Popularly known in America as Bantu Knots, popularly known in UK as China Bumps. However, contrary to what foreigners would believe and have previously read, it is not referred to as Bantu Knots in Africa. Infact across our continent the hair style which is so common in all countries hasn’t got a particular general name.
Ie. in Nigeria one will simply ask for Puff Puff, in Ghana some locals know it as Ntokuntoku or generally one will refer to it as tying up their hair, either in their local or english dialect, and various other countries use their own terminology. Bantu Knots is hardly even used by the Bantu speaking people as the word knots would obviously not be a part of their dialect. However, the the sake of debate and with the globalization of the world, it seems Bantu knots is most likely the general term to now address this hairstyle.
The truth is to get the history of ‘Bantu Knots’ would be like trying to discover the first time man shook hands. It is the far one of the most common hairstyles amongst our African women prior to weaves and permed hair. It was a way of preventing our hair from tangling by combing it out and tying it up. In fact what is called Bantu Knots was actually part of a wider family of hairstyles being tied to prevent tangling, which came in various styles which let to various artistic designs as seen below.
The hairstyle is not easily worn with non Afro hair as it doesn’t stand as firm, however there are threading ways around this. American designer Marc Jacobs models also rocked the runway with this hairstyle at his SS15 fashion show last year which made headlines with a few shoots to follow afterwards.
Despite the hair style being very simple to apply and the fact that it has been around, it seems to be heavily picked up amongst their natural hair movement across black women around the world and has recently been spotted in various selfies and instagram images. See some pictures below.
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