In the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, a child born with naturally matted or locked hair that cannot be combed is given the name Dada. “Dada” is used the same way dreadlocs are used in American English, the difference being Dada is not a style by choice. A Dada child is considered sacred, to have unique and spiritual capabilities like the gift of healing, extreme intelligence and physical strength, and to attract wealth to their parents. Dada children are thought to be special gifts from the Orisa, partly because their knots of hair is likened to cowrie shells (money).
In the western art world, the word “Dada” refers to the European art movement of the early 20th century. The Dada art movement was a movement of rejection and questioning of society and art. In this work, the artists use this title as a sort of code switch. On one hand, the piece speaks to ideas of the Dada movement, as the artists have rejected traditional art materials and inserted afro locs from people in her community. Contrastingly, the piece also speaks to the Yoruba origins of the word.
- Type human hair and wire (Jasmine Holder & Charles Elerby)
- Dimension 20 feet (height)