A Legacy: Reviving Rwanda’s dramatic hairstyle

Of: direct africa

Rwanda’s striking Amasunzu hairstyle, with its ridges and hairlines that once carried messages, is making a comeback.

Rwanda’s Amasunzu hairstyles are striking sculptures of dramatic shapes, spikes and shaved parting.

These once famous styles were worn as a form of identity in pre-colonial times, with each hair design communicating information, messages and stories.

The tradition died out but it’s making a comeback, and Minani Saleh is an expert stylist. In her salon, she patiently shapes and shaves and tells the story of this unique look. She is quietly determined to protect this Rwandan cultural legacy for generations to come.

Mutiganda Wa Nkunda is a Rwandan filmmaker. His first feature film of 2021, Nameless, won the best screenplay award at FESPACO, the largest African film festival. He is also co-curator of a collective of Rwandan filmmakers and his film club and teaches screenwriting at various institutions.

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