The history of durag or dorag is a story that has more cultural influence than you might think. You've seen these pieces of fabric being worn for decades, but have you ever wondered where they came from? The story may surprise you!
What exactly is a durag?
In the most minimal definition, the durag is simply a piece of cloth that is worn around the head. This fabric can be made of velvet, silk or other types of fabric.
What is the purpose of durag?
Durag is mainly used to protect your hair. It helps your hair stay fresh after a cut, but more importantly it helps you achieve what many call "waves".
Waves" are a form of hairstyle that actually looks like waves on your head. Durags can also be used as a simple fashion accessory, as seen now on TV, worn by celebrities.
Where does the durag come from?
The origins of the durag date back to the 19th century. It was used by slaves to hold back their hair and keep it covered. It was soon after, during the Harlem Renaissance period, that the durag began to have a more cultural significance.
The Harlem Renaissance was a social movement that took place in Harlem, NY that has been considered a pivotal moment in the history of African American art. It was during this time that durag came to prominence. It was used this time as a fashion statement. Today, the durag is more prevalent in our culture as many rappers, athletes, and African Americans wear it daily.
Eventually, durags went from simple pieces of fabric to fancy designer durags made with fancy fabrics and colors.
The controversies of durag
Some of the biggest controversies regarding durags involve celebrities and athletes. It is worth noting that durag was banned by the NFL, which caused a huge uproar among soccer players because they thought they were being unfairly targeted. There are even articles written by some journalists that criminalized durag by associating it with a bad connotation.
Another source of controversy is the way durag is spelled. For more information on this topic, check out the article on the correct spelling of Durag.
Who actually invented the durag?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. If you try to look in history books and search online, you will find that there is no clear answer to this question due to a poorly documented history.
Some speculation about the identity of the founder of durag has found answers to names like Daren Dowdy and Sammy Davis Jr.