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Ife Bronze, from the series "Hairstyles"

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere
Nigerian, 1930-2014

About this artwork

After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, traditional hairstyles, along with other body arts, made a comeback as forms of resistance to colonialism’s “progressive” westernization. Some of these elaborate hairstyles required more than a week’s work. They were given names freighted with cultural references; the one seen here is called Ife Bronze, referring to a group of 12th-century copper heads unearthed in 1938 at Ife in Nigeria. Studio photographer J. D. ’Okhai Ojeikere began recording these elaborate designs in 1968 and eventually made some 1,000 images over a period of decades. Ojeikere collaborated with stylists and placed his sitters against neutral backgrounds, photographing the back or side of the head to produce a sculptural presentation of the hairstyle as opposed to a conventional portrait.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere


Ife Bronze, from the series "Hairstyles"


Nigeria (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1972


Gelatin silver print


Image/paper: 27.9 × 18 cm (11 × 7 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Robin and Sandy Stuart

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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