Shuku is a traditional hairstyle originating from Nigeria. Despite being around for thousand of years, this hair braiding style is stunningly creative and innovative and is making a come back on the fashion scene. So if you want to stand ouf the crowd, give it a whirl!
Origin of Shuku hairstyle
Shuku (meaning basket in Yoruba language) is coming from Nigeria and more specifically from the Yoruba ethnic group, one of the most important ethnic group in this country with more than 40 millions members.
Traces of these hair braiding method can be found as far as 2500 years ago. Statues of this period have shown human representation wearing this braids.
As you can see, it’s not really a fresh and new style. However as I wrote in the precedent post about traditional rwandan hairstyles, Shuku is incredibly stylish and modern. So creative and innovative that only the boldest among us would dare to wear it!
Shuku throughout history
The most extricated Shuku styles were originally worn by queens and princesses to distinguish them from the commoners. The high complexity of the braids patterns required highly skilled braiders.
These skills were thought and transmitted from generation to generation by mothers to their daughters as a treasure. Indeed braiders were enjoying a very respected social status in the Yoruba culture. Osun, Yoruban Goddess, is considered as the first and the best hair-dresser and she is believed to be the one who inspires hair-dresser.
Even if only royalties had the privilege to wear the most sophisticated hairdos, Yoruba women were still taking special care of their hair. Indeed to the ancient Yoruba people, the woman’s hair is her beauty. If a woman’s hair is tidy and well, she is gorgeous. Not much has changed, isn’t?
You can find above pictures shot during the 60’s presenting a wide variety of styles. However the nigerian, like many places, has been slowly influenced by the western culture and this creative styles have been slowly disappearing.
Nigerian women have been progressively adopting western beauty standards likestraightening their hairs.
But recently this traditional hairstyle has made a significant come back and it is not rare to see women, proudly and beautifully, wearing shuku hairstyles, specially in the city of Ibadan. It is even reaching now american and western beauty salon.
Recently, Sephora Joannes, hairstylist, did a magnificent job by revisiting this hairstyles. You can see her work below.
Do not hesitate to share, it would great if it could inspired our friends. The world would be beautiful if we could see more styles like that in our streets, isn’t?