Sunday, June 28, 2015

Winding & Twining

    Apart from smearing mud on our skin way back at the start of the Attire language's formation, one of the other first things we did was mess with our hair.  We're still at it now.  Oh boy, are we ever.
    We began with just tucking leaves and things into our locks, and twisting the bunches of strands together till they made dreads.  But it wasn't long before we figured out how to braid it, curl it into a long tubular mass, fold it over itself, and hold it in place with sticks or pins.
     Because this is a part of us, literally, no other aspect of the Attire language quite fills the same place. We can apply things to us in endless ways, but nothing else has the incredible flexibility and adaptability of our own hair.  Our fingernails only get so long, and they are small, and rigid.  We can stretch various bits of our bodies with rings and plugs, but again, the expressive limits are tighter.  Only our hair offers the sheer sculptural scope, the wildly fantastical range that has allowed it to gain its important place in the Attire conversation.
    And yeah, all you folks who shave your heads are speaking an Attire word too.

    We learned how to cut and trim hair millennia ago.  We learned about hair dyes way back when too. We understood what would happen if we took a comb and pushed it back towards the scalp, quite a long while before we devised those massive edifices of ratted hair and Aquanet from the 60s.  Wigs, wiglets, and other hairpieces were commonplace as far back as recorded history takes us, and its likely they go back much further than that.
Part of what intrigues me about all that is that, apart from a few advances in technology, (especially chemistry) that have permitted some things to be done that were impossible before, we are still essentially using the same techniques we used hundreds of thousands of years ago, in the dim beginning of our tenancy on this planet.
So, over the centuries, hair, and how it is styled, has become a major part of the dialog because it allows such a huge range of expression to happen.  Nowadays, and especially in bigger urban areas the breadth of statements made is vast.  Everything from full on dreadlocks, to towering mohawks, to colors not found in nature adorn the heads of myriad people.  Guys with man buns, women with high and tights, and people of unspecified gender playing with whatever they wish walk our streets increasingly.

    This, I think, is just plain wonderful.

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