Interestingly, she says the earliest combs in the collection are from Egypt and this alongside her scholarly research has left her with no doubt that ancient Egyptians were racially and culturally black African. Associated material includes paintings, sculpture and images showing the variety and complexity of hair styles found in Africa and on the Diaspora.
A digital interactive gallery also showcases projections of personal accounts about combs and African-type hair. Visitors are encouraged to share their own stories and photos, which will become part of archive material for future generations.
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The hair samples were describes as varying in texture from 'wavy' to 'curly' and in colour from 'light brown' to 'black'. Strouhal summarised the results of the analysis:. These peculiarities also show the Negroid inference among the Badarians [pre-dynasic Egyptians].
The term, 'Negroid influence' suggests intermixture but as the table suggests, this hair is more 'Negroid' than the San and the Zulu samples, currently the most Negroid hair in existence! In another study, hair samples from the th dynasty individuals produced an average index of 51 as fa back as , Dr Pruner-Bey analysed six different Egyptian hair samples.
Their average index of A team of Italian anthropologists published their research in the Journal of Human Evolution in and They measured two samples consisting of 26 individuals from the pre-dynastic, 12the dynasty and 18th dynasty mummies.
Black Egyptian hypothesis - Wikipedia
They produced a mean index of The overall average of all four sets of ancient Egyptian hair samples was Research has given us the answers Keratin is composed of amino acide chains called polypeptiteds. In a hair, two such chains are called cross-chain polypeptides. These are held together by disulphide bonds.
The bulk of the hair, the source of it's strength and curl is called, the cortex. The hair shafts are made of a protective outer layer called, the cuticle. The anthropologist, Daniel Hardy, writing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, tells us that keratin is stable owing to disulphide bonds. However, when hair is exposed to harsh conditions, it can lead to oxidation of protein molecules in the cortex, which leads to the alteration of hair texture, such as straightening.
Two British anthropologists, Brothwell and Spearman, have found evidence of cortex keratin oxidation in ancient Egyptian hair. They held that the mummification process was responsible because of the strong alkaline substance used.
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This resulted in the yellowing and browning of hair as well as the straightening effect. It has already been proved that ancient Egyptians were blacks and are the direct and indirect ancestors of Africans and Africans of the Americas. But there are these mummies with straight and blonde to red hair, which do not stick to the truth affirmed by the UNESCO since We are in a position to formulate a hypothesis that we think admissible, about the reason why these African mummies have straight hair. Hypothesis that you will see, is very interesting….
‘African Hair Combs’ – a Conservator’s comment
The faces of the priests Yuya and Tuya are undoubtedly African, like those depicted on the sculptures of their daughter and their son Pharaoh Ay. Ay was perhaps the father of Queen Nefertiti. The other famous mummy is that of Ramessou Maryimana Ramses II for whom we have determined without a shadow of a doubt in a previous article that it was a Black.
The obvious capillary texture of the great pharaoh on his sculptures, contrasts so enormously with the discoveries on this black mummy presented as his own. In our previous analysis of the matter , we thought that these mummies were probably those of Blacks with straight hair as they are in Somalia or India.
The problem is that these mummies are numerous. How was mummification done?
The body was first washed with palm wine and water, and then the internal organs brain, intestines, stomach, lungs, liver were removed. Only the heart was left.
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Then the whole body was covered for 40 days with a kind of salt called natron. When the natron had dried the body and the mummification itself was finished, it was embellished using perfumed oils, frankincense and myrrh, and the dried body was filled with sawdust and sand so that it could regain volume. Finally, it was wrapped in cotton bands. The main ingredient of mummification and the one on which our interest will focus is natron. What is natron and what are its properties?
A better understanding
Natron is an alkaline substance. That is to say, it has a pH above 7.
The Lake Natron in Tanzania, saturated with natron, mummifies the carcasses of animals that die there, and has a pH of about Aside its drying properties, natron has effect on the hair, as the alkaline substances are supposed to have. Alkaline substances: foundation of hair relaxing. Natron as the caustic soda with its pH between 12 and 14, are alkaline substances.