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Africans Used Hair Braiding To Protect Themselves From Hunger During Slavery

Many African women braided rice or seeds into their hair before enduring the Middle Passage, being auctioned off into enslavement or separation from family members when sold between plantations. This was to protect themselves from going hungry. This video, shot in the Maroon community of Suriname, demonstrates how their ancestors did it. Interestingly, Suriname is the only place where one can find a specific grain of rice from Africa. The rest of the ‘New World’ cultivated Asian rice.

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