Hardcover with dust jacket, 160 pages, 267 x 285 mm
Condition: Near Fine
In 1968, J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere (1930-2014), who worked as an advertising photographer for most of his life, began producing the photographs that would comprise his “Hairstyles” series, a decades-long project that immortalized the hairdos of his native Nigeria in stark, black-and-white portraits. Ojeikere was able to take the fashion aspect of hairstyles and present them as an art form; one that carries an ethnographic, anthological and documentary aspect to them. Some of these hairstyles were an indicator of occasions, social status or acted as family crests, with unique designs being passed down from one generation to another as heirlooms. However, at the time the project commenced, women preferred wigs and straightened hair to their ancestral dos. The project not only became about remembering the past, but also as a testimony of rapid changes within culture. Ojeikere's photographs do not merely purvey aesthetic pleasures, they provide an unexpected insight into Nigerian culture.