appealing, ingenious and creative ways, thus turning a coarse rag into a beauty accessory.

While some swooned over the beauty of the Caribbean hairdo,  others saw it as a way to resist  slavery laws. This tradition, regardless of time, remains synonymous with beauty and strength against oppression in our communities.