The History behind Cornrows


Valerie German 

Fact to know

Did you know Cornrows were used to help slaves escape slavery?

Slaves used cornrows to transfer information and create maps to the north.

Since slaves were not allowed to read or write they had to pass information through cornrows.

It is believed to have originated in Colombia, South America where Benkos Bioho, in the late 1500’s came up with the idea to have women create maps & deliver messages through their cornrows. They were also called “canerows” to represent the sugarcane fields that slaves worked in.

One style had curved braids, tightly braided on their heads. The curved braids would represent the roads they would use to escape.

Also in their braids they kept gold and hid seeds which helped them survive after they escaped. They would use the seeds to plant crops once they were liberated.

Cornrows was the best way to not give back any suspicion to the owner. He would never figure out such a hairstyle would mean they would escape or the route they would take. #BlackHistoryMonth

R3: Very interesting fact about the history behind African American cornrows. Very intelligent people. Our ancestors were amazing and very creative. Thank you for paving the way. Thank you for the sacrifices you made. Thank you for your willingness, courage and determination to change the trajectory of history as we know it today. Thank you for your economic contributions. Thank you for the movements. Thank you for solid foundational principles that some of us live by today. You are greatly cherished and we will never forget all that you had to endure for your kind to be where we are today. #thankyoufromthebottomofourhearts

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