Thursday, February 04, 2010

Slice of Lime-You Say Corn, I Say Cane

Back to the slides from Trinidad. One afternoon the group I was working with had no real activities planned. We were staying at a camp to do construction projects and help with campers. This was our day off. I was liming (hanging around) with some of the camp counselors and they asked if I wanted my hair cane rowed. Yes, down there they call it cane rowing because they grow a lot more sugar cane than corn. Anyway, since this was my first time out of the USA and I was all about soaking up as many new experiences as I possibly could I accepted.

They got a kick out of digging into my head of hair and it was a LOT longer then, let me tell you. It took these 3 girls many hours to do my head in cane rows. They were also hampered somewhat by the texture of my hair, which they found surprising. Caucasian hair is a lot more slippery and so it was harder for them to work with since it didn't naturally hold a braid as easily as their coarser hair did. We had a lot of laughs as they'd get some part done and loosen their grip only to have part of it fallout. It was kind of interesting to have my head tugged and pulled at for hours as we all chatted about a wide variety of things. This was my first real experience learning how shared grooming can be a bonding sort of activity. It's not quite the same as a bunch of beauty shop chatter. There's a certain level of intimacy though that allows for people to open up to each other.





After all that time together I gained not only a new hairstyle, but a lot of new insights into their lives and they into mine. We certainly knew each other a lot better and we enjoyed the time spent. I was delighted that they'd want to share with me and I think they were delighted that I'd try something so different. Although I don't think it's my best look it was a fun and memorable experience that was a great learning opportunity too.




23 comments:

Kat said...

And it hurt, right? The braids are usually pretty tight. Ouch.

How nice of them to offer. It certainly does take much effort. I'm sure it was a great bonding experience.

I love your Trini stories!

furiousBall said...

ooooh, now i have an excuse to go! i have long hair now and ... sweet! thanks!

Craig said...

My daughters' black friends just LOVE sitting around corn-rowing each other's hair. And they also get a kick out of doing it to their very straight, blond hair, too. (The white girls like to give each other French braids.) And 4M has had a few girls try their hand at corn-rowing his hair, too. . .

But you're right - there's something about the 'shared grooming' thing that seems to be very 'bonding'; at least for the girls. . .

Suldog said...

How long did you leave the rows in? Did the style interfere with shampooing or showering or bathing in any way, or did it make it easier, or no difference? Inquiring bald guys want to know!

S said...

Yes, like Suldog, I want to know how you take care of that stuff and then how long does it take to get them out?

I am loving these pics of you in Trini. Cant wait for more. I know you know this, but I'm still thinking you need to get back there soon!

lime said...

kat, it didn't really hurt. it felt kind of strange but not uncomfortable.

to answer suldog and susie...

those girls could leave their own cane rows in for weeks until new growth made it look kind of loose at the scalp or the braids themselves get kind of fuzzy looking. you can wash your hair with them in, just squirt the shampoo on and lather up amongst the braids and rinse normally. in a way it's easier because you don't have to worry about combing and tangling. as an aside, a good friend of mine from kenya who rarely wore braids did so each time she was about ready to give birth because the maintenance is much lower once the braids are in, so it was a very practical consideration.

i only kept mine in for less than a week because since my hair texture is slipperier my braids got kind of ratty and tatty looking a good bit faster.

Cricket said...

Dear Lord, you look about 12 in those pics. Especially with the braids. I know you weren't but still,,,

Logophile said...

How fun is that?
Love it.

You are such the cute little miss in those pics.

Nessa said...

I bet that took loads of time but what are great bonding experience.

13 Characters from Rose and Prince Brendan

coopernicus said...

Bo Derek???
How about a shot of you running down the beach in slow motion then...

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

..wow...and it must take ages to undo l always think...but you can go ages without washing it l imagine..l havent had my hair long since l was 30....

fab story..and pics..

l always enjoy y visits here...
saz x

Cocotte said...

You really do look so young in those photos! Very pretty!

Craig said...

I suppose I could make some comment about you being a '10', but you know I would never objectify you like that. . .

Some other woman, maybe, but not you. . .

;)

WordVer = 'stating'; just sayin'. . .

snowelf said...

Oooo! Ever since I saw Monica have her hair done on Friends in Jamaica I have wanted to have my hair braided all cute like that! I had no idea it was such a bonding experience though--that part was a sweet surprise. :)

--snow

Sarah said...

I remember when I got my hair done like that. it was tons of fun! I looked super awesome but when I took the rows out a bunch of my hair fell out with them. Did that happen to you?

Craver Vii said...

Lime, I LOVE to have people messing with my hair. Yes, I know that comment will cost me some man points, but I don't care. On those rare occasions that I don't buzz my own scalp, and they shampoo and massage... oh, that's great. Even when my daughters tortured me by combing my hair and making it funny with rubber bands, it was all good. I tell you I could have fallen asleep; it was so comforting!

secret agent woman said...

You look about 11 in those photos!

Ananda girl said...

What fun! I too am enjoying these posts very much.

Phaedrous said...

Very cute Lime.

P.

Beach Bum said...

This was my first real experience learning how shared grooming can be a bonding sort of activity. It's not quite the same as a bunch of beauty shop chatter.

According to a documentary I saw during the early days of the Discover Channel long before it became endless repeats of Mythbusters some scientists who were part of the show said such grooming activties go all the way back to our primate past. They used our nearest relatives and their behavior as examples about how social grooming strengthens bonds among members of the group.

Watching that show I was struck how the segment showing chimps interacting while grooming each other and how it looked a lot like the guys in the old barber shop that I went to have my hair cut.

~Tim said...

What a great experience. I always like your Trini posts.

Cupcake said...

As I made a quick glance I thought that was one of your girls! I love the smile on your face as they are all braiding away. Simple times, good friends, and good girl chat.

Jocelyn said...

Women pay hundreds for what you got there for free...plus, you had the bonus of a meaningful experience.