J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, Nigerian, 1930 - 2014



Gelatin silver print

Image: 17 3/8 × 17 3/8 in. (44.2 × 44.2 cm)

Sheet: 23 5/8 × 19 11/16 in. (60 × 50 cm)

Frame: 26 7/8 × 25 7/8 in. (68.2 × 65.7 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Robert J. Grey



Place Made: Nigeria, Western Africa, Africa


20th century

Object Name


Research Area



Not on view


Signed, dated, and stamped, on reverse, in ink.


Throughout the Black Atlantic world, braiding hair and wearing one’s hair braided is a marker of beauty and pride. Braiding hair can be meditative and Black beauty salons around the globe are spaces of community building where Black women practice love and care for one another. Braiding is considered a protective style, meaning it protects the hair from breakage caused by over styling, but it is also protective in the sense of the sisterhood these women create around the art of braiding. Ojeikere has documented hundreds of these highly stylized coiffures, serving as portraits of Black women’s beauty culture. Braiding hair is an art form: braiders are subject to meticulous criticism based on length, style, and shape, and it requires years of practice to perfect one’s technique.

From the 2023 exhibition Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, curated by Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate

Course History

SART 30, SART 75, Photography II and III, Virginia Beahan, Spring 2019

SART 30/SART 75, Photography II/III, Virginia Beahan, Spring 2022

SART 29.01, Photography I, Virginia Beahan, Fall 2022

First Year Student Enrichment Program – Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Colleen Lannon, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Mokhtar Bouba, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

Writing 2.05, Why Write, Anyway?, Erkki Mackey, Fall 2023

Writing 5.24, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Writing 5.25, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, and Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 22, 2023–May 25, 2024.


Yosi Milo Gallery, New York, New York; to Robert J. Grey, Allentown, Pennsylvania; given to present collection, 2017.

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