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J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere: Photographs”The culture of a nation gives it an identity. It’s a force that binds individuals together. Without culture you are no one.”
Mrs Elizabeth Akuyo Oyairo, from the book J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Photographs.

You really need to check out this book:  : J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Photographs by Andre Magnin, or at least see some of the photographs online. This is what I call a work of art, and I’m not talking only about the photos that are gorgeous, but also about the hairstyles. 
Ojeikere, born in Nigeria in 1930, bought his first camera in 1950 in a place and time when photography was a luxury. He learned how to take his first photos from a friend and tried to get a job in the business for a while. In 1954 he landed his first position as a darkroom assistant. Over time he turned into an extraordinary photographer, and his most famous work is the collection of photographs he took of Nigerian hairstyles, a small part of which is in this book.
The combination of the amazing photos and the highly elaborated hair styles give us the impression that we are actually looking at sculptures and not hair.
I don’t know how long does it take to make hair look like that, but surely many hours or even days.
The more than a thousand photos of sculpted hair that Ojeikere took are a great document of the artistry of Nigerian people, an art form that has been passed from generation to generation.
After looking at the photographs, it reminded me of the sculptures of the exhibit Kingdom of Ife that was at the British Museum last year and that is currently in the US, so it’s clearly something that comes from ancient times in the Nigerian culture.
The love for the patterns, the rhythms, and the care and patience to weave the hair to reach that perfect form can be seen in each creation.
Luckily these abstract art forms have been preserved in the photographs of J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere.

J.D Okhai Ojeikere - UntitledJ.D Okhai Ojeikere - Untitled

CAACART The Pigozzi Collection
Okhai Ojeikere / Patterns, Post-Colonial Nigeria, and Paternal Influence
by Kameelah Rasheed