Braiding My Own Hair Into Bantu Knots

The hairstyle pictured is often called, China Bumps or Bantu Knots and is usually done with loose (non-braided) relaxed or natural hair. I thought I’d try my luck by braiding my hair up and giving the Bantu Knots a go – I did it!  Thank you mother, because with out her, I probably wouldn’t have ever learned how to braid my own hair in the first place. After she passed on this gift, she completely abandoned her “hair doing” responsibilities and like a normal 13 year old girl, I had homework, and practice, and science projects, and boys to beat up, you know, kid stuff that she completely infringed upon by leaving it up to me to make myself look half decent. Just kidding about beating up the boys.

At 13 years of age, I had exactly one year to work on my hair braiding skills before the all grown up transition  into the fashion-obsessed, highly-sexed, bully-ridden, metal-detecting world of  High School. It wasn’t all bad and sensationalized, the STEP team and DECA club amongst other things balanced things out. I eventually pulled it off, learned to braid better and better and recouped my dwindling  self esteem. I don’t know about other women, but when my hair looks like crap, I tend to feel further away from good.  And so, here’s my Bantu Knots, hours and hours of work that would have cost me at least $200, $300 or $400 depending upon the salon, all done, every last nook and cranny of a braid completed in the comfort of my apartment. I hope to make a video one day of me doing it. Share your thoughts!

Photos by: Michael Towns
Hair by: Ebony Brown
Model: Ebony Brown


Add yours →

  1. Very nice hairstyle. You always look very good in your photos. Question, why is it so hard for people to love themselves? I am working on a speech titled (Self-concept is the key). How a person views oneself truly is the key to success and happiness. But, how do you get a person to believe that. Most women I meet, truly do not view themselves as the world sees them. Their appearance and style is always outstanding, however they see themselves as less than that. Again, and again, and again why?

    • Thanks so much Steve! That is such a loaded and heavy question, a whole book could be written on that question alone. Whenever the words “love” or “self-esteem” are in the same sentence, it requires a great deal of sensitivity and care in the way that anyone addresses or approaches it – I think so, anyways. That said, I’ll have to sit on answering this one and see what feels right for me to express. I’m not a scholar on relationships, body image or women’s issues and my hope is not to be received as all knowing or judgmental. I stretched my luck by answering the other question about why do women settle and I think a lot of it was agreeable, though unpalatable (because who wants to admit stuff like that) but at the end of the day, everyone has their own reason. I definitely have something to contribute regarding women not loving themselves because I’ve been a witness to it and may have experienced it at some point, and I say, “may,” because its something that I’ve struggled with identifying but others would probably classify it as such (for example, having interest in a man who already has someone – can you really love yourself if you do this? Some women would argue, “Yes”) and so this deserves a little bit more processing, plus I’ll be heading out soon to the Theatre (in hopes of bringing my spirits up – World AIDs day was a heavy day for me, I know people who died from AIDS) in addition, WordPress won’t be anywhere in sight, at least not for now. Have a beautiful day… Maybe one of my reader’s could tackle this question while I process?

      • You always say a mouthful. It’s great! I have been thinking about the comment you made about a woman being interested in a man already in a relationship. The first thing that comes to my mind is, we can not help who we are interest in. Secondly, is not that ok as long as you are not pursuing that man? The last thing, assuming that a person is interested in someone in a relationship, and not pursuing that person. How can that make you not love yourself? Whenever you find the time, I await your thoughts.

        • Hi Steve! I haven’t forgotten about your inquiry. I’ve been crazy busy and when that happens, rent gets paid, food fills the fridge and all sorts of other goodness.

          Your initial question regarding, “Why don’t women love themselves” is….

          [Deep Breath] Hmmm. Rewind. Starting Over.

          I am ONE woman and I can only speak for this woman here in this skin that is, Ebony Brown. It would be inaccurate and probably inappropriate for me to even continue speaking in generalized terms on subject matter to which I feel that I know a little something about (because I am a woman), but actually know very little about as it pertains to women across the board (including their individual experiences and struggles). Considering that, I am too on the outside looking in, standing right next to you, capable of asking the very same question but, unlike you or any man, I’m probably more so in a position to better identify or empathize with whatever the response may be (from a woman), simply because I am a woman. I am a person first though, just like you, and so I’d have to propose the question as well and engage the thoughts of as many other women as possible to really answer your question.

          Everyone, both men and women have their own reasons for not loving themselves or loving themselves less than what is possible. It is my deliberate intention to simply speak for myself. My truth is that I love myself and I always have – in my mind anyways (it is possible for a professional to potentially help me come to recognize otherwise, and I’m open to that). Yes, there are parts of myself, my personality or physicality that I didn’t or still don’t exactly high-five, or praise but the love…the love is always there. It is quite challenging to continue loving oneself in the face of all sorts of adversity, perceived failure and when the world seems like its against me with regards to the things that I’ve gone through or dealt with, in the end, staying strong and continuing to love myself through it all was and is the only option. If I don’t love myself, then who will?

          ….My mom probably would, but that’s besides the point.


          • No Ebony, you are not answering the question. And I do not know why? Because of your previous answers I have begun to put pen to paper. Writing down my thoughts on why I believe woman do not see themselves as the world sees them. It is a big problem. I witness and hear so many abuses, that women endure through relationships. The problem is I do not understand why they put themselves through it. However, through you I am gaining some insight, and compassion towards the problem. Please open up and tell me what you feel and think. There is something special about you. The question is however, are you willing to share your specialness/talents?

            • I think that I have opened up, a lot. I’m not certain of what more to say other than to have other women offer their perspective. My position is that I love myself, so answering the question of, why women do not love themselves is for those women to speak for themselves. Again, I could generalize, assume, probably even state the obvious but in this moment, I think its best and most accurate if I speak for myself.

            • Ok. I will not hound you anymore on that subject. Understand however that I only did it because I have a lot of faith in your intellect. I know a lot of women who are hurting out there. My belief was if I could pick your brain on that subject, than I could speak on it more informality. Also, thank you for going on my site. When I emailed you that last blog, I was unaware that you went on my site. Great answer, I learned a lot about your heart. Last thing, are you going to be speaking on open mic night?

            • Ok. Cool. Steve (rand), I know exactly what you want, I’m just stepping out of the way to allow someone who struggles with loving them self to come forward, to be heard and potentially enlighten us both; that person would be able to share a truth that I am not yet acquainted, and hope to never be. I’d be floored if someone actually offered some insight, also honored and very grateful for their courage. As far as the open mic, I haven’t yet mustered up the nerve, but I will eventually, one day.

  2. diaryofasagittarius April 18, 2012 — 11:49 AM

    this style fits you and its very different. how long did it take you to braid and knot it? you have skillz miss lady! :)

  3. Oh! Do I ever wish you were in Boston and I could convince you to braid my hair. The Bantu knots are gorgeous, and thanks for the history of your braiding life.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,374 other followers

%d bloggers like this: