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Macalester College

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Curls, Kinks And Colonization: The Decolonization Of Afrodescendant Women’S Bodies In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Allegra Wyatt Apr 2018

Curls, Kinks And Colonization: The Decolonization Of Afrodescendant Women’S Bodies In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Allegra Wyatt

Award Winning Anthropology Papers

This paper documents the experiences of Afrodescendant women in the Dominican Republic who choose to wear their hair naturally curly, despite the norm to straighten it. I argue that Afrodescendant Dominican women are decolonizing racial and gendered discourses of the Afrodescendant body through their pursuit of beauty, blackness, health and self-definition. I draw on Ana Irma Rivera Lassén's allegory of the spiderweb to suggest that my informants are the spiders of their webs, weaving the discourses of the Afrodescendant female body into a web in which they are free to move in/through their multiple identities and find empowerment.