Combs

African hair combs span a period of around 6000 years. The combs here were excavated or collected in many different African countries and cultures. There are gaps in our evidence. However, this does not mean that hair combs stopped being in use. The elaborate hairstyles on many West African sculptures, for example, suggest that people continued to use combs and picks from the first millennium BCE (Nok), and then through the 12th to 16th centuries CE (Ife, Owo and Benin). You can explore some of the hair combs that we will include in the exhibition by region or time.