Kptongo is a hair museum that celebrates hair and the cultures behind it.
I have a lot of hair. I never realized how much hair I really had until I was 15 and decided to stop straightening my hair and learn how to do it myself. Although I grew up in a majority black environment in DC, I was surrounded by people who would straighten their hair and wear weaves and not really celebrate or embrace their curls or natural hair as much. When I decided to go natural, I not only learned more about myself but about hair as an art form. I was finally able to celebrate something that I needed up loving. I decided to bring this to University when I realized where I decided to go. Here, I learned a lot more than what I thought back home.
Kpotongo (Cup-tongue-go) came about throughout the past four years I’ve been at UML and had to learn the hard way that not everywhere is as inclusive with hair and how hair can impact a community because of it’s history. I went from not knowing how to braid my hair to being able to do knotless braids on my head in one night and I was able to meet people and have a community of friends who had the same issues. With Kpotongo, I wanted to share some of those experiences and create that community with others who might have similar stories or experiences. I wanted to bring my story and others to life and make it fun, inclusive, and creative just like hair is.