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"Colours Hair Salon" Hand-Painted African Barber Shop Sign #619
- "Colours Hair Salon" Hand-Painted African Barber Shop Sign
- African hand-painted barber shop painting
- Hand-painted and signed by the artist, Farkira
- Approximate size: 20 1/8" x 13 1/2"
- Hand-painted on plywood
- Origin is Ghana, circa 1980-2000; dated by when the signs were actually collected.
Brightly painted on plywood or masonite, these signs are colorful, humorous, and sometimes outrageous Contemporary African Folk Art. They reflect both the ancient African Tradition of hair braiding and hair-cutting and the cultural clash of imported (usually American) influences.
In Africa a "barber shop" or "hair salon" might be nothing more elaborate than a barber or hair-braider with a chair set up in the open and a signboard hanging from a tree or market stall. The signs may be painted by the barbers or hairdressers themselves, or by paid sign artists. They are intended both to identify the businesses and to advertise the services offered, depicting a catalog of intricate women's hair braiding patterns or the latest in men's hair styles.
Barbers' signs can sometimes be dated by the hairstyles depicted - today inspired as often as not by events, styles and personalities in the USA. We find "Mike Tyson", "Mr. Tee", "House Party", and "Cocaine Cut" offered alongside such old favorites as "Nelson Mandela", "Back Bush", "Sportin' Waves" and "Boeing 707".