Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford African American Studies Center. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 March 2020

Tignon Headdress in New Orleanslocked

  • Barbara Trevigne


During the Spanish colonial era in New Orleans, various edicts addressed matters of extravagant dress regarding women of unmixed African ancestry and those of combined African and European ancestry (nègre and cuarterón, or quadroon) women. Women of color were instructed to cover their heads by wearing a headdress marked by less vibrant color and ornamentation, hence relegating their status to a level comparable to that of enslaved individuals and servants. Yet the tignon headdress, intended by Spanish edict as a means of racially profiling and obscuring the implied “charms” of local women of color in comparison to white women in the area, ironically became strategically employed as a powerful marker of agency, self-identification, subtle yet powerful protest for women of African descent.

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription