In case you missed it, we had natural texture stylist and educator, Mini, talk to our curl community to share her expertise on headwraps, natural texture, the Bomba community, and the contributions of African ancestors. Mini is also an activist, a member of the Bomba community herself, and the owner and founder of @dulce.rebelde.styling. Let’s get to know her a bit more and the knowledge she has to share:
Tell us about yourself
I’m a hair texture specialist and educator and a FOREVEsR student. (Fun fact: I’m definitely a science nerd when it comes to hair and products. I love learning about ingredients!) I’m an activist, an artist, bombera puertorriqueña, and just a human being trying my best to practice good iwa-pele (good, balanced character).
Why did you create Dulce Rebelde Headwraps and what was your inspiration for creating your business?
I used to make headwraps for myself and people kept asking me where to buy them so about 2 years ago I decided to create my first line. I knew I didn’t want it to be just about an adornment. I wanted to create a space for commUNITY to learn the history and culture of headwraps, as well as, hold space for healing, discussing generational traumas, and so much more.
Tell us more about the history of Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba?
Bomba is a traditional genre of music in Puerto Rico. It was developed by enslaved Africans brought by the colonizers, with influence also accredited to our indigenous Taino roots. There’s actually several variations of similar African drumming and dance throughout the Caribbean, each adapted depending on their country of origin. Bomba was an escape from daily life and a form of resistance. The batey (dance space) was more than just a safe space to express emotions and join together as a community, it was also a way to communicate revolts. Bomba, as we know it today, is still very much a community practice. We also continue to use it as a tool of resistance. It’s a place of healing for us, it’s a way to honor those that came before us, and a way to keep tradition alive.
Why is it important for you to educate your audience about the history of headwraps and Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba?
My focus has been to switch up the social narrative and perception of what many think traditional beauty standards are. I want to provide cultural awareness and education, not only to stylists, but the community. I think it’s important to teach people that when you adopt a cultural element you know it’s meaning and significance. For me, this is a lifestyle and a connection to my roots. Much of our history, especially the African influence in Puerto Rico, isn’t in history books—it’s passed down through our elders. I recognize that one day I will be an elder and an ancestor and I want to make sure I do my part to be on the right side of history.