Skip Navigation

Abebe

J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere

In a thirty-year photographic project, Ojeikere sought to systematically document the rich variety and beauty of the contemporary Nigerian hairstyles he witnessed in daily life. Most of the photographs, like Abebe, were taken from behind, revealing the abstract and sculptural aspects of the hairdos.

Hairstyles are often complex signifiers of identity and social status, particularly for the Yoruba. They can indicate a woman’s age, her occupation, her religious or political power, or even her state of mind. Many hairdos are also tied to specific ceremonies, such as a wedding or the naming ceremony of a child. The abebe (fan) style shown here has an implication of “coolness,” composure, and royalty, qualities that are ideally linked.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1975 (printed 2010)
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm) Image: 13 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. (34.9 x 34.3 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2010.33.1
CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Mandel, by exchange
RIGHTS STATEMENT © J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, courtesy L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York City
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.

If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email copyright@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist if we can.
CAPTION J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere (Nigerian, 1930-2014). Abebe, 1975 (printed 2010). Gelatin silver photograph, Sheet: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Mandel, by exchange, 2010.33.1. © J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, courtesy L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York City
IMAGE overall, CUR.2010.33.1_Parker_Stephenson_Gallery_photo.jpg. Image courtesy of L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York City
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (60%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.