What is Tignon Law?

In 1786, it became illegal for women of African descent to show their hair in public. Yes, this was a real law.

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WHAT IS TIGNON LAW?

A decree demanding that women of African descent, slave or free, should cover their hair and heads with a knotted headdress and refrain from "excessive attention to dress".

WHY WAS TIGNON LAW CREATED?

Historian Virginia M. Gould notes that Tignon law would control women “who had become too light skinned or who dressed too elegantly, or who, in reality, competed too freely with white women for status and thus threatened the social order.
 
⚡️Women of African descent would often adorn their hair with colorful jewelry, beads and other accents, demonstrating an exotic appearance that attracted the attention of white male suitors.

✨Many of them had become openly kept mistresses of white, French, and Spanish Creole men.

⚡️This perceived threat to white women's relationships with French and Spanish Creole men created contention.

COLORFUL PROTEST

Tignon Law was enforced with the intention to shame women of color, suppress creative expression and diminish the threat to the social status of white women during that time. 
Despite laws that tried to suppress the flyness of African descendants, they protested in colorful ways.

According to historian Carolyn Long, "Instead of being considered a badge of dishonor, the tignon became a fashion statement.
The bright reds, blues, and yellows of the scarves, and the imaginative wrapping techniques employed by their wearers, are said to have enhanced the beauty of women of color."

 

Creative expression is a gift and an honor. How will you use yours?

4 comments

  • Erica Muse

    Thanks for the Black History information. I tell this same information to the women around my town. Especially when they see me wearing my headwraps, which I have come to embrace and feel like I’m some-what tapping into what our ancestors, mainly the black women, had to go through. Not just because they were women or let alone human beings, but mainly because they were….BLACKandSTRONG. I’m honored and proud to be a strong black woman, a black queen, and a chosen vessel of God! To God Be The Glory!!
    #blackwomenSTANDup
    #youAREabeautifulBLACK👑QUEEN
    #ivoteforemojiswithheadwraps


  • Rhea

    Wow! Thank you so much for this wonderful history lesson. I had never heard of this law. Also, it is my first time on your site and I am ECSTATIC because all of your wraps/turbans are beautiful. Hoping to get my hands on one of the turbans when they’re back in stock :)


  • Ryan Wright-Henry

    I love it when you all post things about Black History. I have never heard of this law until I received the email from you all a few weeks ago. Since then, I have thought about this and about how much stuff I don’t know about Black History. Please keep up the wonderful and informative work that you all have been doing so far. I am so ecstatic to be a customer and to see you all become even greater than before.


  • Tyra B

    Thank you so much for such an important history lesson. I definitely feel beautiful and regal when I wear my crown……. head wrap!


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