A braiding ceremony: Fragmento dos.

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

August 10, 2020

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Braiding is a portal into the heart. It’s a ritual as old as humanity and has always been an energetic exchange of the outmost importance that transcends time, nationality and religion. For me, in Canvas, the headpiece I wear, which is inspired by the Tehuana tradition from Oaxaca, I have found a visual symbol of the invisible, and often imperceptible thread that braids us together. It reminds us that we are one.

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As I braided the hair of women I love and admire, strand by strand in this women’s circle of trust, I realized the power of this thread. The four of us united in one coordinated hand movement that brought us together.

We hugged. We kissed, We danced. We laughed.

We didn’t know that something that seemed so simple and out of the ordinary would become extraordinary one day after. And that in that process its meaning would become more relevant than ever.

As I step back at moments like these, and see what’s happening; as I watch people I love separated by frontiers that are more visible than ever, I realize that I must keep braiding: two strands of hair, one strand of fabric.

When your hair is down, our native elders used to say, your thoughts are all over the place. Same happens when we all go our separate ways. Just keep them together.

Together we stand.

(The braiding circle is composed by Britta Hanson, Vava Charly, Tara Benmeleh, and Danie Gomez-Ortigoza. The pictures were taken by Emma del Rey and the video by Celia D. Luna. The looks are from Caravana and the Jewlery from Spiritoftara)