A US festival celebrates durags

in

Hip hop culture’s staple head cloth is the star of the Durag Fest, an annual event that pays tribute to this iconic part of Afro-American culture.

SDurags are often mentioned for being worn by leading hip hop figures but they’re far more than just a head cloth. They’re imbued with vital symbolic and political power and have been part of the Afro-American community’s history for decades. Birthed in oppression and intended to cover up black women’s hair in the time of slavery, it made a comeback in the 30s as Afro-American households gradually made it their own.

NBA and rap stars such as 50 Cent, Drake and Eminem made it a must-have piece in the hip hop wardrobe in the 90s and Noughties before being worn by the likes of Solange, A$ap Ferg and Rihanna on the cover of Vogue more recently.

Thousands of durag lovers have been flocking to North Carolina since 2018 to pay tribute to this symbolic piece at the annual Durag Fest in Charlotte. It’s a unique event that gives pride of place to an accessory that’s packed with history and has often been stigmatised and demonised.

This fun-filled music event was founded by three artists, Dammit Wesley, Lica Mishelle and DJ Fannie Mae, to celebrate Afro-American fashion and cultural heritage.

On the agenda: contemporary art exhibitions, catwalk shows, DJ sets and dance competitions. The 2020 event may have had to be cancelled due to the world pandemic but the Durag Fest will be back with a bang next year.

Information and schedule https://www.duragfestival.com

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